Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari

sapiensI’ve been obsessing about this book, telling everyone I spoke to about how fantastically interesting it is. I felt like I was reading a more objective Bill Bryson, and I think that if you like Bryson’s books you will love this.

This is a history of the human race from it’s origins to 2014, on the way we will discover foraging, the formation of settlement, transport, agriculture, economics, industrialisation and a bunch of other stuff along the way. You begin to realise that the links between all these are more complicated than you think, that throughout history people have benefited at the expense of other people and the machinations of how that works, who ultimately wins and who loses. Every time I thought I was reading my favourite chapter I found another one which was my new favourite. I love the tone of the book, slightly snarky and not taking itself too seriously, but not playing for laughs in an obvious way. Complicated ideas explained in a way that anybody can understand and linked together in ways that make you go oooohhhh!

I’m going to add his next book to my tbr pile, it might take me a while to get to it though.

Richard Dawkins speaks in Christchurch

Whatever you think of his politics and his outspokenness on his topic, he is an interesting man to listen to.  This is a sound recording of him speaking in the Christchurch Town Hall earlier this year.  I could listen to him for hours.  Great voice.  There is something about knowledgeable men speaking about learned subjects that is downright cool.  There are 6 of these videos/sound recordings.  Go to YouTube and click on the 8 videos tab at the top to listen in order.