f you’re a fan of the Harry Potter series, you know that Hermione Granger is the wizarding world’s biggest know-it-all. Whenever a professor asks the class a question, hers is the first hand to shoot into the air—and while her classmates might pretend to be unimpressed, deep down they know that she is a force to be reckoned with. Whenever dark magic threatens, Hermione is always there to brew a potion or cast a spell that helps save the day.
So if you’re feeling inspired to follow in Hermione’s footsteps, we recommend checking out the five excellent reads below. They may not give you magical powers, but they might just transform you into everyone’s favorite know-it-all.
An entertaining, eye-opening account of the extraordinary team of innovators who discovered the laws of thermodynamics essential to understanding the world today—from refrigeration and jet engines to calorie counting and global warming. View Our “Book Bite” Summary
The Code Breaker: Jennifer Doudna, Gene Editing, and the Future of the Human Race By Walter Isaacson
The bestselling author of Leonardo da Vinci and Steve Jobsreturns with a gripping account of how Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna and her colleagues launched a revolution that will allow us to cure diseases, fend off viruses, and have healthier babies. View Our “Book Bite” Summary
Wiser: The Scientific Roots of Wisdom, Compassion, and What Makes Us Good By Dilip Jeste, with Scott LaFee
Wisdom often feels like this unquantifiable, almost ethereal quality that some of us—our grandparents, perhaps—are blessed with. But after two decades of research, UC San Diego neuropsychiatrist Dilip Jeste has pinned down the scientific basis of wisdom, and he’s ready to share how anyone can become wiser. View Our “Book Bite” Summary
Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain By Lisa Feldman Barrett
Renowned neuroscientist Lisa Feldman Barrett reveals where brains came from, how they’re structured, and how yours works in tandem with other brains to create everything you experience. View Our “Book Bite” Summary
The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit―Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness By Craig Wright
Looking at the 14 key traits of genius, from curiosity to creative maladjustment to obsession, professor Craig Wright, creator of Yale University’s popular “Genius Course,” explores what we can learn from brilliant minds that have changed the world. View Our “Book Bite” Summary
Next Big Idea Club, a subscription book club curated by Malcolm Gladwell, Susan Cain, Daniel Pink, and Adam Grant. The Next Big Idea Club delivers key insights from all the best new books via the Next Big Idea App, website, and podcast. To hear the audio version of this post, narrated by the author, and to enjoy more Book Bites, download the Next Big Idea App.