As if I needed another genre of books to read…

Every year, poses an annual question on their website. Some of the greatest minds on the planet then offer up their answers, thoughts and beliefs on the chosen topic. These short essays are then put together to make extremely insightful books.

Many non-fiction books today come out as flat-packed ideas neatly formed like a one-sided, convincing argument. What I like about this style of book is that it is like a rabbit hole of ideas. There are arguments both for and against which allows the reader to form their own broad opinion. However, I found that the more I read, the less sure I was!


Some of the previous questions include:

  • What scientific term or concept ought to be more widely known?
  • What do you think about machines that think?
  • What scientific idea is ready for retirement?
  • What should we all be worried about?
  • What scientific concept would improve everybody’s cognitive toolkit?
  • How is the internet changing the way you think?
  • What is your dangerous idea?


Just like reading short stories, these books offer a great dip-in, dip-out quality. Many of the essays are only a one, two or three pages long, making them ideal to read in a couple of minutes. From a self-development point of view, I can’t think of a similar book that would make you smarter and more informed in cutting edge science and opinion.