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This book has 25 recommendations

Bill Gates (CEO/Microsoft)

Both Melinda and I read this one, and it has sparked lots of great conversations at our dinner table. Harari takes on a daunting challenge: to tell the entire history of the human race in just 400 pages. He also writes about our species today and how artificial intelligence, genetic engineering, and other technologies will change us in the future. Although I found things to disagree with—especially Harari’s claim that humans were better off before we started farming—I would recommend Sapiens to anyone who’s interested in the history and future of our species.

Fabio Schvartsman (CEO/Vale)

Fabio Schvartsman is the CEO of the Brazilian multinational corporation Vale, which is in the business of mining and metals. He will be reading about some of the more remarkable figures in business and psychology this summer.

  • Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind—Yuval Noah Harari
  • Shoe Dog: A Memoir by the Creator of Nike—Phil Knight
  • Sigmund Freud en son temps et dans le nôtre—Élisabeth Roudinesco

Deepak Chhugani (Founder/The Lobby)

I absolutely prioritize books recommended by friends or certain people. I started Sapiens a few days ago, but will have to see how much time I can actually give it.

Barack Obama (Former USA President)

Fact or fiction, the president knows that reading keeps the mind sharp. He also delved into these non-fiction reads.

Gunhee Park (Co-Founder/Populum)

Some other books I’ve really enjoyed: Sapiens. [...]

Ola Olusoga (Co-founder/Populum)

Selecting one non-business book is also tough. I recently finished Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind, and it was "wow". Always interesting to dive into human behavior and history for clarity on how we got here and why we are the way we are (culture, society, e.t.c)

Dennis Fong (CEO/

Sapiens was awesome. I thought it was... Just fundamentally you learn so much about human history and even like the politics and the situation that we're in today, from it. I thought that was really good.

Bill Liao (General Partner/RebelBio,

The human world occurs in language so best get good at it!

Mehdi Kajbaf (Co-Founder/Matboard and More)

I think that every career path begins with an understanding of who you are and what matters to you. In that light I will suggest some self discovery books. And of course some great business books.

Sergey Sapelnyk (Co-Founder/Society Socks)

Noah Harari’s Sapiens is a book I enjoyed recently. As someone who reads a significant amount of business books, I feel like it’s easy to disproportionately read books that have a direct impact on your career/job/company etc. Reading Sapiens was interesting and different from what I typically read, and it was a thought-evoking book. Harari tries to explain all of humanity in 400 pages, and how humans have come to thrive throughout history. Although Harari has some disagreeable assumptions, it was overall a reading experience that expanded my perspective on the world.

Fabrice Grinda (Serial Entrepreneur, Investor)

I don’t have an absolute favorite book. There are books that are meaningful to me at a given point in time. Right now that book is Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari. The book is incredibly ambitious. It covers the history of humanity starting with modern cognition. It covers everything from why Sapiens ended up on top relative to other hominids, to gender roles, the agricultural revolution, the history of currency, empire and capitalism. It analyses recent developments and speculates as to where we might be heading.

Richard Branson (Founder/Virgin Group)

One example of a book that has helped me to #ReadToLead this year is Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. While the book came out a few years ago now, I got around to it this year, and am very glad I did. I’ve always been fascinated in what makes humans human, and how people are constantly evolving, changing and growing. The genius of Sapiens is that it takes some daunting, complex themes and breaks them down into a fascinating, simple narrative.

Emi Gal (CEO/Teads Studio)

Currently reading Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari and I’m hoping to gain a better understanding of how humans became conscious beings.

Marvin Liao (Partner/500Startups)

The Joy of Not Working (Zelinkski), Flash Foresight (Burrus), The Art of Worldly Wisdom (Gracian), Sapiens (Yuval), The End of Jobs (Pearson), Deep Work (Newport), Sovereign Individual (Davidson), The Fourth Economy (Davison) & The Monk & the Riddle (Komisar). Every single one of these books completely changed how I looked at everything in the world & literally pushed my life in a new direction. They were Paradigm Shifting as they say. (hate that word but it really was a Paradigm Shift for me).

Nicky Cullen (Writer, Anxiety Coach)

Just learning all about our past and our evolution. I'm only 150 pages in but it really is mind-blowing.

Cory Zue (Software Developer & Entrepreneur)

Sapiens takes a ridiculously high-level view of human fiction/story and does an amazing job reframing how we perceive humanity and culture in a way that makes current-day society feel a bit silly. It’s also a phenomenal history book and chalk-full of really interesting information. I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys musing on their/our place in the universe.

Dean Roller (Founder/Bliss Bean Bags)

Changed my perspective on what it means to be a human being through a detailed history of our human species. I felt it gave me a broader awareness of why I do what I do.

Louis Grenier (Podcaster in Chief/Everyone Hates Marketers)

You need to read “Sapiens” and “Homo Deus” by the same author, about the story of humankind and why we are who we are, which is a fantastic read. I think as a marketer, if you don’t understand people and if you don’t understand where we’re coming from, it’s going to be very difficult for you to break away from the crowd,

Yaro Starak (Founder/

And then, the best recommendation for me this year was “Sapiens” which was recommended I think 2 years ago by Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg and that was really enjoyable, I loved “Sapiens” by Yuval Harari.

Naval Ravikant (CEO & Co-Founder/AngelList)

I’m rereading Sapiens again, because I love that book so much.

Katie Keith (Operations Director/Barn2 Media)

This is a fascinating account of human history, told from a brand new perspective. It has made me think about what it makes to be human and what makes us different from all other species. It has also helped me to understand our place in history.

David Allemann (Co-founder/ON Running)

He changed my perspective on what is a true fact and what is human fiction. He also left me wondering: Are we the most aggressive species on earth that will destroy the planet? Or are we programmed for survival and will rise to the challenge? The answer might play out in our lifetimes.

Bryan Callen (Co-Host/The Fighter and the Kid)

Everybody should read it, it’s an amazing book. A brief history of humankind but it brings us to the present day.

Chris Goward (Founder/WiderFunnel & GO Group Digital)

Here are some of the books that have been very impactful for me, or taught me a new way of thinking: [...] Sapiens.

Aidan Connolly (CEO/Caithus)

Many books have changed my view of the world, even when I don’t agree with everything an author says. I have enjoyed Yuval Noah Harari’s books Sapiens & Homo Deus and how humanity might evolve in the presence of AI, Robots and super humans.

Amazon description

From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.” One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens. What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition. From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years. We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become? Featuring 27 photographs, 6 maps, and 25 illustrations/diagrams, this provocative and insightful work is sure to spark debate and is essential reading for aficionados of Jared Diamond, James Gleick, Matt Ridley, Robert Wright, and Sharon Moalem.

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See more books recommended by

Bill Gates, Fabio Schvartsman, Deepak Chhugani, Barack Obama, Gunhee Park, Ola Olusoga, Dennis Fong, Bill Liao, Mehdi Kajbaf, Sergey Sapelnyk, Fabrice Grinda, Richard Branson, Emi Gal, Marvin Liao, Nicky Cullen, Cory Zue, Dean Roller, Louis Grenier, Yaro Starak, Naval Ravikant, Katie Keith, David Allemann, Bryan Callen, Chris Goward, Aidan Connolly

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Yuval Noah Harari


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