Non-Fiction Books You Won’t Be Able To Put Down

Sapiens: A Brief History Of Humankind By Yuval Noah Harari

Amazon.com: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind: Harari, Yuval Noah: Books

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

How did our species succeed in the battle for dominance? Why did our foraging ancestors come together to create cities and kingdoms? How did we come to believe in gods, nations and human rights; to trust money, books and laws; and to be enslaved by bureaucracy, timetables and consumerism? And what will our world be like in the millennia to come?

In Sapiens, Dr. Yuval Noah Harari spans the whole of human history, from the very first humans to walk the earth to the radical – and sometimes devastating – breakthroughs of the Cognitive, Agricultural and Scientific Revolutions. Drawing on insights from biology, anthropology, paleontology and economics, he explores how the currents of history have shaped our human societies, the animals and plants around us, and even our personalities. Have we become happier as history has unfolded? Can we ever free our behavior from the heritage of our ancestors? And what, if anything, can we do to influence the course of the centuries to come?

Bold, wide-ranging and provocative, Sapiens challenges everything we thought we knew about being human: our thoughts, our actions, our power … and our future.

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story Of America’s Shining Women By Kate Moore

The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America's Shining Women: Moore, Kate:  4708364235026: Amazon.com: Books

The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.

Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive — until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.

But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.

^Just Mercy: A Story Of Justice and Redemption By Bryan Stevenson

Amazon.com: Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (9780812984965):  Stevenson, Bryan: Books

An unforgettable true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to end mass incarceration in America — from one of the most inspiring lawyers of our time.

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a nonprofit law office in Montgomery, Alabama, dedicated to defending the poor, the incarcerated, and the wrongly condemned.

Just Mercy tells the story of EJI, from the early days with a small staff facing the nation’s highest death sentencing and execution rates, through a successful campaign to challenge the cruel practice of sentencing children to die in prison, to revolutionary projects designed to confront Americans with our history of racial injustice.

One of EJI’s first clients was Walter McMillian, a young Black man who was sentenced to die for the murder of a young white woman that he didn’t commit. The case exemplifies how the death penalty in America is a direct descendant of lynching — a system that treats the rich and guilty better than the poor and innocent.

The Only Plane In The Sky: An Oral History of 9/11 By Garrett M. Graff

The Only Plane in the Sky: An Oral History of 9/11: Graff, Garrett M.:  9781501182204: Amazon.com: Books

The first comprehensive oral history of September 11, 2001—a panoramic narrative woven from the voices of Americans on the front lines of an unprecedented national trauma.

More than simply a collection of eyewitness testimonies, The Only Plane in the Sky is the historic narrative of how ordinary people grappled with extraordinary events in real time.

Note: All book summaries are summaries found on the back of each respective book.

*Denotes that the book is part of a series.

^Denotes that the book has a tv show movie or adaptation.

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