A Little History to Improve Your Brain

A Little History to Improve Your Brain

A little history on a topic is all you need to give you a broad idea of what happened. You dont always need to read about something in depth. WhyToRead believes a broad knowledge base is a great help to a great brain.

The series A Little History books do just that.  Give you a little history summary on a wide range of topics. Perfect.

1. A Little History of the World – E.H. Gombrich

A Little History of the World
A Little History of the World, written by Gombrich who has a doctorate in history, is focused on the human experience and not on the little events that a young mind might forget. From the Stone Age until the World War Two, he presents how humanity has changed and developed.

This book shows a simplified history and it is full of charm and humor, so it is not a book that only presents the dates, but is focused on the facts that changed history. In only 40 chapters, the author shows us what humanity has achieved and where it stalled. This is a great book to read if you want a little history to know how the world became as we know it today.

Read a bit more in depth with the general world history books.

2. A Little History of Philosophy – Nigel Warburton

A Little History of Philosophy
Nigel Warburton makes philosophy accessible to everyone with A Little History of Philosophy. He talks about all the major philosophers and their take on the world, from the metaphysics of Socrates to the realist Peter Singer. The author makes note of all the major philosophical currents and figures.

Warburton doesn’t write a history of philosophy with dates and a sterile presentation of the major trends. No, he relates little stories about the philosophers that sustain their thesis, giving them a little bit of life. This is a great book for everyone interested in philosophy and how the ideas changed in time.

Read more easy Philosophy books.

3. A Little History of the United States – James West Davidson

A Little History of the United States
James West Davidson takes to a journey of struggle and success of a country in A Little History of United States. He begins with the pre-Columbus era and walks us through all the major figures that dominated US history along with the struggles the society had at different times, until the current ones.

This is a fast paced book about the development of small communities, the struggle for freedom and equality and the threats the country had to face and overcome in order to become a world power. A Little History of the United States follows the social and political struggle that come from different ages.

Read more books about modern history.

4. A Little History of Economics – Niall Kishtainy

A Little History of Economics
Economics is a subject with difficult to understand words and concepts when is taught in schools. But A Little History of Economics is fortunately different. The author presents economics as the world progresses with fun and relate-able stories that will help you understand the concepts.

He also talks about the big changes that different economics figures brought to the world. The book covers subjects from barter to world economics while teaching us those hard to gasp concepts that make the world run. The light and humorous tone makes this little history book an enjoyable read.

5. A Little History of Literature – John Sutherland

A Little History of Literature
A Little History of Literature is a course taught by a chatty, funny and colloquial literature professor, or this is how we felt reading this book. John Sutherland talks about the importance of literature, the influences it has had, and how it reflects society. He also reviews the major currents from myths to contemporary fiction and the industry that literature sustains.

A Little History of Literature is the perfect book for everyone looking for a next educational read, for literature lovers and all history buffs. It is full of little tidbits about authors and their stories. The take on literature as a way of life makes this book an amazing read beyond its little history book scope.

6. A Little History of Science – William F. Bynum

A Little History of Science
A Little History of Science is, as you would expect from this series, a book about important inventions and how they changed the world. The book is written in a colloquial style and focuses on facts rather than heavy technical terms and dull dates. The author makes note of the major influences in the science community and how their ideas changed the way people looked at the world we live in. The medical field is vastly developed and all its paradigms are discussed.

William Bynum writes a compelling page turner book about the biggest world changing subject: science. The light tone makes this book easy to read.

For more great reading about science try this list.

7. A Little History of Religion – Richard Holloway

A Little History of Religion
Like all the books in this Little History series, the title describes what this book is about – it is about history of religion. It is written by a former bishop of the Anglican Church in Scotland. A man who stopped believed in God and became popular broadcaster and writer.

In A Little History of Religion Holloway paints a linear history of world’s religions. He writes about its growth and in some cases decline. At the same time he tries to answer why it is in human nature to seek religion and where the religion comes from. Why is religion so often associated with violence and intolerance. This is very interesting book that will make reader think. It is an easy read (being a little history book) so it can be read by anyone who is interested in an overview on the history of religion.

Mark Zuckerberg Book Club part 2

Mark Zuckerberg Book Club part 2

Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO wanted to read an important book every two weeks last year.    It was his new years resolution.  Half way through, WTR reviewed the books to date on Mark Zuckerberg’s book club list for 2015.

Zuckerberg’s book club list was intended to emphasize learning about new cultures, beliefs, histories and technologies.  Something he felt important for everyone.  Something he felt could connect people, through discussion.

Its way past time we complete this list and help you broaden your reading. You can read about the first eleven books here.

Mark Zuckerberg Book Club – part 2

1. Why Nations Fail – Daren Acemoglu & James Robinson

Mark Zuckerberg Book ClubMark Zuckerberg Book Club
#1 Best Seller in Comparative Politics
Understanding poverty and the factors that contribute to nations being rich or poor may seem a little over our heads. Why Nations Fail tries to pin down political, social and economic factors that are important in understanding the big WHY. Based on over fifteen years of research this really is a comprehensive study on what makes sister countries like South and North Korea so different. There are numerous examples stretching the globe and the book is written for the everyday reader. All in all, this book aims to give us an understanding of some globally challenging issues but in an easy to understand way.

2.The Rational Optimist – Matt Ridley

Mark Zuckerberg Book ClubMark Zuckerberg Book Club
With climate change, overpopulation and bad politics, there seems to be nothing to look forward to in the future. Matt Ridley tries to show us that humans have in fact achieved a lot and that there is only one real way of going forward and that is to trade and trust one another. The book is a look into the economic future of the world and where we are headed as a civilization. The Rational Optimist aims to give us a silver lining to all the gloom and doom that we hear of daily. This is Ridley’s third best seller and he continues to charm with his wit and his economic thought is unparalleled.

3. Portfolios of the Poor – Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutherford & Orlanda Ruthven

Mark Zuckerberg Book ClubMark Zuckerberg Book Club
It is pretty difficult (for most of us) to imagine living on $2 a day. How do you feed your family? educate your kids? save for a pension? Portfolios of the Poor gives us an insight into how the poorest live each day and how billions struggle to do some of the stuff we take for granted. The authors conducted interviews with some of the poorest people around the globe and have tried their best to bring together their stories and struggles in a ‘tell all book’. It is considered a pivotal text in the dialogue on poverty and understanding what it really means to be poor in a world that applauds the wealthy.

4. World Order – Henry Kissinger

Mark Zuckerberg Book ClubMark Zuckerberg Book Club
Hendry Kissinger has an advisor to some of America’s most powerful people for many years. In his World Order, he brings together all of his experience in foreign policy, diplomacy, and thinking in order to look at what it really means to have world order. Can we ever get to ‘ world peace’ with all the conflicts that exist? This book tries to give us insight into the inner working of the world and why getting all our ducks in a row is not as simple as beauty pageants would have us think. Word Order is a valuable study and many are saying that this book ( published 2014) is Kissinger’s best book to date.

5. The Varieties Of Religious Experience: A Study In Human Nature – William James

Mark Zuckerberg Book ClubMark Zuckerberg Book Club
Religion vs Science is and will continue to be a topic of universal debate. In The Varieties of Religious Experience, we find 20 different lectures concerning religion. All these lectures were given between 1901 and 1902 at the university of Edinburgh. This collection of lectures is still widely read and is considered a staple in many university courses today. The discussions try and pinpoint religion’s hold on people, how we individually experience religion and what it means to be religious in a world that is evolving in thought. Considered as one of those classic MUST READS, it is a text that defies time and holds essential arguments.

6. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind – Yuval Noah Harari

Mark Zuckerberg Book ClubMark Zuckerberg Book Club
#1 Best Seller in Anthropology
What does it mean to be a human? Can we pin down that ONE factor? Well, we may not be able to but Yuval Noah Harari does his best. Sapiens tries to look at human evolution and what humans have achieved and how. Being a prolific historian, Harari is able to weave his knowledge of history with biology in order to give us an overview of how our species won the battle and survived. The book is a best seller and people have been charmed by the way in which the touchy topic of evolution is presented in an easy to read and well-researched way. Harari is an author to watch and this book should be read by both academics and the everyday curious global citizen.

Best Selling Non-Fiction Graphic Novel 2016

Best Selling Non-Fiction Graphic Novel 2016

No longer just comics for kids, a non-fiction graphic novel can contain a world of interesting information for anyone.

Have you ever wondered if you could learn a difficult subject like economics?  Or have an interest in history, but unable to bare the dry tomes of history text books? What about the history of beer?  In a comic?

Then you will love the non-fiction graphic novels.  The format forces the author to be clear  with their ideas, in a simple format will appeal to many adults who are interested in a subject but not willing to read pages of dry non-fiction.  From beer to economics, history to your favorite new age texts, pick up a comic non-fiction graphic novel and learn something new this year.

5 Best Selling Non-Fiction Graphic Novel in 2015

1. The Comic Book Story of Beer: The World’s Favorite Beverage from 7000 BC to Today’s Craft Brewing Revolution – Mike Smith & Jonathan Hennessey

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel

If you enjoy the regular weekend beer at the pub, then you will enjoy the stories your favorite beverage has to tell. The Comic Book Story of Beer is an exciting tour of human history, told from the perspective of beer. It is an interesting and accessible look at the history of beer that will make you want to re-read it for better appreciation of the beverage. Beautiful pictures, interesting text – perfect excuse for a beer!

2. Economix: How Our Economy Works (and Doesn’t Work), in Words and Pictures – Michael Goodwin

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel

If economic theory sounds dry and boring, think again. Economix is the graphical crash course to give you a firm grasp of the basics with no effort on your part. This book is a creative concept that makes a complicated subject accessible to everyone. There is also a sense of humor and self-awareness on the author’s part that made the book enjoyable to read and feels nothing like a textbook.

3. Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb – Jonathan Fetter-Vorm

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel

To cram the intricate history of the atomic bomb into the graphic format seems like an ambitious attempt. Yet, Trinity defies expectations for being able to pack in so much detail, from nuclear science to the political motivation behind the development of the atomic bomb. Far from a boring historical lesson told in illustrations, the book is an interesting look at the human aspect and historical factors which brought into being a powerful weapon of mass destruction.

4. The Complete Maus – Art Spiegelman

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel
It may seem unconceivable and even laughable to depict the atrocities of the Holocaust through anthropomorphic cats and mice. Read the Maus collection, and see if you are able to resist not being drawn into the world of the Speigelman family. Entertaining, yet surprisingly moving and believable, Maus gives the reader a real sense of the horrors of the Holocaust through a family of mice.

5. The Alchemist: A Graphic Novel – Paulo Coelho

Non-Fiction Graphic Novel

The graphical adaptation of Coelho’s bestselling novel retains everything that is inspiring about its source material and makes it even more accessible. The novel about realizing one’s destiny has gained worldwide acclaim for being sort of a self-help book in the guise of a novel. If you are not into instructional guides and lengthy wordy books, this graphic novel is the best pick-me-up book for a motivation boost.