The best 100 Culture books

Culture is an essential aspect of human society, shaping our identities, values, and beliefs. It is a constantly evolving phenomenon that influences and is influenced by the world around us. Our book list aims to provide a deeper understanding of this fascinating subject.

Delving into various aspects of global culture, this list offers a diverse range of perspectives and insights. From exploring cultural differences to examining the impact of popular culture, there's something for everyone. So, let's immerse ourselves in the world of culture and start this enriching journey!
The best 100 Culture books
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Culture Books: Civilization by Niall Ferguson


Niall Ferguson
The Six Killer Apps of Western Power
4.2 (137 ratings)
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What's Civilization about?

There seems to be a crisis of confidence in the West. In the face of the rising power of China, and with a seeming lack of interest in its own history and civilization, many fear that the West has somehow lost it way.

Civilization aims to explain why the West grew so powerful and dominated the rest of the world. The answer lies with six killer applications, which enabled the West to overcome the rest. Yet vital questions arise: Has the West forgotten these killer apps and will this lead to its collapse?

Who should read Civilization?

  • Students of history and politics
  • Those who wonder how the West became so powerful compared to the rest of the world
  • Anyone who fears the collapse of Western civilization

Culture Books: The Monopolists by Mary Pilon

The Monopolists

Mary Pilon
Obsession, Fury and the Scandal Behind the World's Favorite Board Game
4.2 (15 ratings)
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What's The Monopolists about?

The Monopolists (2015) unveils the true yet checkered history of Parker Brothers's most successful board game, Monopoly. It tells the tale of the game’s origins in progressive, anti-capitalist thinking to its evolution under the control of Parker Brothers, a company that went to extraordinary lengths to rewrite Monopoly’s history and crush any competition in the process.

Who should read The Monopolists?

  • Fans of the board game Monopoly
  • Lawyers or specialists in trademark or property rights laws
  • Historians or popular culture fanatics

Culture Books: The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko

The Millionaire Next Door

Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
The Surprising Secrets of America’s Wealthy
3.9 (458 ratings)
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What's The Millionaire Next Door about?

Drawing from personal interviews, The Millionaire Next Door (1996) reveals that many millionaires’ daily lives are a far cry from the stereotype of luxury cars, mansions and private jets. Yet this book also disproves the belief that becoming a millionaire is difficult – anyone can learn not only how to become rich but also stay rich.

Who should read The Millionaire Next Door?

  • People who want to become wealthy
  • Millionaires struggling to hold on to their cash
  • Social scientists studying the habits of affluent people

Culture Books: Orientalism by Edward W. Said


Edward W. Said
Western Conceptions of the Orient
3.9 (207 ratings)
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What's Orientalism about?

Orientalism (1978) shines a light on the often unquestioned assumptions about Eastern civilizations that are persistently prevalent in the West. By unearthing and analyzing the West’s biases, Edward Said aims to undermine Orientalism’s influence on how the West perceives and interacts with the East.

Who should read Orientalism?

  • Anyone fascinated by non-Western civilizations
  • Anyone curious about the origins of modern international politics
  • Anyone interested in the history of colonialism and its remaining traces today

Culture Books: Stuffocation by James Wallman


James Wallman
Living More with Less
4.2 (117 ratings)
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What's Stuffocation about?

Stuffocation (2013) explains how having too much stuff not only places an unnecessary burden on us, but is even leading to health issues. Our lives have become oversaturated with things, and a new value is emerging: the importance of experience over material possessions.

Who should read Stuffocation?

  • Anyone interested in what happens after the age of materialism
  • Anyone feeling overwhelmed by having too much stuff

Culture Books: In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré

In Praise of Slowness

Carl Honoré
Challenging the Cult Of Speed
4.1 (163 ratings)
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What's In Praise of Slowness about?

In Praise of Slowness (2005) offers both an indictment of and an alternative to the high-speed lifestyle that plagues many people today. It examines how the rat race impacts our minds, bodies and souls – and offers concrete tips on how to slow things down.

Who should read In Praise of Slowness?

  • Ambitious parents who push their children to have a very busy schedule
  • Anyone who eats at their desk
  • People who feel like they are always in a rush

Culture Books: A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage

A History of the World in 6 Glasses

Tom Standage
How your favorite drinks changed the world
4.3 (233 ratings)
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What's A History of the World in 6 Glasses about?

A History of the World in 6 Glasses (2006) is a look at human history through an unusual lens: our favorite drinks. These blinks outline the global rise of beer, wine, alcoholic spirits, tea, coffee and soda, and how they each played into major historical developments as they spread around the world.

Who should read A History of the World in 6 Glasses?

  • Beer lovers, wine enthusiasts, spirits connoisseurs, coffee addicts and Coca-Cola devotees
  • Anyone interested in the lesser-known details of human history or global power politics

Culture Books: Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows

Thinking in Systems

Donella H. Meadows
A Primer
4.2 (253 ratings)
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What's Thinking in Systems about?

Thinking in Systems (2008) is an introduction to systems thinking. These blinks will teach you how to see the world in terms of interconnected networks while detailing how different elements, relationships and goals make any given structure run.

Who should read Thinking in Systems?

  • Anyone interested in how systems function
  • People who want to improve their problem-solving skills in everything from personal issues to global trade

Culture Books: At Home by Bill Bryson

At Home

Bill Bryson
A Short History of Private Life
3.9 (137 ratings)
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What's At Home about?

At Home (2010) offers an in-depth look at the history of the home. These blinks walk you through stories that each “take place” in a different room in a house, explaining the history of spaces such as a bathroom or kitchen. Interestingly, you’ll explore how each space evolved into the rooms we live in today.

Who should read At Home?

  • Students of sociology, anthropology and history
  • People with an interest in the history of domestic life

Culture Books: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity

Alan Watts
A Message for an Age of Anxiety
4.4 (419 ratings)
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What's The Wisdom of Insecurity about?

In The Wisdom of Insecurity (1951), author Alan Watts discusses the paradoxical nature of modern life: we pursue goals and covet material goods that promise happiness, but which leave us feeling empty and more anxious than ever. As we indulge in unproductive thoughts about the future or the past, we tend to forget about what is most meaningful – the present moment.

Who should read The Wisdom of Insecurity?

  • Anyone feeling unfulfilled in life
  • Anxiety sufferers searching for the secrets to happiness
  • People interested in contemporary philosophy

Culture Books: Born Liars by Ian Leslie

Born Liars

Ian Leslie
Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit
4.2 (80 ratings)
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What's Born Liars about?

Born Liars (2011) uncovers the truth about lying and the important role it plays in our lives. Far from being some undesirable glitch in the human system, lying has not only made us smarter but saved many lives and become an essential ingredient to our overall well-being. In these blinks, you’ll learn all about the history and neuroscience of fibbing, why it might be impossible to detect every lie and how central mendacity truly is to being human.

Who should read Born Liars?

  • Anyone working with advertising
  • Armchair psychologists and philosophers
  • Cultural anthropologists

Culture Books: Braving the Wilderness by Brené Brown

Braving the Wilderness

Brené Brown
The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone
4.3 (403 ratings)
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What's Braving the Wilderness about?

Braving The Wilderness (2017) challenges common notions about what it means to belong. It links feelings of unbelonging to feelings of anger and unrest, both in the United States and abroad. Brené Brown uses a potent combination of scientific research and storytelling to reveal what it means to truly belong. This includes remarkable tales of pain and suffering that show just how far people are willing to go to gain a sense of belonging.

Who should read Braving the Wilderness?

  • Readers interested in tales of courage, bravery, vulnerability and shame
  • Outsiders who feel like they don’t belong
  • Students of the social sciences

Culture Books: The Art of Travel by Alain De Botton

The Art of Travel

Alain De Botton
4.1 (120 ratings)
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What's The Art of Travel about?

The Art of Travel (2002) is an unorthodox guide to traveling. Unlike conventional travel guides, Alain de Botton’s book is more of a philosophical globe-trotter’s handbook, exploring the reasons behind our urge to discover new places and offering some general tips for making travel more enjoyable.

Who should read The Art of Travel?

  • Avid travelers
  • Culture vultures
  • Aspiring authors and freelance journalists eager to work while on the move

Culture Books: Factfulness by Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund


Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund
Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About the World – and Why Things Are Better Than You Think
4.3 (536 ratings)
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What's Factfulness about?

Factfulness (2018) offers readers a wealth of statistics and cold, hard facts that reveal the world to be a far better place than it was just a couple generations ago. But, more than that, author Hans Rosling also offers readers a way to revise their thinking and fight against our instinct to focus on the bad and lose sight of the good.

Who should read Factfulness?

  • Readers concerned about the planet
  • Activists and environmentalists
  • People involved in public health

Culture Books: Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker

Enlightenment Now

Steven Pinker
The Case For Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress
4.0 (290 ratings)
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What's Enlightenment Now about?

Enlightenment Now (2018) offers a refreshingly optimistic take on the state of the world today. With reams of data, charts and graphs, Steven Pinker shows how much progress we’ve made since the eighteenth century, when the Age of Reason, otherwise known as the Enlightenment, shifted society away from centuries of rule by superstition and paranoia.

Who should read Enlightenment Now?

  • Optimists and recovering pessimists
  • Students of economics and philosophy
  • Readers tired of negative news

Culture Books: The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker

The Art of Gathering

Priya Parker
How We Meet and Why It Matters
4.4 (188 ratings)
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What's The Art of Gathering about?

In The Art of Gathering (2018), Priya Parker argues that the gatherings in our lives – from business meetings to dinner parties – are lackluster, routine and lacking in purpose. Parker sets out a bold new approach to gathering that focuses on distinctiveness, purpose and real human connection, and shows how simple steps can invigorate any gathering of people.

Who should read The Art of Gathering?

  • Anyone who’d like to create better, more impactful parties or events
  • People interested in how to use gatherings to make real human connections.

Culture Books: Palestine by Nur Masalha


Nur Masalha
A Four Thousand Year History
3.9 (375 ratings)
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What's Palestine about?

Palestine (2015) chronicles the long history of the land straddling the eastern Mediterranean between modern-day Lebanon and Egypt. By compiling an impressive set of sources both ancient and modern, Nur Masalha presents a nuanced history of the region, from its roots in ancient Philistine civilization to the advent of modern Palestinian nationalism in the nineteenth century, and Israel’s founding in 1948.

Who should read Palestine?

  • Students of history or politics
  • Supporters of both Israel and Palestine looking to inform themselves on the region
  • Palestinians who’d like to learn more about the complex historical tapestry of their land

Culture Books: Who We Are and How We Got Here by David Reich

Who We Are and How We Got Here

David Reich
Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past
4.4 (170 ratings)
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What's Who We Are and How We Got Here about?

Who We Are and How We Got Here (2018) takes readers on a journey through the world’s anthropological history, demonstrating that people have continually migrated and mixed over time. Recent scientific advances are allowing scientists to study human DNA from the distant past and compare it to that of those alive today. The insights about humans’ origins are both fascinating and revealing.

Who should read Who We Are and How We Got Here?

  • Scientists with burgeoning interests in anthropology and languages
  • Ethno-nationalists looking to have their views challenged
  • Genealogists looking for the bigger picture

Culture Books: Brave, Not Perfect by Reshma Saujani

Brave, Not Perfect

Reshma Saujani
Fear Less, Fail More, and Live Bolder
4.0 (167 ratings)
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What's Brave, Not Perfect about?

Brave, Not Perfect (2019) opens up a new world to those women socialized from a young age to strive for perfection and please everyone around them. Perfection doesn’t always help you get ahead in the modern world – but bravery does. By embracing the power of bravery, women can emancipate themselves from the servitude of perfectionism, embrace the power of failure and achieve their dreams.

Who should read Brave, Not Perfect?

  • Women suffering under the weight of socially enforced perfectionism
  • Female entrepreneurs trying to get their business on the right track
  • Men who want to better learn how society conditions women

Culture Books: Joyful by Ingrid Fetell Lee


Ingrid Fetell Lee
The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness
4.0 (93 ratings)
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What's Joyful about?

Joyful (2018) embraces aspects of color, shape, playfulness and whimsy that surround us in everyday life. These blinks make a positive case for the role that design and architecture can play in making lives more happy and joyful.

Who should read Joyful?

  • Designers 
  • DIY enthusiasts
  • New homeowners or renters

Culture Books: Why I Am a Hindu by Shashi Tharoor

Why I Am a Hindu

Shashi Tharoor
3.4 (206 ratings)
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What's Why I Am a Hindu about?

Why I Am a Hindu (2018) is a meditation on religion and national identity from the perspective of one of India’s leading politicians, Shashi Tharoor. Written with an eye to the rise of Hindu fundamentalism, it unpacks the 4,000-year-old history of his faith and argues that today’s Hindutva movement is perverting an ancient tradition of tolerance and diversity. If Indians want to see their country flourish, Tharoor concludes, they’ll have to reject the ruling party’s chauvinism and embrace that great cultural legacy.

Who should read Why I Am a Hindu?

  • Politics buffs and history students
  • Anyone fascinated by one of the world’s largest religions
  • Champions of multiculturalism and tolerance

Culture Books: We Are All Weird by Seth Godin

We Are All Weird

Seth Godin
The Rise of Tribes and the End of Normal
4.4 (221 ratings)
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What's We Are All Weird about?

We Are All Weird (2011) takes aim at the one-size-fits-all mentality that underlies much of our culture. For too long, marketers, manufacturers, and the media have approached the world as if all people were the same. With this perceptive manifesto, Seth Godin unravels the myth of the mass market, arguing that humanity is much more diverse, eccentric, and weird than it seems.  

Who should read We Are All Weird?

  • Entrepreneurs and advertisers eager to reach niche audiences
  • Cultural critics looking to understand our zany zeitgeist 
  • Weirdos, oddballs, and misfits everywhere

Culture Books: Mythology by Edith Hamilton


Edith Hamilton
Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes
4.5 (179 ratings)
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What's Mythology about?

In Mythology (1942), Edith Hamilton takes the reader on a swift journey through the classical annals, surveying the fascinating stories of Greek and Roman mythology. The power of these stories impacted art and literature for centuries. Here, you can learn their essence. From the creation of the world to the epic siege of Troy, Hamilton gives you the grounding you need.

Who should read Mythology?

  • Students of ancient history and classics
  • Any art lover who’s ever viewed a classical mythology-inspired painting with confusion
  • Dinner table conversationalists looking for a classical analogy to spice things up

Culture Books: Maps of Meaning by Jordan B. Peterson

Maps of Meaning

Jordan B. Peterson
The Architecture of Belief
4.6 (542 ratings)
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What's Maps of Meaning about?

Maps of Meaning (1999) argues that myths provide the key to understanding the human psyche and our shared culture. Combining classic psychoanalysis with psychology, social and historical analysis, Jordan B. Peterson reveals how myths convey morality and create meaning in our lives – and what we can learn from them to reach our individual potential.

Who should read Maps of Meaning?

  • Psychologists interested in ancient history, and historians interested in human nature
  • Jordan Peterson devotees who want to dive deeper into his system of thought
  • Skeptics who want to better understand the author’s controversial theories

Culture Books: 2030 by Mauro F. Guillén


Mauro F. Guillén
How Today's Biggest Trends Will Collide and Reshape the Future of Everything
4.2 (901 ratings)
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What's 2030 about?

2030 (2020) isn’t a crystal ball – but it might be the next best thing. Drawing on current sociological trends, demographic trajectories, and technological advancements, it paints a convincing picture of the global changes we can expect to see and experience in the coming decade.

Who should read 2030?

  • Tech workers and marketing professionals keen to stay ahead of the curve
  • Eco-warriors looking for solutions to the climate crisis
  • Anyone curious to see what the future might hold

Culture Books: Pleasure Activism by adrienne maree brown

Pleasure Activism

adrienne maree brown
The Politics of Feeling Good
3.2 (172 ratings)
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What's Pleasure Activism about?

Pleasure Activism (2019) offers an introduction to the politics of pleasure. It explores the ways in which we can break free of repression and marginalization – and instead embrace the feelings of freedom. It offers ways in which we can gain a better understanding of past traumas and move forward with a deeper connection to our bodies and our communities.

Who should read Pleasure Activism?

  • Anyone dealing with past trauma or oppression 
  • People interested in the politics of pleasure and sexuality
  • Marginalized people looking for tools of empowerment

Culture Books: Man and His Symbols by Carl Jung

Man and His Symbols

Carl Jung
4.5 (337 ratings)
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What's Man and His Symbols about?

Man and His Symbols (1964) was the final work of the influential psychologist Carl Jung, and the only one written for a general audience. It breaks down some of Jung’s most complex ideas, such as his theories about archetypes and the unconscious, and it explores the vast expanse of symbols and stories that dwell within our minds.

Who should read Man and His Symbols?

  • Students of psychology and philosophy
  • People who want to understand their dreams better
  • Lovers of myths, legends, folk tales, and parables

Culture Books: Grand Transitions by Vaclav Smil

Grand Transitions

Vaclav Smil
How the Modern World Was Made
4.3 (259 ratings)
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What's Grand Transitions about?

Grand Transitions (2020) offers a sweeping overview of global transitions, from population growth to environmental changes. It examines the ways that we’ve shaped the world, for better or worse, and looks at the challenges facing humanity in the decades to come.

Who should read Grand Transitions?

  • People who want to understand world history, and how we got where we are today
  • Environmentalists, and anyone interested in the state of the planet
  • Realists looking for a future forecast based on facts

Culture Books: Sex for One by Betty Dodson

Sex for One

Betty Dodson
The Joy of Selfloving
4.2 (197 ratings)
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What's Sex for One about?

Sex for One (1987) is a part-memoir, part-guidebook by Betty Dodson, a pioneering pro-sex feminist and masturbation advocate. Dodson recounts her own erotic journey and offers a step-by-step approach to embracing self-love.

Who should read Sex for One?

  • Anyone who masturbates
  • People interested in sexual politics and feminist history
  • Anyone who wants to learn how to embrace pleasure and sex positivity

Culture Books: This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan

This Is Your Mind on Plants

Michael Pollan
4.3 (309 ratings)
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What's This Is Your Mind on Plants about?

This Is Your Mind on Plants (2021) is a vivid, intricate probe into the history, chemistry, and effects of three plant-derived drugs: opium, caffeine, and mescaline. These substances – a sedative, a stimulant, and a hallucinogen – represent a large part of the human experience with drugs. It’s time to shed new light on how they’ve shaped our histories, cultures, and minds.

Who should read This Is Your Mind on Plants?

  • Psychonauts and introspective thinkers
  • Botanists, plant lovers, and science geeks
  • Anyone interested in the history of the US war on drugs and its effects

Culture Books: Drive by Daniel Pink


Daniel Pink
The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
4.6 (703 ratings)
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What's Drive about?

Drive (2009) points out that many organizations still follow a “carrot and stick” approach, using external incentives to motivate people. It explains why this is a bad idea and introduces a more effective solution: sparking engagement by catering to the psychology of intrinsic motivation.

Who should read Drive?

  • Psychology buffs interested in human behavior
  • Executives who’d like to leverage the power of intrinsic motivation
  • Anyone who wants to find out how to effectively motivate themselves

Culture Books: Renegades by Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen


Barack Obama and Bruce Springsteen
Born in the USA
4.1 (325 ratings)
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What's Renegades about?

Renegades (2021) documents eight intimate and enlightening conversations between two living legends: the musician Bruce Springsteen and the former US president Barack Obama. These two friends delve into some of the issues that have defined both of their careers, including American identity, fatherhood, class and racial divides, wrestling with the past, and maintaining hope for the future.

Who should read Renegades?

  • American citizens concerned about the country’s future
  • Fans of “the Boss” and the forty-fourth president
  • Music buffs

Culture Books: Free Speech by Jacob Mchangama

Free Speech

Jacob Mchangama
A History from Socrates to Social Media
4.4 (163 ratings)
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What's Free Speech about?

Free Speech (2022) traces the history of this world-defining idea. It provides a soapbox for some of free speech’s greatest proponents and highlights key events that pushed the idea forward from ancient times to the present. Offering an evenhanded treatment of the costs and benefits of free speech throughout history, it’s a powerful retort to all those forces that threaten to erode free speech today.

Who should read Free Speech?

  • Passionate defenders of free speech who could use more argumentative ammunition 
  • Students preparing for campus debates on whether free speech should be limited
  • Anyone on the left or right seeking insight into modern-day debates on free speech

Culture Books: Mythos by Stephen Fry


Stephen Fry
A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece
4.7 (613 ratings)
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What's Mythos about?

Mythos (2017) is a fabulous retelling of the Greek myths. It provides a great introduction to anyone interested in knowing more about the Greek gods and goddesses without any preknowledge or a classical education.

Who should read Mythos?

  • Lovers of Greek mythology
  • Anyone interested in creation stories from ancient cultures
  • Humans who want to understand their origin as seen by the ancient Greeks

Culture Books: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond
The Fates Of Human Societies
4.0 (499 ratings)
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What's Guns, Germs and Steel about?

Guns, Germs, and Steel (1997) is a short history of humanity over the last 13,000 years. The question it poses is as simple to state as it is hard to answer: Why did some parts of the world develop advanced technologies while others didn’t? It rejects explanations that rely on assumptions about the relative intelligence of different peoples. Instead, it argues that the divergence of human societies is best explained by natural factors such as climate, biology, and geology. 

Who should read Guns, Germs and Steel?

  • History buffs
  • Scientists
  • Anyone interested in the big picture of humanity’s development

Culture Books: In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts by Gabor Maté

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Gabor Maté
Close Encounters with Addiction
4.5 (103 ratings)
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What's In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts about?

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts (2008) is a heartful exploration of the complex condition known as addiction. It tells the real-life stories of addicts, who are so often denied the space to do so, alongside science-based analyses of why and how people get addicted. Importantly, it also challenges us to think of the ways, obvious or not, in which we too are addicts – and what we can do to heal ourselves.

Who should read In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts?

  • People with addiction, who know someone with addiction, or who work with addiction
  • Pop-science “junkies”
  • Social justice advocates and anyone opposed to the War on Drugs

Culture Books: Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus by Nabeel Qureshi

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Nabeel Qureshi
A Devout Muslim Encounters Christianity
4.1 (101 ratings)
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What's Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus about?

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus (2016) traces a young man’s dramatic spiritual journey from Islam to Christianity. Packed with insights into the faith he grew up with as well as the faith he adopted later in life, Quereshi’s story will challenge Christians, Muslims, and all those interested in the world’s greatest religions.

Who should read Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus?

  • Believers interested in interfaith dialogue
  • Anyone questioning their own faith journey
  • History buffs 

Culture Books: The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain

The Prince and the Pauper

Mark Twain
4.6 (172 ratings)
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What's The Prince and the Pauper about?

The Prince and the Pauper (1881) is a classic tale that explores the societal framework of the sixteenth-century English society. The story unravels the unexpected journey of two identical boys – Prince Edward, the royal heir, and Tom Canty, a destitute pauper, as they swap their lives. In exploring each other's worlds, they gain insightful lessons about society, identity, and human kindness, with the story offering a profound commentary on class disparities and social norms.

Who should read The Prince and the Pauper?

  • History enthusiasts
  • Fans of classic literature
  • Personal development seekers

Culture Books: The Sacred and the Profane by Mircea Eliade

The Sacred and the Profane

Mircea Eliade
The Nature of Religion
3.4 (53 ratings)
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What's The Sacred and the Profane about?

The Sacred and the Profane (1957) looks at the dichotomy between religious and secular life, exploring how various cultures perceive and experience the sacred. By contrasting the traditional understanding of sacred time and space with the secular, linear perspective prevalent in modern societies it offers a deep analysis of how the sacred has shaped religious practices and beliefs throughout history.

Who should read The Sacred and the Profane?

  • Students of religious studies and theology
  • Philosophers interested in existential and metaphysical concepts
  • Historians exploring the evolution of religious beliefs

Culture Books: The Trial by Franz Kafka

The Trial

Franz Kafka
4.2 (23 ratings)
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What's The Trial about?

The Trial ( 1925 ) tells the distressing story of Josef K. who wakes up one morning to find he’s under arrest for an unnamed offense. As cryptic legal proceedings unfold around him, K. struggles to make sense of his predicament or convince others of his innocence. It’s a  disturbing parable that raises philosophical questions about personal dignity and free will when pitted against entrenched bureaucracies.

Who should read The Trial?

  • People who appreciate surreal, disorienting stories
  • Readers and listeners grappling with existential questions
  • Anyone who feels alienated from bureaucracy

Culture Books: The Birth of Tragedy by Friedrich Nietzsche

The Birth of Tragedy

Friedrich Nietzsche
3.9 (18 ratings)
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What's The Birth of Tragedy about?

The Birth of Tragedy (1872) interprets Greek tragedy’s birth and death. The narrative advocates the re-emergence of tragic arts and rejects the societal shift towards rationality and science during the time when it was written.

Who should read The Birth of Tragedy?

  • Philosophy enthusiasts
  • Greek culture aficionados
  • Tragedy genre lovers

Culture Books: The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe

The Black Cat

Edgar Allen Poe
3.9 (15 ratings)
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What's The Black Cat about?

The Black Cat (1843) explores the dark themes of guilt, perversity, and violence. It's a tale of a man driven to self-destruction by his own malevolent actions and the haunting presence of a vengeful black cat.

Who should read The Black Cat?

  • Fans of Gothic fiction  
  • Psychology enthusiasts  
  • Horror literature aficionados

Culture Books: Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility

Jane Austen
3.7 (12 ratings)
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What's Sense and Sensibility about?

Sense and Sensibility (1811) explores the divergent paths of two sisters as they navigate through society’s challenges, drawn by differing temperaments of sound logic and emotional sensitivity.

Who should read Sense and Sensibility?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students studying societal norms
  • Lovers of strong female characters

Culture Books: A Passage to India by E. M. Forster

A Passage to India

E. M. Forster
3.8 (84 ratings)
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What's A Passage to India about?

A Passage to India explores the complex dynamics between the British colonialists and the Indian citizens in the setting of Chandrapore, a fictional city in British India. It delves into themes of friendship, culture clash, and the quest for understanding across cultural divides.

Who should read A Passage to India?

  • History enthusiasts  
  • Fans of British literature  
  • Cultural studies scholars

Culture Books: The Last of the Mohicans  by James Fenimore Cooper

The Last of the Mohicans

James Fenimore Cooper
4.3 (14 ratings)
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What's The Last of the Mohicans about?

The Last of the Mohicans (1826) chronicles the thrilling journey of two daughters of a British Colonel, lost in Native American territory during the French and Indian War. It explores themes of racial and cultural conflict, intertwined with poignant romance.

Who should read The Last of the Mohicans ?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Readers keen on adventure tales
  • Individuals interested in Native American history

Culture Books: Daniel Deronda by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

George Eliot
2.7 (6 ratings)
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What's Daniel Deronda about?

Moving between love and duty, Daniel Deronda (1876) explores the life of its eponymous protagonist, torn between his loyalty to his past and an unfamiliar Jewish heritage. It navigates through societal expectations, morality, self-realization, and the idea of destiny in Victorian England.

Who should read Daniel Deronda?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Students of Victorian England
  • History and society enthusiasts

Culture Books: Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe

Moll Flanders

Daniel Defoe
4.0 (112 ratings)
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What's Moll Flanders about?

Moll Flanders is an exploration of a woman's relentless quest for survival and prosperity in 17th-century England, weaving through her numerous marriages and criminal endeavors.

Who should read Moll Flanders?

  • Classic novel aficionados  
  • Social history enthusiasts  
  • Students of feminist literature

Culture Books: Silas Marner by George Eliot

Silas Marner

George Eliot
4.3 (9 ratings)
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What's Silas Marner about?

Silas Marner (1861) is the story of a lonely outcast weaver, and the child who unexpectedly arrives in his solitary life, bringing him slowly back into the society that he has rejected and that has rejected him.

Who should read Silas Marner?

  • Lovers of classic literature
  • History buffs with an interest in English village life
  • Anyone drawn to stories of misfits, loners, and outcasts

Culture Books: The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Idiot

Fyodor Dostoevsky
4.1 (26 ratings)
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What's The Idiot about?

The Idiot (1869) follows the naïvely optimistic prince Myshkin as he moves through Russia’s confusing and cynical society, offering a profound discussion on the struggle between idealism and worldly disillusionment.

Who should read The Idiot?

  • Connoisseurs of Russian literature
  • Readers interested in philosophy
  • Enthusiasts of character-driven narratives

Culture Books: On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche

On the Genealogy of Morals

Friedrich Nietzsche
3.7 (34 ratings)
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What's On the Genealogy of Morals about?

On the Genealogy of Morals (1887) delves deeply into Nietzsche’s evolving moral philosophy, exploring the origins and meanings of traditional Western morality. It suggests a radical departure from it and posits the emergence of new moral constructs.

Who should read On the Genealogy of Morals?

  • Philosophers and thinkers
  • Readers interested in morality
  • Nietzsche’s followers

Culture Books: Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Clarissa Pinkola Estés
Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
4.2 (57 ratings)
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What's Women Who Run with the Wolves about?

Women Who Run with the Wolves (1989) is a profoundly influential work of Jungian psychology that has shown countless women how to connect with the wise, abiding, and untameable presence of the Wild Woman archetype in their own psyches.

Who should read Women Who Run with the Wolves?

  • Women who want to awaken their innate connection to wildness and instinct
  • Women who crave deeper experiences and relationships 
  • Women who yearn to rekindle their intuition

Culture Books: Spoon-Fed by Tim Spector


Tim Spector
Why almost everything we've been told about food is wrong
3.9 (161 ratings)
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What's Spoon-Fed about?

Spoon-Fed (2020) explores the widespread confusion and misinformation about nutrition, shedding light on the dearth of substantial scientific support for many prevailing food myths. The book delves into the influence exerted by the food industry on government dietary recommendations and urges readers to critically assess diet plans, official advice, and food labels, prompting a reevaluation of their relationship with food.

Who should read Spoon-Fed?

  • Those looking to develop a healthier diet and lifestyle
  • People with dietary restrictions or conditions
  • Skeptics of fad diets and food marketing

Culture Books: Foundation by Isaac Asimov


Isaac Asimov
4.6 (65 ratings)
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What's Foundation about?

Foundation (1951) looks at the crumbling of a galactic empire from the perspective of the planet Terminus, located on the Empire’s outer edge. Terminus is home to the Foundation, a community formed by a mathematician who could predict the future and the Empire’s inevitable demise. As the Empire crumbles, the Foundation gains increasing influence through a mixture of atomic power, religion, and economic savvy.

Who should read Foundation?

  • Sci-fi fans
  • Those who’ve watched the new Foundation television series and are curious about the books
  • Anyone who likes a good space opera

Culture Books: The Status Game by Will Storr

The Status Game

Will Storr
On Human Life and How to Play It
4.4 (344 ratings)
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What's The Status Game about?

The Status Game (2019) explores the unspoken social hierarchies and competitions for status that drive much of human behavior. Examining the hidden rules of the status game provides insight into the psychological dynamics behind people’s everyday choices and interactions, clearing a path for the ethical player to maintain their locus while thriving in a chaotic world.

Who should read The Status Game?

  • People fascinated by psychology and human behavior
  • Those seeking self-knowledge and personal growth
  • All interested in social dynamics and influence

Culture Books: Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace

Infinite Jest

David Foster Wallace
4.0 (167 ratings)
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What's Infinite Jest about?

Infinite Jest (1996) is considered a classic of postmodern literature. It weaves together a dizzying story of dozens of characters who are struggling to get by in a lonely, technologically oversaturated world. It also deals with the subjects of substance abuse and recovery in a deep and meaningful way.

Who should read Infinite Jest?

  • Fans of modern literature
  • Anyone interested in dystopian futures
  • People who feel isolated by technology

Culture Books: Understanding Power by Noam Chomsky, Peter R. Mitchell & John Schoeffel

Understanding Power

Noam Chomsky, Peter R. Mitchell & John Schoeffel
The Indispensable Chomsky
4.4 (148 ratings)
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What's Understanding Power about?

Understanding Power (2002) is a compilation of discussions and seminars by Noam Chomsky curated by Peter R. Mitchell and John Schoeffel. Throughout this collection, Chomsky delves into a wide range of topics, primarily focusing on how power and politics shape societies – critiquing media, corporate power, and governmental control, all while examining how these forces influence public opinion, policy, and democracy. With a focus on America, it reinterprets events of the past concerning foreign and social policy, highlighting the many challenges that Americans continue to face.

Who should read Understanding Power?

  • Political and sociology students
  • Citizen historians interested in America
  • Changemakers and activists

Culture Books: Poor Things by Alasdair Gray

Poor Things

Alasdair Gray
A Novel
4.2 (65 ratings)
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What's Poor Things about?

Poor Things (1992) is an award-winning postmodern novel that takes readers on a whirlwind tour through the monstrous and gothic world of late-Victorian Glasgow. A Frankenstein-esque tale of a dubious scientific experiment, it playfully subverts genre conventions to provide a fresh perspective on the representation of women in literature.

Who should read Poor Things?

  • Fans of satirical postmodern literature
  • History buffs who love all things Victorian 
  • Sci-fi enthusiasts interested in a modern take on Frankenstein

Culture Books: Determined by Robert M. Sapolsky


Robert M. Sapolsky
Life without Free Will
4.2 (488 ratings)
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What's Determined about?

Determined (2023) argues that free will is an illusion – all human behavior stems from biological and cultural factors we don't control. Through scientific research and case studies, it lays out the argument in favor of determinism, and aims to persuade why rejecting the notion of free will might be a positive step.

Who should read Determined?

  • Philosophers interested in free will, determinism, and human agency
  • Neuroscientists and psychologists studying decision-making
  • Anyone curious about what guides human behavior and choices

Culture Books: How Trust Works by Peter H. Kim

How Trust Works

Peter H. Kim
The Science of How Relationships Are Built, Broken, and Repaired
3.8 (83 ratings)
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What's How Trust Works about?

How Trust Works (2023) delves into the intricate dynamics of trust, exploring its fundamental role in forming, breaking, and repairing relationships. It offers a comprehensive guide to understanding how trust operates within personal and community connections, backed by extensive research in the field of trust repair. 

Who should read How Trust Works?

  • Relationship counselors and therapists seeking trust-building strategies
  • Business leaders and managers focused on team cohesion
  • Anyone interested in improving personal and professional relationships

Culture Books: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Douglas Adams
A Novel
4.3 (187 ratings)
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What's The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy about?

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) is the first book in a series of science fiction novels that follows Arthur Dent, the only human to escape the destruction of Earth. Following his rescue by an alien researcher for the eponymous guide, Arthur’s reluctant adventure across space and time leads to an array of surreal and humorous escapades across the universe.

Who should read The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy?

  • Those interested in learning what the classic science fiction franchise is all about
  • First-time intergalactic travelers looking to brush up on alien etiquette
  • Anyone curious about the meaning of life, the universe, and everything

Culture Books: The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara

The Motorcycle Diaries

Ernesto Che Guevara
4.1 (39 ratings)
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What's The Motorcycle Diaries about?

The Motorcycle Diaries (1952) invites you on a pivotal journey across South America that transforms a youthful traveler into a revolutionary icon. As you delve into these vivid narratives, you'll experience an intimate glimpse of a continent’s rich cultures and the awakening of a profound social consciousness. This captivating odyssey is not just a travel tale, but also a profound coming-of-age story that challenges you to explore the depths of your own beliefs and ideals.

Who should read The Motorcycle Diaries?

  • Adventure enthusiasts seeking inspiration from epic journeys
  • History buffs interested in revolutionary figures and ideologies
  • Travel literature fans exploring diverse cultural narratives

Culture Books: Ulysses by James Joyce


James Joyce
4.4 (80 ratings)
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What's Ulysses about?

Ulysses (1922) is a modernist novel that unfolds over the course of a single day in Dublin on June 16, 1904. The narrative follows two young men as they navigate the city and encounter a diverse array of characters and situations. Through its intricate narrative structures and literary styles, the novel explores themes of identity, consciousness, and the complexities of the human experience.

Who should read Ulysses?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Those interested in the origins of modernism
  • Anyone curious about a reimagining of The Odyssey

Culture Books: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro

The Remains of the Day

Kazuo Ishiguro
4.1 (105 ratings)
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What's The Remains of the Day about?

The Remains of the Day (1989) features one of contemporary literature’s most unforgettable narrators, Stevens, a butler who reminisces on his life in service at one of England’s stately homes in the years leading up to World War II. 

Who should read The Remains of the Day?

  • Fans of contemporary literature
  • History lovers interested in a literary take on the interwar years in England
  • Period drama devotees seeking a look at life in a stately home

Culture Books: The Order of Things by Michel Foucault

The Order of Things

Michel Foucault
An Archaeology of Human Sciences
4.2 (64 ratings)
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What's The Order of Things about?

The Order of Things (1966) is a philosophical examination of our most basic beliefs about knowledge. With depth and skill, it exposes the shaky foundations holding up society’s perceived truths and argues that much of what we know actually just relies on chance.

Who should read The Order of Things?

  • Philosophers interested in theories of language and knowledge
  • Students of history and science
  • Critical thinkers questioning modern scientific paradigms

Culture Books: Sula by Toni Morrison


Toni Morrison
A Novel
3.9 (74 ratings)
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What's Sula about?

Sula (1973) invites you into the lives of Sula Peace and Nel Wright, childhood friends whose lives take sharply different paths. Their story explores friendship, betrayal, and identity, as well as examining life in a quiet African American town in the 1920s.

Who should read Sula?

  • Avid readers of literary masterpieces
  • Anyone interested in themes of race, gender, or identity
  • Enthusiasts of African American history and culture

Culture Books: The Corrections by Jonathan Franzen

The Corrections

Jonathan Franzen
3.7 (84 ratings)
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What's The Corrections about?

The Corrections (2001) invites you into an exploration of family dynamics, as it delves into the turbulent lives of the Lambert family. You’ll find yourself engrossed in their struggles with personal demons, societal pressures, and the relentless march of time.

Who should read The Corrections?

  • Fans of contemporary family dramas
  • Anyone interested in explorations of societal norms and aging
  • Enthusiasts of literary fiction with psychological depth

Culture Books: The Burnout Society by Byung-Chul Han

The Burnout Society

Byung-Chul Han
4.0 (156 ratings)
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What's The Burnout Society about?

The Burnout Society (2010) delves into the contemporary epidemic of exhaustion and mental overload, revealing how your pursuit of success and productivity in a hyper-connected world might be leading to a state of collective burnout. It challenges you to rethink societal norms and personal values, offering insights into navigating the pressures of modern life. 

Who should read The Burnout Society?

  • Professionals seeking work-life balance
  • Students studying societal trends and psychology
  • Advocates for mental health and wellness

Culture Books: Strangers by Taichi Yamada


Taichi Yamada
Uncover a Haunting World Amid Tokyo’s Mysterious Shadows
4.6 (34 ratings)
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What's Strangers about?

Strangers (1987) is the story of a lonely Japanese script writer who returns to his childhood home and, by chance, meets a couple who are uncannily like his parents, who died in a car crash when he was 12. As he becomes increasingly involved with them, the narrative explores the boundaries between the living and the dead, past and present, and the deep longing for familial bonds.

Who should read Strangers?

  • Lovers of literature in translation 
  • Japanophiles eager to learn more about one of the country’s most beloved novels
  • Movie buffs interested in the book that inspired 2023’s All of Us Strangers

Culture Books: The End of Bias by Jessica Nordell

The End of Bias

Jessica Nordell
How We Change Our Minds
3.2 (53 ratings)
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What's The End of Bias about?

The End of Bias: How We Change Our Minds (2021) delves into the science of unconscious bias, its effects on society, and the ways we can address and overcome these ingrained prejudices. It explores how habitual biases, even those not consciously endorsed, influence behavior and perceptions, and presents strategies for changing these automatic patterns of thought.

Who should read The End of Bias?

  • Individuals interested in psychology
  • Diversity and inclusion advocates
  • Human resources professionals

Culture Books: The Society of the Spectacle by Guy Debord

The Society of the Spectacle

Guy Debord
3.8 (64 ratings)
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What's The Society of the Spectacle about?

The Society of the Spectacle (1967) plunges into an intricate world where media, culture, and consumerism converge, shaping perceptions and experiences. It’s a journey through a labyrinth of modern life's illusions, offering insights on discerning reality amidst the dazzling distortions and finding your path in a world awash with reflective deceits.

Who should read The Society of the Spectacle?

  • Critical thinkers and social commentators
  • Students and enthusiasts of political theory
  • Budding philosophers and cultural theorists

Culture Books: Prequel by Rachel Maddow


Rachel Maddow
An American Fight Against Fascism
4.0 (143 ratings)
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What's Prequel about?

Prequel (2023) explores a forgotten chapter in modern American history – the attempt by a powerful, Nazi-funded movement to roll back democracy in the United States in the 1930s. The reason we rarely remember this “plot against America” is simple: it failed. But there’s also a good reason to return to this troubling chapter – the citizens who foiled this fascist conspiracy can help us understand how to defeat threats against democracy in our own time. 

Who should read Prequel?

  • History buffs
  • Politicos 
  • Activists fighting to protect democracy 

Culture Books: Seek by Scott Shigeoka


Scott Shigeoka
How Curiosity Can Transform Your Life and Change the World
3.4 (43 ratings)
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What's Seek about?

Seek (2023) offers a transformative approach to nurturing deep connections and personal growth in a world increasingly marked by division and isolation. It introduces the DIVE model, a unique framework that empowers you to detach from prejudices, prepare your mindset, value every individual, and embrace life’s challenges. This guide provides practical strategies to harness the power of curiosity, paving the way for healing, understanding, and profound societal change.

Who should read Seek?

  • Aspiring leaders seeking innovative strategies
  • Curiosity enthusiasts exploring personal growth
  • Relationship builders fostering deeper connections

Culture Books: Single, Dating, Engaged, Married by Ben Stuart

Single, Dating, Engaged, Married

Ben Stuart
Navigating Life and Love in the Modern Age
2.6 (34 ratings)
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What's Single, Dating, Engaged, Married about?

Single, Dating, Engaged, Married (2017) is filled with practical guidance for today’s Christian on four seasons of romantic relationship. This thoughtful collection of stories and scriptural wisdom offers ways to transform relationships, from navigating modern dating to honoring divine design within marriage.

Who should read Single, Dating, Engaged, Married?

  • Single Christians wondering if being alone is really part of God’s plan
  • Dating Christians who want to know if their current partner is “the one”
  • Engaged Christians about to embark on the adventure of marriage

Culture Books: The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store by James McBride

The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store

James McBride
A Novel
3.3 (85 ratings)
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What's The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store about?

The Heaven and Earth Grocery Store (2023) is the richly-textured story of a small, diverse community centered around the Jewish-owned Heaven and Earth Grocery store in Pottstown Pennsylvania in the 20s and 30s, and of the big events – love, death, murder, kidnapping – that mark the lives of the people connected to it.

Who should read The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store?

  • Lovers of historical fiction
  • Fans of contemporary American literature
  • Anyone who likes a tale full of twists and turns

Culture Books: To Hell with the Hustle by Jefferson Bethke

To Hell with the Hustle

Jefferson Bethke
Reclaiming Your Life in an Overworked, Overspent, and Overconnected World
3.4 (252 ratings)
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What's To Hell with the Hustle about?

To Hell with the Hustle (2019) examines modern society's obsession with productivity and constant busyness. It advocates for a more intentional and purposeful way of living that rejects the relentless pursuit of hustle culture, instead emphasizing the importance of rest, relationships, and spiritual health.

Who should read To Hell with the Hustle?

  • Professionals seeking a balanced, less hectic lifestyle
  • Individuals questioning modern productivity and hustle culture
  • Anyone interested in personal and spiritual growth

Culture Books: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice

Jane Austen
4.1 (26 ratings)
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What's Pride and Prejudice about?

Pride and Prejudice (1813) is the classic story of Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam Darcy, a couple who must overcome all manner of social and financial obstacles – including their own initial dislike of each other – to find lasting love.

Who should read Pride and Prejudice?

  • True romantics seeking an all-time classic love story
  • History buffs curious about class life in Regency-era England
  • Lovers of classic literature and period dramas

Culture Books: The Seven Circles by Chelsey Luger & Thosh Collins

The Seven Circles

Chelsey Luger & Thosh Collins
Indigenous Teachings for Living Well
4.6 (42 ratings)
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What's The Seven Circles about?

The Seven Circles (2022) draws on Indigenous ancestral wisdom for achieving spiritual, physical, and emotional well-being. It proposes a holistic model called the Seven Circles – a template for modern living that’s intended to keep all aspects of life in balance including food, movement, sleep, ceremony, sacred space, land, and community.

Who should read The Seven Circles?

  • People interested in Native American culture and spirituality
  • Wellness and self-help enthusiasts
  • Individuals seeking community and connection

Culture Books: The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

The Covenant of Water

Abraham Verghese
4.4 (16 ratings)
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What's The Covenant of Water about?

The Covenant of Water (2023) follows a family in southern India across three generations as they grapple with a chilling affliction – the death by drowning of at least one member of every generation. Spanning almost the entire twentieth century, this masterful literary novel is a poignant tale of love and loss, chronicling the evolution of a family as well as India's turbulent passage into modernity.

Who should read The Covenant of Water?

  • Fans of literary fiction interested in emotional resonance and the human experience
  • People intrigued by the traditions and everyday lives of families in southern India
  • Those fascinated by India's culture and history, especially the changes in Indian society throughout the 1900s

Culture Books: Either/Or by Soren Kierkegaard


Soren Kierkegaard
A Fragment of Life
4.4 (29 ratings)
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What's Either/Or about?

Either/Or (1843) contrasts aesthetic and ethical approaches to life through a series of fictional letters between two characters. Their dialogue explores themes of existential anxiety, subjectivity, and the search for meaning, and became foundational for 20th century existentialism.

Who should read Either/Or?

  • Philosophy enthusiasts
  • Anyone seeking intellectual stimulation
  • Individuals interested in existential themes

Culture Books: A History of Fake Things on the Internet by Walter Scheirer

A History of Fake Things on the Internet

Walter Scheirer
2.7 (23 ratings)
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What's A History of Fake Things on the Internet about?

A History of Fake Things on the Internet (2023) explores the origins and evolution of digitally fabricated content, from early photo manipulation to today’s AI-generated deep fakes, analyzing key technological advances that made new forms of deception possible, and tracing their real-world impact back to fundamental aspects of human behavior. It argues that problems stemming from fake online content relate more to creativity and destruction inherent in human nature, rather than the nature of the faked content itself.

Who should read A History of Fake Things on the Internet?

  • Technology historians
  • Media literacy advocates
  • Anyone interested in information security

Culture Books: Filterworld by Kyle Chayka


Kyle Chayka
How Algorithms Flattened Culture
4.2 (206 ratings)
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What's Filterworld about?

Filterworld (2024) dives into the digital age's landscape, where algorithms are the unseen puppeteers of culture, taste, and social interaction. Peel back the digital curtain to uncover how your preferences are being shaped in echo chambers of sameness and how to be authentic in a world curated by code.

Who should read Filterworld?

  • Digital nomads and social media enthusiasts
  • Cultural critics investigating the intersection of technology and culture
  • Reclaimers of individuality

Culture Books: The Amen Effect by Sharon Brous

The Amen Effect

Sharon Brous
Ancient Wisdom to Mend Our Broken Hearts and World
3.8 (13 ratings)
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What's The Amen Effect about?

The Amen Effect (2024) is an inspiring exploration of the power of community to mend our broken hearts. It contends that our most basic human yearning for connection can reawaken our shared humanity, offering a hopeful blueprint for more meaning, connection, and compassion.

Who should read The Amen Effect?

  • People experiencing grief, loss, or life transitions
  • Anyone seeking inspiration for living boldly and with purpose
  • Leaders of faith-based or social justice organizations

Culture Books: In Praise of Folly by Erasmus

In Praise of Folly

4.2 (19 ratings)
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What's In Praise of Folly about?

In Praise of Folly (1511) is a critical examination of societal norms and institutions with a satirical lens, unveiling an unconventional wisdom that praises folly, or foolishness, as a driving force behind much human action and happiness.

Who should read In Praise of Folly?

  • Fans of Renaissance literature
  • Students of philosophy
  • Individuals questioning societal norms

Culture Books: The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Scarlet Letter

Nathaniel Hawthorne
4.2 (13 ratings)
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What's The Scarlet Letter about?

The Scarlet Letter (1850) delves into the repercussions of sin, societal judgment, and the pathway to personal redemption, journeying through the life of Hester Prynne, an adulteress in a Puritan society.

Who should read The Scarlet Letter?

  • Fans of historical fiction
  • Readers interested in morality tales
  • Feminist literature enthusiasts

Culture Books: Untapped Leadership by Jenny Vazquez-Newsum

Untapped Leadership

Jenny Vazquez-Newsum
Harnessing the Power of Underrepresented Leaders
3.4 (115 ratings)
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What's Untapped Leadership about?

Untapped Leadership (2023) explores the leadership strategies, capabilities, and contributions made by leaders of color and those from marginalized backgrounds. Sharing diverse stories and strategies, it argues that the insights derived from BIPOC leadership are universally applicable, offering valuable lessons for anyone interested in enhancing their approach to leadership and navigating complex professional and personal landscapes.

Who should read Untapped Leadership?

  • Aspiring leaders seeking personal and professional development
  • Managers aiming to enhance team performance and innovation
  • All those interested in diverse leadership strategies and perspectives

Listen to the Intro

What's The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction about?

The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (1935) is a pioneering examination of how mechanical reproduction – particularly via photography and film – transformed the nature, value, and perception of art. It explores the concept of the "aura" of a work of art and how this aura diminishes in a reproduced work.

Who should read The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction?

  • Art history students
  • Modern artists and critics
  • Scholars interested in media theory

Culture Books: The Trojan Women by Euripides

The Trojan Women

4.1 (74 ratings)
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What's The Trojan Women about?

The Trojan Women (415 BC) is a tragedy of war, centered on the plight of the defeated women of Troy. It emphasizes the cruel realities and senseless destruction that follows a brutal conflict, reminding readers of the high cost of war.

Who should read The Trojan Women?

  • Avid fans of Greek tragedy
  • Learners of ancient history
  • Students studying warfare consequences

Culture Books: The Theory of Moral Sentiments by Adam Smith

The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Adam Smith
3.7 (22 ratings)
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What's The Theory of Moral Sentiments about?

First released in 1759, The Theory of Moral Sentiments examines empathy as the primary driving force behind moral judgment, influencing everything from personal relationships to societal norms.

Who should read The Theory of Moral Sentiments?

  • Philosophy enthusiasts
  • Social science students
  • Readers interested in human behavior

Culture Books: Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Notes from Underground

Fyodor Dostoevsky
3.8 (16 ratings)
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What's Notes from Underground about?

Notes from Underground (1864) is a stark exploration of the human condition. It delves into the innermost recesses of a deeply introspective protagonist's mind, unearthing radical thoughts on reason, free will, and suffering.

Who should read Notes from Underground?

  • Psychology enthusiasts
  • Existentialism explorers
  • Classic literature aficionados

Culture Books: Reconstructing DEI by Lily Zheng

Reconstructing DEI

Lily Zheng
A Practitioner's Workbook
2.7 (67 ratings)
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What's Reconstructing DEI about?

Reconstructing DEI (2024) offers an in-depth guide for implementing effective diversity, equity, and inclusion strategies (DEI) in various organizational contexts. It provides readers with practical tools, exercises, and case studies to navigate and enhance DEI initiatives, aiming to foster more inclusive environments and equitable outcomes.

Who should read Reconstructing DEI?

  • HR professionals, corporate executives, middle managers, and small business owners
  • Nonprofit organizations focused on social justice and advocacy
  • DEI practitioners, and anyone responsible for implementing DEI initiatives at an organization

Culture Books: Attack from Within by Barbara McQuade

Attack from Within

Barbara McQuade
How Disinformation Is Sabotaging America
2.8 (24 ratings)
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What's Attack from Within about?

Attack from Within (2024) delves into the critical examination of how disinformation has been weaponized to challenge the fabric of democracy, distort public discourse, and erode fundamental trust in public institutions. This exploration serves as a call to action, urging you to recognize, confront, and disarm the insidious threats posed by disinformation, thereby fortifying the resilience of democratic values.

Who should read Attack from Within?

  • Students or practitioners of law interested in national security and disinformation
  • History and political science students
  • Advocates for democracy and free speech

Culture Books: The Other Significant Others by Rhaina Cohen

The Other Significant Others

Rhaina Cohen
Reimagining Life with Friendship at the Center
3.9 (90 ratings)
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What's The Other Significant Others about?

The Other Significant Others (2024) challenges conventional relationship wisdom by inviting us to imagine a life centered around friendship rather than romance. Through compelling stories of platonic partners who have built lives together, this thought-provoking work invites us to re-examine our assumptions about love, commitment, and family.

Who should read The Other Significant Others?

  • Readers seeking alternative perspectives on relationships and family structures
  • Friends who want to build a life together
  • Single, widowed, or divorced people searching for meaning, love, and connection

Culture Books: The End of Race Politics by Coleman Hughes

The End of Race Politics

Coleman Hughes
Arguments for a Colorblind America
4.8 (20 ratings)
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What's The End of Race Politics about?

The End of Race Politics (2024) challenges the doctrine of contemporary antiracism, arguing that fixating on race undermines the fundamental ideals of the Civil Rights movement. Drawing on personal experience and incisive analysis, it contends that race-based policies and a culture of resentment will only lead to further division, making the case for a return to the vision of a just society where race no longer defines us.

Who should read The End of Race Politics?

  • Readers interested in thought-provoking perspectives on race, politics, and culture
  • Civil Rights activists who desire a return to a colorblind approach to race
  • Intellectuals, philosophers, and social commentators interested in how to best address racial issues in America

Culture Books: Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard

Simulacra and Simulation

Jean Baudrillard
4.2 (140 ratings)
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What's Simulacra and Simulation about?

Simulacra and Simulation (1981) explores the concepts of hyperreality and the blurring of boundaries between reality and representation in contemporary culture. Through a series of essays, it argues that in a world saturated with media and technology, reality itself has been replaced by simulations and copies without originals.

Who should read Simulacra and Simulation?

  • Artists, filmmakers, and writers inspired by the concepts of simulacra and hyperreality in their creative work
  • Cyberpunk and science fiction fans interested in the philosophical and cultural implications of simulated realities
  • Anyone curious about the nature of reality, the influence of media, and the philosophical underpinnings of our contemporary world

Culture Books: Man Enough by Justin Baldoni

Man Enough

Justin Baldoni
Undefining My Masculinity
3.3 (10 ratings)
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What's Man Enough about?

Man Enough: Undefining My Masculinity (2021) is a thought-provoking exploration of the societal expectations and pressures surrounding masculinity. Through candid anecdotes and introspective reflections, the book challenges traditional notions of manhood, inviting readers to embrace vulnerability, sensitivity, and empathy as essential human qualities. It calls for men to break free from limiting gender roles and redefine masculinity on their own terms.

Who should read Man Enough?

  • Those who identify as men who feel confined by traditional gender roles and yearn for a more authentic way of living
  • People who want to cultivate deeper, more meaningful relationships
  • Anyone who wants to better understand and support the men in their lives

Culture Books: Third Millennium Thinking by Saul Perlmutter, Robert MacCoun & John Campbell

Third Millennium Thinking

Saul Perlmutter, Robert MacCoun & John Campbell
Creating Sense in a World of Nonsense
3.6 (24 ratings)
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What's Third Millennium Thinking about?

Third Millennium Thinking (2024) offers a roadmap for developing the critical thinking skills needed to thrive in the new digital age. Grounded in the latest scientific research, it offers practical strategies for fostering resilience, emotional regulation, and mental strength in children of all ages.

Who should read Third Millennium Thinking?

  • Lifelong learners and curious minds who want to enhance their critical thinking abilities 
  • Entrepreneurs and innovators who need to make informed, strategic decisions
  • Anyone looking to develop essential skills for navigating the information landscape and fostering informed decision-making

Culture Books: The Zone of Interest  by Martin Amis

The Zone of Interest

Martin Amis
A Novel
4.1 (8 ratings)
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What's The Zone of Interest about?

The Zone of Interest (2014) explores the lives of three people under the harsh conditions of a Nazi concentration camp. This brutal narrative, which recently inspired a film adaptation, challenges you to confront the depths of human evil as well as the sparks of resilience in unimaginable circumstances. In it, you’ll encounter a chilling exploration of love, betrayal, and survival set against one of the darkest eras of human history.

Who should read The Zone of Interest ?

  • Fans of historical fiction and WWII narratives
  • Anyone interested in moral and ethical dilemmas
  • Enthusiasts of psychologically complex character studies

Culture Books: Utilitarianism by John Stuart Mill


John Stuart Mill
4.8 (8 ratings)
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What's Utilitarianism about?

Utilitarianism (1861) introduces a moral theory proposing that the most ethical action is the one that maximizes overall happiness and well-being for all affected parties. The work explores the implications of this principle and defends it against potential objections, all while considering its practical applications in various aspects of life. 

Who should read Utilitarianism?

  • Technology, media, and business professionals who face complex ethical decisions in their work
  • Philosophy lovers interested in exploring influential theories
  • Lifelong learners who enjoy engaging with thought-provoking ideas.

Culture Books: Get It Together by Jesse Watters

Get It Together

Jesse Watters
Troubling Tales from the Liberal Fringe
3.4 (5 ratings)

What's Get It Together about?

Get It Together (2024) is based on a series of interviews with radical activists in the US, including a vocal supporter of Black Lives Matter. While these people’s beliefs vary, there are some common factors in their backgrounds.

Who should read Get It Together?

  • People intrigued by the beliefs of radical activists
  • Conservatives who want to understand the other side
  • Anyone interested in the current state of US society

Culture Books: The Stranger by Albert Camus

The Stranger

Albert Camus
4.6 (10 ratings)
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What's The Stranger about?

The Stranger (1942) is widely considered a classic in twentieth-century literature. It tells the tale of a murder in Algiers, and the unusual trial that follows. While there’s no mystery as to who did the killing, the story raises many questions about what makes a person guilty in the eyes of their community.

Who should read The Stranger?

  • Fans of classic literature
  • Anyone interested in philosophy
  • People curious about existentialism and absurdism

Related Topics

Culture Books

What's the best Culture book to read?

While choosing just one book about a topic is always tough, many people regard Civilization as the ultimate read on Culture.

What are the Top 10 Culture books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Civilization by Niall Ferguson
  • The Monopolists by Mary Pilon
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
  • Orientalism by Edward W. Said
  • Stuffocation by James Wallman
  • In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré
  • A History of the World in 6 Glasses by Tom Standage
  • Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows
  • At Home by Bill Bryson
  • The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

Who are the top Culture book authors?

When it comes to Culture, these are the authors who stand out as some of the most influential:
  • Niall Ferguson
  • Mary Pilon
  • Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
  • Edward W. Said
  • James Wallman