Looking to learn something new and expand your knowledge? Check out these ten non-fiction books that are sure to make you smarter. From exploring the history of humankind in “Sapiens” to investigating the impact of the criminal justice system on black communities in “The New Jim Crow”, these books offer a variety of perspectives on important topics in history, society, and science. You’ll discover the link between geography and human societies in “Guns, Germs, and Steel” and gain insight into moral intuition in “The Righteous Mind”. Whether you’re a lifelong learner or looking to read more non-fiction, these books are essential reads.
10 Non-Fiction Books That Will Make You Smarter
In today’s fast-paced world, learning should never stop. The quest for knowledge should be a lifelong pursuit. But, with so many books to choose from, it can be challenging to decide where to begin. In this article, we have put together a list of ten non-fiction books that will make you smarter. From world-changing events to secret histories, these books are sure to change the way you see the world.
1. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari
This book outlines the history of Homo sapiens from the emergence of the species in Africa to the present day. It is a concise but comprehensive overview of the human story, from hunter-gatherer societies to global empires. Harari argues that it was Homo sapiens’ ability to create shared myths that gave rise to civilization.
2. The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History by Elizabeth Kolbert
Elizabeth Kolbert’s book explores the idea that Earth is currently undergoing its sixth mass extinction. Kolbert takes the reader on a journey around the world, investigating the various ways we are causing the extinction of species. She also considers the impact this will have on the planet as a whole and what we can do to prevent it.
3. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies by Jared Diamond
Jared Diamond’s book explores why some societies became powerful while others did not. He argues that geography, agriculture, and technology played a crucial role in shaping the world we live in today. This book provides a fascinating perspective on the link between history and geography.
4. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Daniel Kahneman’s book explores the two different systems of thinking that we use. He argues that the human mind has evolved to work in two different ways, one that is fast but prone to error, and one that is slow but more accurate. This book is a must-read for anyone interested in how the human mind works.
5. Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup by John Carreyrou
Bad Blood is a thrilling account of the rise and fall of Theranos, a startup that claimed to have developed a revolutionary blood-testing device. John Carreyrou, a Wall Street Journal reporter, uncovers the truth about the company and its CEO, Elizabeth Holmes. This book is a cautionary tale of the potential pitfalls of the tech industry.
6. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks by Rebecca Skloot
This book tells the story of Henrietta Lacks, an African-American woman whose cancer cells were used for decades without her knowledge or consent. The cells, known as HeLa, were instrumental in many scientific breakthroughs, including the development of the polio vaccine. Rebecca Skloot explores the ethical issues raised by the use of HeLa cells and their impact on medical research.
7. The Righteous Mind: Why Good People Are Divided by Politics and Religion by Jonathan Haidt
In The Righteous Mind, Jonathan Haidt explores why people have such strong beliefs about politics and religion. He argues that moral intuition plays a crucial role in shaping our beliefs and values. Haidt provides insights into how we can learn to understand and communicate with people who have different moral beliefs than our own.
8. Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J.D. Vance
Hillbilly Elegy is a memoir of J.D. Vance’s childhood in a poor Appalachian community. Vance describes the struggles of his family and the cultural values and social norms of the community. This book provides insightful commentary on the state of the American working class.
9. The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander
Michelle Alexander’s book explores the ways in which the criminal justice system in America perpetuates racial inequality. She argues that the “war on drugs” has led to the mass incarceration of black men and women, creating a new form of Jim Crow. This book is an important critique of the American criminal justice system.
10. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee’s book is a biography of cancer, exploring the disease’s history, treatment, and future. Cancer has had a profound impact on human health throughout history. This book provides a fascinating account of the disease and the ongoing efforts to cure it.
These ten books offer varied perspectives on important topics from history, science, and society. Reading them will expand your knowledge, provide insight into complex issues, and broaden your horizons. Whether you are a lifelong learner or just want to read more non-fiction, these books are must-reads. So, start your journey to becoming a smarter version of yourself today.