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ABERDEEN, S.D. – An award-winning author whose book explores the hidden benefits of boredom will deliver the Northern State University Larry and Julie Poeppel Family Common Read Lecture this fall.

Author Manoush Zomorodi will discuss “Bored and Brilliant: How Spacing Out Can Unlock Your Most Productive and Creative Self” at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 13 in the Johnson Fine Arts Center.

“Bored and Brilliant” explores the connection between boredom and original thinking and considers how we can harness boredom’s hidden benefits to become our most productive and creative selves without totally abandoning our gadgets in the process. 

Bored and Brilliant book cover

Zomorodi is co-founder of Stable Genius Productions, a media company with a mission to help people navigate personal and global change. Her podcast “Note to Self” explores new questions technology has brought into our lives. Her TED Talk “How Boredom Can Lead to Your Most Brilliant Ideas” has more than 3 million views.

Throughout her career, Zomorodi has won numerous awards. Those include two Gracies for Best Radio Host” as well as a Webby her team won in 2018 for “The Privacy Paradox,” an interactive digital project about personal data.

Her fall 2019 lecture at Northern is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Zomorodi will speak for about 50 minutes, take questions from the audience, and then sign copies of her book. Doors open at 6:45 p.m.

The NSU Wolf Shoppe, located in the lower level of the Student Center, has copies of “Bored and Brilliant” available for $12.25. Summer hours for the Wolf Shoppe are: 7:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday (closed Friday, June 28, for inventory).

This year for the first time, Northern’s annual Common Read is supported by an endowment.

“The generosity of the Larry and Julie Poeppel family enables the NSU Honors Program to continue hosting the NSU Common Read speaker for years to come,” said Honors Program Director Dr. Erin Fouberg.

Now in its 10th year, the Common Read program has grown into the largest academic event on Northern’s campus. The annual lecture has attracted best-selling, internationally recognized authors including Angie Thomas, Ruta Sepetys, Ernie Cline, Suki Kim and Jeannette Walls.

Along with holding the successful Common Read event, the Honors Program continues to grow and celebrate numerous student achievements, particularly in the area of undergraduate research. Last year, two Honors students placed at the National Collegiate Honors Conference, with a total of 10 Northern students presenting their research at the conference.

To learn more about the NSU Honors Program, contact Fouberg at

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $55 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.