Next Big Idea Club Book Subscription Review + Coupon – Summer 2018
Next Big Idea Club is a quarterly non-fiction book subscription with selections handpicked by bestselling authors Malcolm Gladwell, Adam Grant, Susan Cain, and Daniel Pink. It also includes supplemental online content and other membership perks.
This package was sent to us for review purposes. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This is a review of the Hardbacks subscription, $59 per quarter. See other subscription options below.
About Next Big Idea Club
The Subscription Box: Next Big Idea Club
The Cost: There are three subscription plans available:
- Hardbacks: $59 per quarter or $215 annually ($53.75 per box) for two books per quarter, plus access to all online content and a free bonus book.
- E-Books: $49 per quarter or $189 annually ($47.25 per box) for two e-books per quarter, plus access to all online content.
- Express Membership: $89 annually ($22.25 per quarter) for online access only, and you supply your own books.
The Products: Two nonfiction books every three months, curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Adam Grant, and Daniel Pink; plus online course material, forum access, and a year of Business Insider Prime.
Ships to: Free shipping to the US for Hardback membership. International members are welcome to join the E-book or Express plans.
My NBIC Review
I primarily read non-fiction and really don’t have a TON of time to read these days, so I look to this subscription to curate interesting and topical reads for my limited reading time. The summer edition started shipping in August.
Our last box was all about leadership; this theme is a little bit less obvious. The intro letter conveys that the selections this month are about learning more from the people around you and developing yourself to be more open-minded in favor of expanding your horizons.
I love this kind of self-development and welcomed the change from what was a very business-oriented set of selections last time around. Let’s check out the Summer books:
This book was just released in June 2018.
With a subtitle like “Stay Relevant, Reinvent Yourself, and Thrive,” it’s obvious how this one related to the quarterly theme.
Book summary from Amazon:
It’s a truism in today’s economy: the only constant is change. Technological automation is making jobs less routine and more cognitively challenging. Globalization means you’re competing with workers around the world. Simultaneously, the internet and other communication technologies have radically increased the potential impact of individual knowledge.The relentless dynamism of these forces shaping our lives has created a new imperative: we must strive to become dynamic learners. In every industry and sector, dynamic learners outperform their peers and realize higher impact and fulfillment by learning continuously and by leveraging that learning to build yet more knowledge.
In Never Stop Learning, behavioral scientist and operations expert Bradley R. Staats describes the principles and practices that comprise dynamic learning and outlines a framework to help you become more effective as a lifelong learner. The steps include:
- Valuing failure
- Focusing on process, not outcome, and on questions, not answers
- Making time for reflection
- Learning to be true to yourself by playing to your strengths
- Pairing specialization with variety
- Treating others as learning partners
Replete with the most recent research about how we learn as well as engaging stories that show how real learning happens, Never Stop Learning will become the operating manual for leaders, managers, and anyone who wants to keep thriving in the new world of work.
As far as the general concept goes, I do think this is an important one– in life as well as work! I am constantly striving to be better everyday, but I hardly ever take the time to apply a real process to it.
I’ve read a couple of chapters so far, and I’m liking the author’s writing style. It’s easy to read and digest and doesn’t feel too heavy, which is exactly what I want from this type of book. There are plenty of clear examples of each concept that he covers, and each chapter breaks down common challenges, too, making it really easy to walk through how each concept applies to your own learning style.
We also received a bookmark for this book specifically, featuring a quote from within:
And it’s blank on the reverse for any important notes you want to make as you read.
Tucked inside the book, you’ll also find a pamphlet with a kind of “study guide” from one of this quarter’s curators, Adam Grant.
These act kind of like Cliff’s Notes for the book, or an executive summary to help you make sure you’re really digesting the key topics covered. There are also some conversation topic suggestions (great if you lead a book club!) and a quiz and other exercises, too:
With the subscription, you also have access to online bonus materials. In your member portal, you’ll have access to over 30 minutes of video content featuring author Brad Staats.
These videos are a nice companion piece. They’re only a few minutes long each, but they’re a nice way to recap after reading each chapter. I find that they helped me with retaining the information and making my reading a bit more intentional.
And if you don’t watch videos online, there is also an audio file of all of the video content– perfect as a refresher on your commute! NBIC also has a private Facebook group where members can discuss each quarter’s selections, although I haven’t personally taken advantage of that yet, it does seem to be pretty active with six new posts just made today.
This book was also originally published in June 2018.
In the intro letter, the NBIC curators said they hadn’t previously planned to include memoirs with this subscription– but that they felt was a “riveting summer read” and was particularly topical today.
After reading the dust jacket, I was already impressed that the author is only 21 years old! Here’s the book summary from Amazon:
Drawing upon his own powerful personal story, Zachary Wood shares his perspective on free speech, race, and dissenting opinions–in a world that sorely needs to learn to listen.
As the former president of the student group Uncomfortable Learning at his alma mater, Williams College, Zachary Wood knows from experience about intellectual controversy. At school and beyond, there’s no one Zach refuses to engage with simply because he disagrees with their beliefs–sometimes vehemently so–and this view has given him a unique platform in the media.
But Zach has never shared the details of his own personal story. In Uncensored, he reveals for the first time how he grew up poor and black in Washington, DC, where the only way to survive was resisting the urge to write people off because of their backgrounds and perspectives. By sharing his troubled upbringing–from a difficult early childhood to the struggles of code-switching between his home and his elite private school–Zach makes a compelling argument for a new way of interacting with others and presents a new outlook on society’s most difficult conversations.
I have to say, this book gripped me right from the first line in the introduction. Race is such a hard and frankly enormous subject for anyone to broach!
This is a memoir, so of course, it focuses a lot on Wood’s personal stories of his own upbringing. While the author does draw some attention to some of the lessons within, I think the onus is really on the Next Big Idea Club, in this case, to expand upon the subject matter even further.
I appreciate that Susan Cain touched on the fact that this is different from their other selections, in that it is NOT an “action-oriented” non-fiction book.
The included guide to this book includes a section on “How to Have Difficult Conversations in 9 Steps”, which is a great exercise to pair along with Uncensored.
The online material for this book is a little more in-depth than Never Stop Learning. You’ll get access to a 43-minute conversation between Susan Cain and Zachary Wood, plus about 20 minutes of additional videos that go along with the topic of having difficult conversations.
I really enjoy putting on these types of interviews in the background at work (or, again, listening to them in the car) and I wish all of the NBIC books had this type of video included.
Once again, we also received a bookmark specific to this volume:
Next Big Idea Club also included a few small swag items this month:
NBIC Logo Temporary Tattoo
I can’t help but feel like this is simply a goofy way to flash a signal to strangers who might be “in the know” that you’re reading these books.
Next Big Idea Club Reusable Tote
I rarely turn down a free tote bag; this one is a nice size for carrying your books or groceries.
Verdict: For the Summer 2018 edition of Next Big Idea Club, we received two new-release hardcover nonfiction books, as well as supplemental educational materials (printed and online). As a primarily non-fiction reader, I did like both of the selections and found some added value from the printed and online content, too. If you already enjoy nonfiction books from authors like Malcolm Gladwell and Susan Cain and have been looking for a good nonfiction book subscription, I’d give this club some thought. These are two books I would not have picked up for myself otherwise.
The two books we received have a total MSRP of $56, which is just a little bit under the $59 quarterly subscription price and makes sense given the extra material included. Since their original release date of June 2018, the books have come down in price, as they tend to do– Never Stop Learning can be found on Amazon for $18 and Uncensored is $17.10 ($35.10 for both books). The difference in price almost matches the “bring your own book” option for online-only access, which is about $22.25 per quarter… so you would have the option to buy your books from Amazon (or borrow from the library) for about the same price.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? It’s unclear from their website if new subscribers will receive the Summer 2018 box as their first box, but they do note that all new subscribers receive online access to all past content when they join. UPDATE: New subscribers should receive the summer box reviewed here if they sign up before the end of September.
Value Breakdown: This box was $59 and included two new release books with a total MSRP of $56, although they can now be purchased for about $35.10 total. In addition to printed resources to help with reading comprehension, we also received about two hours of supplemental video content and access to a private discussion group with the authors and curators.
COUPON– New subscribers can get 10% off any subscription plan (annual or quarterly) when you sign up here, no coupon code needed!
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What do you think of Next Big Idea Club? Any other nonfiction book clubs that you recommend?