This isn’t an exhaustive list - l read whodunits and lighthearted novels in the summer in addition to the endless newspapers and magazines - but some time ago I decided that hard cover and paperback books still count. Those pictured above are important and life changing.
With the Harari trio I started in the middle with Homo Deus as a Christmas present from family members who know I like this kind of thing. The second earlier one, Sapiens, was inspired by reading the first - and the last, 21 Lessons, was immediately on my must read list. I note that within days of publication it is already second on Publisher’s Weekly Bestseller List with its release only this September.
Harari can be described as a cultural historian and these three books deal with the the future, the past, and the present. He is insightful, opinionated and always provocative. Critical of both religion and politics for their insularity and selfcenterdness, he repeatedly says we need a new story for a global world. Journey of the Universe just might fill that role and I am curious whether he has read it. The authors are not cited in the index in any of them.
Journey of the Universe is a book, a movie - available via a website with that name - and also a conference at Yale in which the last book in the image is a Christian reflection on the story. It’s focused not solely on the planet but on an even bigger story. Author Brain Swimme is quoted on the back cover of Living Cosmology saying that mulling over the contents could be life changing. I agree. I don’t know whether all faith groups have responded to this - but they should. More on this in coming posts.