Humans, Economics and Grover, Oh My!
Recommended Reading Selections
If you are looking for some holiday reading, I have recently finished several books that I found intriguing, mind-boggling and definitely entertaining. I have added my own brief comments on each book.
Sapiens – A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari: A study of how we got here and where we might be going. Unlike some books on our evolution, Harari has written this book in easy to understand language and provided well illustrated examples. When you are finished reading, the bibliography provides a litany of other choices if you would like to further delve into this subject.
Command and Control – Nuclear Weapons, The Damascus Accident and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser: This author gives a complete and compelling history of nuclear weapons. Written in a novel format and with potentially difficult terms and nuclear topics very well researched and presented, you will be left astonished that we are actually still here.
Freakonomics – A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner: If you want to look at different aspects of the world’s economics, this book will take you on a provocative journey with curious new ways to look at everyday life. One surprising fact that is well demonstrated: For a child, a swimming pool is exponentially more dangerous than a gun. A truly fun read!
Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the American Meal by Eric Schlosser: This book should be required reading for everyone. Examining far more than the influence of fast food on our society, you will certainly be appalled at how the agricultural system actually operates and be horrified at how so called ‘food’ gets into those paper wrappers and cardboard boxes. Please note this book has graphic parts, but these are necessary to show the true horrors that will definitely affect your psyche and, hopefully, encourage you to change for the better.
The Day the World Came to Town: 9/11 in Gander, Newfoundland by Jim DeFede: Since the other books on my recommended list will leave you with disturbing thoughts, this book will restore your faith in your fellow humans. This is the story of how the beautiful people of Gander came together to care for and give comfort to the thousands of people who landed in their town when the airspace was closed on 9/11 and planes were forced to land at the nearest airport. One touching example, is how astonished a New York police officer felt when he was brought to a home, handed a towel, shown how to work the TV remote and told to stay as long as he wanted and to just leave the door unlocked when he left. His surprise at being left alone in a complete stranger’s home showed him there was still kindness and trust in a world that had seemed to go mad in the manner of a couple of hours.
Finally, if you have a child you can read to, you may want to choose a family favourite of ours: The Monster at the End of This Book by Grover from Sesame Street. However, in order to make it authentic, you must do your best Grover imitation and read with an animated voice that will have your child giggling with delight.