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Sapins[1] by Yuval Noah Harari. Currently 220 pages into it, I wholeheartedly recommend -- it's remarkably well written and is full of very interesting perspectives.

Credit where it's due: learnt about this book in an edge.org conversation[2] between Dr. Harari and the eminent psycologist Daniel Kahneman.

Speaking of professor Kahneman, I recently finished his "Thinking, Fast and Slow" (I did notice it's mentioned in the comments, but still), over a period of deliberate slow reading of 5 months. Much has been said and written (more than well deservedly!) about this book. Don't let the title invite you to dismiss it off as yet another over-simplifying popular psyocology book; it's anything but that. It is an account of about 30 years of collaboration with his late colleague Amos Tversky. Certainly not a breezy page-turner. It's well worth it to take your own time to assimilate the content.

  [1] http://www.ynharari.com/sapiens-the-book/short-overview/
  [2] http://edge.org/conversation/yuval_noah_harari-daniel_kahneman-death-is-optional



I read Sapiens after seeing the same edge.org conversation, and while it was mostly good, I think it started off strong and then became less so as it went on. Especially towards the end it became almost a hot list of current events the author had read about in the newspaper, like browsing through a lot of TED talks, without a lot of coherence to a larger picture. My other complaint would be that some portions seemed less scholarly and heavily influenced by the author's opinions and personal worldview. Not a bad book by any means but somewhat less than the "history of humankind" I had hoped for. The first quarter focusing on prehistory through agriculture was very informative, though leaves me questioning if I'm just suffering from Gell-Mann amnesia. Rated it 4/5 on Goodreads when I was finished.

I found Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond to be perhaps a better book of similar nature overall, and would add in The 10,000 Year Explosion by Cochran and Harpending as another good one for those who liked Sapiens.




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