Have You Read?…

by Dick James

Usually I get nervous when I open a letter from one of my readers that’s starts up with the question: “Have you read?”.
I am constantly impressed by how smart you are and apparently think I am, but I received a note from Sandra who lives in the Napa Valley (I wonder if she knows Bill our reader in Sonoma, but I digress…).
Seems as if Sandra’s book club had just read Dr. Harari’s “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” and she wanted to know if I had read it.
First of all, at 469 pages it isn’t that brief, but like every thing the noted historian writes it is a fascinating study.
Especially if, like me, you ever wonder how we got to be the way we are and what ever happened to the dozen or more other human-like creatures that were wandering around this planet 100,000 years ago (I love his explanation of what happened to the poor Neanderthals and why we had to get rid of them, they were “to familiar to ignore, but too different to tolerate”).
A warning to anyone who reads “Sapiens” – you will get hooked and then you will want to read Dr. Harari’s follow-up “Homo Deus, A Brief History of Tomorrow” and yes there is another follow up, his current “21 Lessons for the 21st Century”.
Remember, Yuval Noah Harari has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His trilogy of human development, from our distant past, the future and today is brilliant and should keep any book club busy.