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.

Nobel Prize in Literature: 6 Classic Winners You Must Read

Nobel Prize in Literature: 6 Classic Winners You Must Read

The Nobel Prize in Literature is considered the highest honor for any author to accomplish, and as you would expect, some of the best pieces of literature of the last hundred years have been awarded the prize (See Man Booker Prize Winners here). There have been 101 winners of the prize and below, we have compiled the 6 books that have won and must be read by everyone. Let us know what you think in the comments beow.

Nobel Prize in Literature: 6 Top Winning Books You Must Read

1. Of Mice and Men John Steinbeck

Nobel Prize in Literature

Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck gives us the story of a two lonely and alienated men who work as farm laborers, drifting from job to job in California. Lennie is gentle giant, physically strong but mentally retarded. George guides and protects Lennie but also depends on him for companionship. Together, they have a dream to someday buy a little farm where they can grow crops and raise rabbits and live happily ever after.

2. Lord of the Flies – William Golding

Nobel Prize in Literature

Lord of the Flies is much more than an adventure story about good little boys. It is an exploration into the darker side of man and the true source of the “beast,” or the Devil.

Meet Ralph, who represents sanity, common sense, and the conscience of man; Jack, who loves nothing more than hunting, blood, and power, and who Freudians might say embodies the Id; Piggy, who personifies intelligence, logic, and reason; and Simon, who discovers the true nature of the beast and represents a ray of hope for mankind.

3. One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

Nobel Prize in Literature

One Hundred Years of Solitude, the greatest of all Latin American novels is the magic and multi-layered epic of the Buendia family and the story of their jungle settlement, Macondo.
Like many other epics, this book has deeply-rooted connections with historical reality, i.e., the development of Colombia since its independence from Spain in the early 19th century. The story of the Buendia family is obviously a metaphor for Colombia in the neocolonial period as well as a narrative concerning the myths in Latin American history.

4. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway

Nobel Prize in Literature

With “The Old Man and the Sea,” it is so easy to see why Hemingway was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, and why he deserves all of his accolades. This short novel is fierce, full of vibrant energy and humanity, all the while being a slave to the realities of finite power, of the inability to struggle against something greater than yourself. Of course, this is the standard “man against nature” story, but it is told with such craft that even cliches ring true.

5. Siddhartha – Hermann Hesse

Nobel Prize in Literature

Set in ancient India, Siddhartha clearly owes much to both Buddhism and Hinduism, however the philosophy embodied in Siddhartha is both unique and quite complex, despite the lyrically beautiful simplicity of the plot. Siddhartha is that most unusual of all stories — one that follows a character throughout most of his life . . . and describes that life in terms of a spiritual journey. For those who are ready to think about what their spiritual journey can be, Siddhartha will be a revelation.

6. The Plague Albert Camus

Nobel Prize in Literature

The plague is said to be an allegory for fascism and totalitarianism. The novel deals largely with individuals’ varying reactions to the plague as it emerges and settles in on the city of Oran. Only those who act or are important in the development of the scene are named, and though many of the characters perceive reality differently, we are able to sympathize with where they are coming from.