Living in Johannesburg for a year and a half now, I have started discovering the little bits of Johannesburg, that to me are the City’s little treasures. But amidst the city life which I do enjoy, I have also taken a great liking to Friday night’s in, with a good hard cover(or paper back) and lots of food. There is just something about jumping into a story line that takes your imagination to the depths of the skies and the streets of Paris…that coupled with a hot cuppa tea, and you have every book worms perfect day.)
And so after months of catching up, here are my top reads that I recommend for a winter’s night in 😉
Sapiens: A brief history of humankind
by Yuval Harari
Synopsis: How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations, and human rights; to trust money, books, and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables, and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?
In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical — and sometimes devastating — breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural, and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, palaeontology, and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behaviour from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?
Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power…and our future.
Alone against the North
by Adam Shoalts
When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him. Shoalts was no stranger to the wilderness. He had hacked his way through jungles and swamps, had stared down polar bears and climbed mountains. But one spot on the map called out to him irresistibly: the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a trackless expanse of muskeg and lonely rivers, caribou and wolf—an Amazon of the north, parts of which to this day remain unexplored.
Cutting through this forbidding landscape is a river no explorer, trapper, or canoeist had left any record of paddling. It was this river that Shoalts was obsessively determined to explore. It took him several attempts, and years of research. But finally, alone, he found the headwaters of the mysterious river. He believed he had discovered what he had set out to find. But the adventure had just begun. Unexpected dangers awaited him downstream.Gripping and often poetic, Alone Against the North is a classic adventure story of single-minded obsession, physical hardship, and the restless sense of wonder that every explorer has in common. But what does exploration mean in an age when satellite imagery of even the remotest corner of the planet is available to anyone with a phone? Is there anything left to explore?
Shoalts’s story makes it clear that the world can become known only by getting out of our cars and armchairs, and setting out into the unknown, where every step is different from the one before, and something you may never have imagined lies around the next curve in the river.