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
#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
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
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
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
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
#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.