10 important contemporary books worth reading
Books / / December 19, 2019
1. "21 lessons for the XXI century", Yuval Noah Harari
This book - a guide to the major issues of our time. It Harari has collected the challenges facing humanity in an age of uncertainty, "when the former scenario, outdated, and the new has not yet appeared." Distribution of computer algorithms, an epidemic of fake web news impending environmental collapse, terrorism - Today, these issues affect everyone. We try not to think about them, because there is always more pressing issues. The book also helps finally to face global issues and make them your opinion.
Besides Harari called one of the greatest thinkers of our time, and his eyes meet interesting world. He talks about technology and politics, religion and art, in some chapters of admiring human wisdom, but in other Noting the role of human stupidity. And most importantly - trying to answer the question about what is happening in the world today and what is the deeper meaning of these events.
2. "Never Let Me Go" by Kazuo Ishiguro
At first glance the book seems like science fiction, because the main characters - clones, which are grown to be used as donors. But this is just a wrapper, which wraps Ishiguro universal ideas about humanity, storage and search of themselves. In addition, the novel intertwined sensitive social issues: care for the dying and the question of ethics medical experiments, intolerance to minorities and human vulnerability to social bundle. All of them are more relevant today than ever.
You might think that we are unlikely to find ourselves in the place of the characters that can not change my life because of the fantastic circumstances. That's just very often we ourselves drive ourselves into the frame and do not even try to fix something. And this book teaches us to appreciate what we have - the life and the ability to dispose of it at their discretion.
3. "Chernobyl Prayer" Alexiyevich
The book tells of the horrible technogenic catastrophe of the XX century through the stories of people who were witnesses of what is happening. Aleksievich questioned over 500 witnesses to the accident - fire, liquidators, politicians, doctors and ordinary people. Their memories create an emotional portrait of the accident and its consequences. Taken together, they add up to a terrifying picture that is impossible to ignore.
"Coincided two catastrophes: space — Chernobyl, and social - went under the water a huge socialist mainland - writes Aleksievich. - And this is the second crash overshadowed space, because it is closer to us and easier. What happened in Chernobyl, - for the first time on earth, and we - the first people who have experienced it. " The book was inspired by the creators of the series "Chernobyl" on HBO and partly lay in its foundation.
4. "Artificial Intelligence. Stages. Threats. Strategy, "Nick Bostrom
Today, the technology still strongly penetrate into our lives, and therefore we become more and more vulnerable. According to the philosopher Nick Bostrom, we stand on the threshold of a new leap in the intense pace of development, which is comparable to the Neolithic and industrial revolutions. This jump - the creation of artificial intelligence, and it is linked to a serious threat to our survival.
Bostrom book - is an attempt to understand the problem that confronts us in connection with this prospect. Written in accessible language describes the complex issues and analyzes the possible intentions of the Overmind. And offers to think about what we're going, constantly improving the computer algorithms. The book will be interesting to read, even if you are not fond of technical innovations and dystopia, because at some point you realize that all of this will touch you, too.
5. "Amerikanha" Chimamanda Adichie
book heroes growing up in Nigeria and the dream of life in the West, which seems to them to paradise. They even had to leave to go and fulfill his dream. But it turns out that things are not so simple. In another country, they are faced with inequality, stereotypes and a sense of isolation. Outsiders have to prove that they too have a right to happiness.
Today many, like the heroes of Adichie, aspire to a better life. And finally feel strange, lonely and misunderstood both abroad and deciding to return home. Therefore, this novel is about finding yourself in a foreign country, and the oppression that is the same house, resonates with many people.
6. "The king of all diseases. cancer history, "Siddhartha Mukherjee
Book American oncologist, awarded the Pulitzer Prize, talks about the disease, which is called the plague of the XXI century. He describes the ancient methods of treatment and the latest scientific research. According to the author, "this book is biographical in a literal sense, it is an attempt to penetrate the consciousness of this immortal illness, to understand its personality, to demystify its behavior."
From the book you will learn how long there is cancer and why attention it drew only in the twentieth century. As I studied this disease and find a cure for some reason so difficult. It has stories of patients that help to understand what held people with such a diagnosis, as well as the social processes that affect the spread of some forms of disease.
7. "Infinite Jest," David Foster Wallace
In short, the action takes place in the near future - in the author's version poluparodiynoy America. All sorts of people and companies with maniacal zeal trying to find the mysterious master copy of the film "Infinite Jest." They say it is a very powerful and extremely dangerous artifact: any who see this tape, dies of pleasure and bliss.
Despite far removed from the reality of the story, the book touches relevant to the modern reader threads, depression, addiction, family problems and even the influence of advertising on our worldview. The book has become an important cultural phenomenon. It is called the challenge of postmodern literature, and on the importance and complexity compared with "Ulysses" by James Joyce and "Rainbow gravity" by Thomas Pynchon.
8. "It was good until the end. The last Soviet generation "Alexei Yurchak
In this book, an anthropologist at the University of California at Berkeley, analyzes the system of "late socialism." He sees an unusual paradox: despite the fact that most people perceived the Soviet system as the eternal and unchangeable, in principle they are always ready for its disintegration. In the center of attention - the daily life of people and their ideas about the world.
The image of the late socialism arising in the book, is quite different from the usual stereotypes. According to Yurchak, Soviet reality can not be reduced to a simple juxtaposition of formal and informal culture, totalitarianism and freedom. His book will take a fresh look at our recent history, and someone else and better understand their parents.
9. "The origins of morality. Finding human primates, "Frans de Waal
"Yes, we have computers and airplanes, but psychologically we still have the same structure as the social primates", - writes de Waal, one of the most respected in the world of primatologists. He believes that morality - it is not a purely human characteristic, and its origins must be sought in animals. For many years he studied their lives and come to the conclusion that some of the manifestations of morality inherent in monkeys, and dogs, and elephants, and even reptiles.
The book raises deep philosophical questions about science and religion helps in another way to look at the animals and our relationship to them. And today, when more and more species are endangered due to human handling, remember this is especially important.
10. Trilogy "Bezzumny Addam" Margaret Atwood
This dystopia how will the world, when a person loses control over it. Atwood describes the reality in which rules the genetic engineering, and the population is divided into two categories, living in different areas. The book says it all, is now on the agenda: an ecological catastrophe, technology, experimenting with genes.
Yes, it is a science fiction novel, but even the most incredible fantasies sometimes become reality. It is worth reading to note the parallels with real events in the past and hear the warnings of the author about the near future.
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