Fox&Songbird

Books that are truly worth reading

Homo Deus

Yuval Noah Harari

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

Recommended by Natalie

As the follow up to a book on many people's top reads list, I enjoyed Homo Deus as much as Sapiens. (Quick side note: If you haven't read Sapiens yet, it's a pretty worldview-altering read. You might find yourself wearing "Wheat Domesticated Us" t-shirts and insisting your friends all read it. Be warned.) Homo Deus proposes that in the near future, humanity's aspirations will be immortality, happiness, and divinity and offers up several possibilities of what our world could be.

Yuval Noah Harari left me with philosophical questions my mind is still working on keeping up with.