Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, by Yuval Noah Harari

As the world continues to evolve at a breathtaking pace, Homo Deus offers a brief glimpse into our rapidly approaching future. Basing his predictions on current technological trends, Yuval Noah Harari envisions a society ruled by complex algorithms and biotechnology, as part of a new self-imposed evolution within our species. With new advancements continuing to emerge in modern science, Harari’s work considers our past, present and future, in a bid to understand the potential outcomes and consequences of these emerging changes.

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The Descent of Man, by Grayson Perry

Filled with irony, cynicism and more than a touch of humour, The Descent of Man is a very enjoyable yet thought-provoking read on a subject that continues to have a major influence on society as we know it today. Masculinity.

From the bravado of sport and competition, to the strangled nature of male emotions, The Descent of Man takes the reader on a journey covering all aspects of the modern man. Reflecting on his own experiences, Perry lends a poignant observation on masculinity in today’s world, exploring it’s history and the predominantly damaging nature it has upon how half the population think and act.

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A Week in December, by Sebastian Faulks

Truly a masterful reflection on today’s society, A Week in December offers a snapshot into a variety of lives within the realms of modern London. Juxtaposed from the rich to the poor, the fanatic to the bemused, Faulks explores the subtle parts which can link otherwise vastly different lives.

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The Great Acceleration, by Robert Colville

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The world is moving fast. As technology is flung forwards in leaps and bounds, Colville considers the importance of the effects of ‘The Great Acceleration’ upon society, the individual and the government at large. In what is one of the most important books I have read to date, The Great Acceleration is an extensively researched and shockingly palpable account of our changing world.

 

For some time now the topic of technology and its effects upon society have been of great interest and pressing concern for me, as I’m sure it is for many who are tiredly rounding up phones at the dinner table. Colville’s work lends powerful insights into such concerns, interspersing entertaining wit with astounding examples of how his termed ‘Great Acceleration’ has and will continue to change modern life as we know it.

 

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Between The World and Me, by Ta-Nehisi Coates 

 

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‘I was attracted to the guns, because the guns seemed honest’

Survival, understanding, growing, love.

Between the World and Me covers the lifespan of the author growing from the streets of Baltimore, depicting his struggles brought on by his colour and his striving attempt to break out and understand another life. Written as a heartbreaking message to his son, the novel follows the Coates’ growing discoveries, realisations and understanding of the world as it truly is, as he attempts to explain to his son the realities of life.

 

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High Society, by Ben Elton 

As with many of Ben Elton’s books, High Society takes an interesting idea and explores it’s repercussions in modern British society. In this case, the fictional novel follows a backbench MP striving to legalise all drugs in the United Kingdom. The narrative follows the politics, scandals and  effects of this campaign upon the central character, whilst simultaneously offering an extremely liberal but interesting take on the world of drugs.

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