What I’ve Been Reading | Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind

My_Review_Of_Sapiens

When I was younger I was a total bookworm but then adulting seemed to get in the way and now it seems I mostly read on holiday.  Then I can get through two or three books. This book, Sapiens probably took me about 9 months to get through.

I take forever to read books now because I have so many distractions like we all do. Where I used to read in bed, now I watch Netflix or browse the ASOS app or read magazines. I have every good intention and I have so many good books that I haven’t even started.

I wrote a post not long after I first started this blog called ‘Really Good Books I Still Haven’t Read’ so you can see it’s been a theme for a while. I’ve read most of those now, though … phew.

I don’t have a particular genre. I’m curious about everything.

The reason I took so long to read this book is because I would think lots and very deeply about it. I would literally put it down every few pages and just wander into my thoughts.

Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari is definitely for the curious. It was given to me by my eldest boy. He’d bought it and consumed it and knew I would love it.

A brief description might help you understand the book’s premise …

 

“100,000 years ago, at least six human species inhabited the earth. Today there is just one. US. Homo sapiens.”

 

It sounds like the intro to another Sky or Netflix blockbuster, doesn’t it? Yet all of this is real. Well, at least by someone’s understanding of it all. It definitely got the old grey matter working overtime for me.

At several points I kept thinking I’m not clever enough to get to grips with all of this. It’s mind-blowingly deep.

I was brought up as a Roman Catholic as was Mr B. We practised our faith all the way through to our kids going to secondary school but we constantly questioned it and had been very on and off for as long as I can remember. This book solidified everything I’d thought about religion for a long time but hadn’t ever felt able to vocalise. Yuval has certainly done that for me now.

The book is non fiction but almost reads as good as any great fictional story. Think that big blockbuster, again. It’s really hard to believe that the contents are based on historical and scientific facts.

The book is broken down into  Parts detailing the Timeline of History:

Part One – The Cognitive Revolution

Part Two – The Agricultural Revolution

Part Three – The Unification Of Humankind

Part Four – The Scientific Revolution

It’s then broken down into chapters therein.

The Timeline actually starts 13.5 billion years ago.

Reading I’d excitedly say to Mr B,

“Listen to this! Let me read this to you. It all makes sense!”

So much so, he’s started reading it now. I wonder how long it will take him? I tell everyone about it. It’s a family joke that I tell everyone it will change your view of our place in the world.

I can’t wait to read Yuval’s other book, Homo Deus: A Brief History Of Tomorrow. I’m waiting for that one to come to me from my son.

 

Are you like me and in your head you read in the author’s voice if you know them? I’ve found I can hear Stephen Fry’s voice in my head while I’m reading Mythos ,also shown in my photo above. This is all about Greek myths but retold in Mr Fry’s very unique and special way. I’ll let you know how I get on.

 

I might want something a bit lighter for my holiday reading than Homo Deus. I plan on a week of laying on a sun lounger and not doing much else, cocktail in hand. What can you recommend? I’m thinking of something that will give me a good belly laugh. I’ve been checking out Kathy Lette but I can’t remember which books I’ve already read of hers. One book I did love a couple of years ago that really made me chuckle was Spectacles by Sue Perkins.

Hit me up. I’d love to know what you’ve been reading and what you recommend for holiday reading xo

 

 

 

13 Comments

  1. July 20, 2019 / 9:10 am

    I also absorbed books when I was in puberty, even tried to write one. I loved The Five! Now I love thrillers, but I only read when the weather is Sunny and I can sit in the sun! Inside I get to distracted.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      July 20, 2019 / 7:47 pm

      I’v attempted to write a book since I was a kid too, Nancy! I’m determined to get it out of my head at some point. Better late than never, hey? xo

  2. Nicola Ferguson
    July 20, 2019 / 3:18 pm

    If you haven’t already read it then This is going to hurt by Adam Kay is hysterical and poignant at the same time.

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      July 20, 2019 / 7:44 pm

      Oh I’ve just had a look on Amazon .. about a junior doctor? Thankyou Nicola xo

      • Nicola
        July 21, 2019 / 9:05 pm

        Yes, that’s the one. I loved it and now hubby is really enjoying it. x

        • July 22, 2019 / 4:34 pm

          I second this, too! Like you – I was a total bookworm as a child but then life got in the way as I got older.

          However, over the May bank holiday, I picked up ‘This is Going to Hurt’ whilst in Tesco (I’d heard loads of good reviews), and thought I’d give it a read whilt soaking up the sun in my back garden. I only ended up finishing it one day – which is a big thing as I hadn’t picked up a book in literal years. It was hilarious, heart-warming and humbling all in one.

          Since then, I haven’t been able to stop reading. In fact, the Sapiens book is another ‘to read’ (again, picked up from Tesco) but I know it’s going to be a slow read so I haven’t picked it up yet!

          Anyway, if you’re after another book to read – I would check out the Cows by Dawn O’Porter. After following your blog for a while, I think it would be up your street!

  3. July 20, 2019 / 11:14 pm

    Oh wow – can we have some sort of failed bookclub thing of fallen women? We could turn up with good intentions and half read books and get terribly distracted by gin and talk of anything and everything… I have such a pile and I have a sort of idea for a novel in my head (for years since I was a teen) but really I am too lazy and Hilary Mantel exists already. That book Sapiens sounds great I have such a pile already… The Parisian (chunky), a couple of recipe books by Ina Garten (fantasy life), Territory of light (Japanese novella – short enough for my current menopausal attention span), The lives of the artists (keeps bubbling up in my pile of things to be read but hasn’t been opened yet), Gone to Pegasus (a suffragette based novel set back in NZ), ….. those are the ones eyeballing me as I type. I do recommend The yellow house by Martin Gayford – I really enjoyed that (about Van Gogh and Gauguin house sharing) which I read after seeing the Van Gogh thingy at the Tate, superb but so sad…

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      July 21, 2019 / 10:23 am

      I’m amazed at how many women seem to have a novel in their head, Juliet! We need a club for that!! I’m blaming menopausal attention span of a gnat on so many things, too ha! ha! xo

  4. July 21, 2019 / 7:38 am

    I have just finished reading ‘ To Kill a Mocking Bird’ by Harper Lee. Having watched the film many years ago and telling my daughter about it she bought the book to read and then passed it on to me. Really enjoyed reading it whilst sitting outside in the sunshine. Regards – Jill stylishatsixty

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      July 21, 2019 / 10:54 am

      Can’t beat revisiting classics, Jill. I too love reading outside .. totally transports me. xo

  5. Annie
    July 25, 2019 / 9:29 am

    Thanks for the book recommendation, I think I’ll give Sapiens a try. You should definitely read Invisible Women: exposing data bias in a world designed by men by Caroline Criado Perez, it’s probably not the light read you want for your holiday but I highly recommend it, it’s blown my mind!

  6. July 29, 2019 / 3:31 pm

    I’ve just recently re-picked up reading. I was a voracious reader as a teen, but like the rest of us, life took over and there were many years where the bulk of my “reading” was flipping through gardening and home dec magazines.

    I joined Goodreads a few years back and that sort of “sharing what you read” sparked a new interest in me. And right now I’m reading like crazy as I’ve discovered it’s an ideal procrastination tool. “I can’t wash the dishes today, I’m READING.” Reading is a much more legit excuse for skipping actual responsibilities than Netflix bingeing or napping. Plus, I love it. There’s nothing like heading to the sofa on a hot weekend afternoon, with the ac on and an iced tea next to me, and reading an entire book before bed.

    I haven’t read anything especially funny to recommend, sorry. I’ll say the 3 best books I’ve read this year (so far) are 1) This is How it Always Is by Laurie Frankel and 2) Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens and 3) Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman.

    I’m adding Sapiens to my list.

    Bettye

    • Sharon Sinclair.Williams
      Author
      August 11, 2019 / 5:03 pm

      Gonna check out those books, too, Bettye. I’m building up a list and then I’m gonna buy about 3 xo

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