The best 99 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!
How do we create content on this page?
Culture Books: Drive (Old Version) by Daniel H. Pink

Drive (Old Version)

Daniel H. Pink
The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
4.4 (675 ratings)

What's Drive (Old Version) about?

In Drive, Daniel Pink describes the characteristics of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. He reveals that many companies rely on extrinsic motivation, even though this is often counterproductive. The book explains clearly how we can best motivate ourselves and others by understanding intrinsic motivation.

Who should read Drive (Old Version)?

  • Anyone who wants to learn about the components of human motivation
  • Anyone who wants to find out how to effectively motivate themselves and others

Culture Books: Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks


Oliver Sacks
Tales of Music and the Brain
4.3 (64 ratings)

What's Musicophilia about?

Musicophilia explores the enriching, healing and disturbing effects of music. It delves into fascinating case studies about disorders that are expressed, provoked and alleviated by music.

Who should read Musicophilia?

  • Anyone who loves listening to music
  • Anyone who wants to learn how music affects our brains
  • Anyone who wants to know how music can heal people

Culture Books: Civilization by Niall Ferguson


Niall Ferguson
The Six Killer Apps of Western Power
4.2 (115 ratings)

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: How Music Works by David Byrne

How Music Works

David Byrne
4.5 (102 ratings)

What's How Music Works about?

How Music Works sets out to explain the workings of music from ancient history up to now. Writing from an insider’s perspective, David Byrne delves into different aspects of popular music, based on current research, music history, technical knowledge and his life-long career in the new wave band Talking Heads.

Who should read How Music Works?

  • Anyone who wants to understand the inner workings of the music business
  • Anyone interested in music’s relationship to its surroundings
  • Anyone who wants to find out why music is so important to humans

Culture Books: Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price

Nutrition and Physical Degeneration

Weston A. Price
A Comparison of Primitive and Modern Diets and their Effects
4.2 (52 ratings)

What's Nutrition and Physical Degeneration about?

Based on the author’s meetings with many of the world’s indigenous people, Nutrition and Physical Degradation presents a comparison of the health of those who consumed only local whole foods and those who had begun to include processed foods in their diet. The author found that the latter suffered from problems with their teeth, bodies and brains, while the former remained strong and vigorous. Having investigated the differences between processed and local whole foods, the book argues that diets made up of processed foods lack the requisite vitamins and minerals for maintaining a healthy body.

Who should read Nutrition and Physical Degeneration?

  • Vegans, vegetarians and junk food fanatics
  • Anyone who is interested in indigenous cultures around the world
  • Anyone who wants to go back to basics and get the most nutrition out of their food

Culture Books: Rational Ritual by Michael Suk-Young Chwe

Rational Ritual

Michael Suk-Young Chwe
Culture, Coordination, and Common Knowledge
3.7 (38 ratings)

What's Rational Ritual about?

Rational Ritual (2001) offers a profound, game theory-based analysis of the role that rituals, ceremonies and media events play in society. Throughout the ages, these rites have been used to create “common knowledge” that allows people to solve problems such as which ruler to obey and which products to buy. Essential reading for budding Robespierres or Steve Jobses alike.

Who should read Rational Ritual?

  • Amateur game theorists, social psychologists or sociologists
  • Anyone interested in the true societal function of rituals, ceremonies and other cultural practices

Culture Books: The Road to Character by David Brooks

The Road to Character

David Brooks
3.8 (153 ratings)

What's The Road to Character about?

The Road to Character (2015) explains how society’s focus on fame, wealth and status eclipses moral virtues and internal struggles. These blinks will show you how to reclaim qualities such as kindness, bravery, honesty and commitment.

Who should read The Road to Character?

  • Anyone who has achieved their goals but still feels like something is missing
  • People wanting deeper insight into modern culture’s obsession with “me”

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
4.0 (401 ratings)

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
4.0 (174 ratings)

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: China's Second Continent by Howard French

China's Second Continent

Howard French
How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa
3.9 (94 ratings)

What's China's Second Continent about?

China's Second Continent (2014) is about the mass wave of Chinese migrants who have relocated to Africa in the last few decades. These blinks trace the origins of this migration and outline the profound impact it has on both regions, Chinese-African relations and the world at large.

Who should read China's Second Continent?

  • Students of Chinese or African politics
  • Anyone interested in international relations
  • Anyone curious about the long-term influence of mass migration

Culture Books: Stuffocation by James Wallman


James Wallman
Living More with Less
4.3 (95 ratings)

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: Suspicious Minds by Rob Brotherton

Suspicious Minds

Rob Brotherton
Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories
3.5 (53 ratings)

What's Suspicious Minds about?

Conspiracy theorists are everywhere. In fact, you might be one of them yourself! Have you ever questioned the official accounts of, say, 9/11 or the assassination of John F. Kennedy? Suspicious Minds (2015) reveals why we look for extreme answers to tragic events and explains that there’s much more to conspiracy theories than tinfoil hats and UFOs.

Who should read Suspicious Minds?

  • People who are suspicious about 9/11
  • Anyone interested in conspiracy theories
  • Psychology students

Culture Books: In Praise of Slowness by Carl Honoré

In Praise of Slowness

Carl Honoré
Challenging the Cult Of Speed
4.2 (135 ratings)

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: The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey

The Gift of Failure

Jessica Lahey
How the Best Parents Learn to Let Go So Their Children Can Succeed
4.6 (50 ratings)

What's The Gift of Failure about?

In The Gift of Failure (2015), Lahey offers compelling reasons for caregivers to relinquish control over their children and let them fail. By taking this approach, Lahey argues, it will give children an important opportunity to learn about their values and skills, while strengthening their confidence, autonomy and sense of responsibility.

Who should read The Gift of Failure?

  • Parents and caregivers
  • Teachers
  • Anyone working with children

Culture Books: Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free by Cory Doctorow

Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free

Cory Doctorow
Laws for the Internet Age
3.5 (20 ratings)

What's Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free about?

Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free (2014) is a guide to copyright laws, censorship and the needs of the modern interconnected world. These blinks explain what ownership means in the digital age and explain why we need to reform our copyright system.

Who should read Information Doesn’t Want to Be Free?

  • Fighters for a free and open internet
  • People interested in the ins and outs of copyright law

Culture Books: On Paper by Nicholas A. Basbanes

On Paper

Nicholas A. Basbanes
The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History
4.4 (18 ratings)

What's On Paper about?

Paper: we use it so much we don’t realize how fundamental it is to our society. We don’t just record our thoughts on it, we base our currency on it, use it for entertainment and employ it for hygiene. These blinks of On Paper (2013) outline the history of this simple but amazing tool.

Who should read On Paper?

  • Students of history, sociology or politics
  • Anyone who has ever used toilet paper
  • Origami fans

Culture Books: Southern Theory by Raewyn Connell

Southern Theory

Raewyn Connell
The Global Dynamics of Knowledge in Social Science
3.9 (39 ratings)

What's Southern Theory about?

In Southern Theory (2007), sociologist Raewyn Connell investigates the emergence of the social sciences in the context of Western imperialism. She explains how sociological knowledge and theory was and is primarily produced from the perspective of the colonizers, and not the colonized.

Who should read Southern Theory?

  • Sociology and humanities students
  • Anyone interested in globalization and postcolonialism
  • People interested in international politics

Culture Books: The Future of the Professions by Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind

The Future of the Professions

Richard Susskind and Daniel Susskind
How Technology Will Transform the Work of Human Experts
3.7 (79 ratings)

What's The Future of the Professions about?

The Future of the Professions (2015) examines how modern technology and the internet have revolutionized our society. These blinks in particular address how technology has changed the way society views the work of experts, the so-called professionals. The role of such experts is evolving quickly; here you’ll discover just what the future of professions will look like.

Who should read The Future of the Professions?

  • Entrepreneurs and managers in the tech business
  • Coaches who work with C-level executives
  • Anyone interested in how technology is changing how we work

Culture Books: The Evolution of Everything by Matt Ridley

The Evolution of Everything

Matt Ridley
How New Ideas Emerge
4.2 (69 ratings)

What's The Evolution of Everything about?

The Evolution of Everything (2015) argues that the phenomenon of evolution – gradual change without goal or end – reaches far beyond genetics. Evolution happens all around us in economic markets, our language, technology and customs, and is what’s behind nearly all changes that occur in these fields.

Who should read The Evolution of Everything?

  • Liberal thinkers
  • Anyone curious about the power and beauty of evolution outside biology

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 (213 ratings)

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: This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things by Whitney Phillips

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things

Whitney Phillips
Mapping the Relationship Between Online Trolling and Mainstream Culture
3.6 (12 ratings)

What's This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things about?

This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things (2015) explores the subculture of trolling: where it came from, who does it, why they do it and what exactly it is they do. The book examines the blurred line between a malicious online attack and revealing social commentary, and shows how trolling and mainstream culture have come to form a close bond.

Who should read This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things?

  • Victims of internet trolling
  • Critics of traditional media
  • Anyone interested in internet subcultures

Culture Books: Light by Bruce Watson


Bruce Watson
A Radiant History from Creation to the Quantum Age
3.8 (24 ratings)

What's Light about?

Light (2016) is about illumination in all its forms. These blinks go back to the earliest days of humanity to show how, for millennia, light has served as divine, artistic and scientific inspiration.

Who should read Light?

  • Scholars of cultural and scientific history
  • Anybody interested in the fascinating story of light

Culture Books: Thinking in Systems by Donella H. Meadows

Thinking in Systems

Donella H. Meadows
A Primer
4.2 (223 ratings)

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 (106 ratings)

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 Story of Sushi by Trevor Corson

The Story of Sushi

Trevor Corson
An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice
4.0 (48 ratings)

What's The Story of Sushi about?

The Story of Sushi (2007) takes a closer look at the classic Japanese dish that has taken the Western world by storm. Discover the secrets behind both the traditional and more modern ingredients of sushi – and find out what kind of rituals and techniques are used to make the perfect nigiri.

Who should read The Story of Sushi?

  • Sushi skeptics wondering what’s so great about tiny portions of rice and fish
  • Foodies who want to know what makes the best sushi
  • Chefs and restaurateurs wishing to add sushi to their menu

Culture Books: The World According to Star Wars by Cass R. Sunstein

The World According to Star Wars

Cass R. Sunstein
3.9 (141 ratings)

What's The World According to Star Wars about?

The World According to Star Wars (2016) reveals the many life lessons to be learned from George Lucas’s Star Wars films. Discover what popular science fiction can tell us about ourselves, what Star Wars has to say about the politics of popularity and how we interpret movies and inject our favorite stories with our own ideas.

Who should read The World According to Star Wars?

  • Star Wars fans
  • Creative people interested in popular trends
  • Political scholars

Culture Books: The Wisdom of Insecurity by Alan Watts

The Wisdom of Insecurity

Alan Watts
A Message for an Age of Anxiety
4.5 (361 ratings)

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 to Run by Christopher McDougall

Born to Run

Christopher McDougall
A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
4.3 (179 ratings)

What's Born to Run about?

Born to Run (2009) delves into the human capacity for long-distance running. First-hand accounts, an encounter with a secretive ultra-running tribe and cutting-edge research combine to argue for the idea that we may well be born to run.

Who should read Born to Run?

  • Runners and anyone training for a marathon
  • Armchair athletes
  • Health-conscious people

Culture Books: The Architecture of Happiness by Alain de Botton

The Architecture of Happiness

Alain de Botton
3.9 (68 ratings)

What's The Architecture of Happiness about?

The Architecture of Happiness (2006) is about how humans relate to architecture and design. These blinks demystify the power of architecture by explaining why different people prefer specific buildings, how design speaks to us and how we can use architecture to bring out our best.

Who should read The Architecture of Happiness?

  • People with an interest in architecture and design
  • Anyone looking for a novel perspective on human happiness

Culture Books: Going Solo by Eric Klinenberg

Going Solo

Eric Klinenberg
The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone
3.5 (199 ratings)

What's Going Solo about?

Going Solo (2012) explains the sociological factors that have led so many adults to live on their own. These blinks detail the history of solo living, describe the benefits of choosing such a lifestyle and explore the different conditions under which solo adults live.

Who should read Going Solo?

  • Sociology students
  • Newly single people
  • Bachelors and bachelorettes everywhere

Culture Books: Born Liars by Ian Leslie

Born Liars

Ian Leslie
Why We Can’t Live Without Deceit
4.2 (79 ratings)

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: Holy Sh*t by Melissa Mohr

Holy Sh*t

Melissa Mohr
A Brief History of Swearing
4.1 (46 ratings)

What's Holy Sh*t about?

Holy Sh*t (2013) is a journey through the history of swearing. Starting in ancient Rome and coming up to the present day, these blinks delve into the cultures of different periods to highlight the rich evolution of swear words and obscenities throughout history.

Who should read Holy Sh*t?

  • Language lovers
  • Historians, anthropologists and students of cultural studies
  • People who want to broaden their swearing vocabulary

Culture Books: The Art of Waiting by Belle Boggs

The Art of Waiting

Belle Boggs
On Fertility, Medicine, and Motherhood
3.0 (24 ratings)

What's The Art of Waiting about?

The Art of Waiting (2016) details the social narratives surrounding birth, pregnancy and parenting. These blinks offer poignant personal anecdotes alongside historical examples to shift the spotlight onto the often unheard stories of adoption, in vitro fertilization and forced sterilization.

Who should read The Art of Waiting?

  • Expectant mothers
  • Couples struggling to conceive
  • Anyone considering adoption or in vitro fertilization

Culture Books: The Aesthetic Brain by Anjan Chatterjee

The Aesthetic Brain

Anjan Chatterjee
How We Evolved to Desire Beauty and Enjoy Art
4.5 (45 ratings)

What's The Aesthetic Brain about?

The Aesthetic Brain (2014) explains how and why the human brain responds to beauty and art. These blinks break down the reasons why we instinctively prefer some faces to others, what art does to our brains and how we started making art in the first place.

Who should read The Aesthetic Brain?

  • Artists and art lovers
  • Students of psychology and anthropology
  • Curious readers interested in how beauty takes shape in the eye of the beholder

Culture Books: China’s Super Consumers by Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour

China’s Super Consumers

Savio Chan and Michael Zakkour
What 1 Billion Customers Want and How to Sell it to Them
4.4 (38 ratings)

What's China’s Super Consumers about?

China’s Super Consumers (2014) is the definitive handbook for foreign companies who want to sell their products on the Chinese market. These blinks walk you through the opportunities and challenges in this vast and varied country and share valuable information about how to succeed in its unique business context.

Who should read China’s Super Consumers?

  • People keen to understand the world’s largest emerging market
  • Entrepreneurs who want to do business in China
  • Anyone interested in Chinese culture

Culture Books: Age of Anger by Pankaj Mishra

Age of Anger

Pankaj Mishra
A History of the Present
3.7 (61 ratings)

What's Age of Anger about?

Age of Anger (2017) examines the world and the upheaval it’s undergoing. These blinks look back to earlier societies and dissect the origins of our current travails. They also pay close attention to the philosophical teachings of the Enlightenment, which still influence Western thought today.

Who should read Age of Anger?

  • Anyone with questions about the societal effects of globalization
  • Students of philosophy and history
  • Anyone with unanswered questions about the current state of the world

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 (366 ratings)

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 (98 ratings)

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 (493 ratings)

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 (256 ratings)

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 (170 ratings)

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: Soccernomics by Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski


Simon Kuper and Stefan Szymanski
Why England Loses; Why Germany, Spain, and France Win; and Why One Day Japan, Iraq, and the United States Will Become Kings of the World’s Most Popular Sport
4.2 (53 ratings)

What's Soccernomics about?

Soccernomics (2009) applies economic and data analysis to explore the way the sport of soccer is played, watched and run. It explores everything from whether world cups make us happier to why Western Europe continues to dominate the sport globally. In the process, Soccernomics shows us that much of what we think about the world’s most popular sport is wrong.

Who should read Soccernomics?

  • Fans of soccer everywhere
  • Readers interested in the behind-the-scenes reality of how soccer works
  • Anyone who wants to understand why some teams succeed and others don’t

Culture Books: Identity by Francis Fukuyama


Francis Fukuyama
The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment
4.3 (95 ratings)

What's Identity about?

Today, there is an increasing tendency for groups of people to form alliances based on shared traits, like gender, religion or sexual orientation; this is known as identity politics. But while we should be proud of our identities, they can also divide us. In Identity (2019), Francis Fukuyama charts the evolution of one of modern society’s most divisive topics, explains the problems it raises, and suggests what can be done to fix this situation.

Who should read Identity?

  • Progressive citizens curious about the weakness of left-wing politics
  • History buffs puzzled over the origins of identity
  • Activists searching for a different opinion on their objectives

Culture Books: The Great Leveler by Walter Scheidel

The Great Leveler

Walter Scheidel
Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century
3.5 (66 ratings)

What's The Great Leveler about?

The Great Leveler (2017) takes a look at the inequality faced by different societies throughout history. It highlights war, plague and other major catastrophes as a leveler of the unequal distribution of power and property, prompting the question: can equality be achieved in a non-violent manner?

Who should read The Great Leveler?

  • People interested in the history of inequality
  • Students of politics
  • Those who enjoy learning about different societies

Culture Books: China In Ten Words by Yu Hua

China In Ten Words

Yu Hua
4.0 (97 ratings)

What's China In Ten Words about?

China in Ten Words (2012) explores the way modern China talks about itself and probes what that tells us about its past, present and likely future. Honing in on ten common concepts, author Yu Huan tells the story of a nation that has seemingly changed beyond recognition, yet in many ways remains closer to its revolutionary origins than one might believe.

Who should read China In Ten Words?

  • Students of the history of Communist China
  • Linguists curious about how language shapes cultural concepts
  • Those who are fascinated by the modern “Chinese Miracle”

Culture Books: The Strange Order of Things by Antonio Damasio

The Strange Order of Things

Antonio Damasio
Life, Feeling, and the Making of Cultures
4.3 (91 ratings)

What's The Strange Order of Things about?

The Strange Order of Things (2018) takes us through the history of human cultural development while focusing on a motivating factor that often gets overlooked: our feelings. When accounting for the major innovations and developments of the past, we often credit human intelligence more than emotions and feelings. But as author Antonio Damasio argues, it’s our feelings that push us forward, inspire our creative accomplishments and define who we are.

Who should read The Strange Order of Things?

  • Neuroscientists, evolutionary biologists, physicians and psychologists
  • Curious minds interested in the emergence of human culture
  • Anyone interested in the power of emotions

Culture Books: Palestine by Nur Masalha


Nur Masalha
A Four Thousand Year History
4.0 (264 ratings)

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: The Moral Animal by Robert Wright

The Moral Animal

Robert Wright
Why We Are the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
4.4 (174 ratings)

What's The Moral Animal about?

The Moral Animal (1994) delves into the fascinating – and occasionally controversial – field of evolutionary psychology to ask what really motivates human behavior. Drawing on the work of Darwin as well as a wealth of anthropological sources, Robert Wright sheds new light on a range of familiar everyday situations in the animal kingdom and our own societies.

Who should read The Moral Animal?

  • Psychologists and keen observers of human behavior
  • Biologists and other natural scientists
  • Anyone fascinated by the evolution of our species

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
4.3 (155 ratings)

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 (146 ratings)

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
4.1 (76 ratings)

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
3.5 (173 ratings)

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: Because Internet by Gretchen McCulloch

Because Internet

Gretchen McCulloch
Understanding the New Rules of Language
4.1 (132 ratings)

What's Because Internet about?

It’s common knowledge that the internet has profoundly changed society, and Because Internet (2019) looks at one specific and significant change: how online culture has transformed the English language. These blinks show how the web has created new linguistic rules, remixed old ones and democratized writing itself. Along with these shifts, prepare to explore the memes, emoji and demographic makeup of the internet.  

Who should read Because Internet?

  • Language nerds fascinated by recent changes in English
  • Inflexible grammarians clinging on to past practices
  • Parents consistently baffled by their children’s text messages

Culture Books: The Power of Nunchi by Euny Hong

The Power of Nunchi

Euny Hong
The Korean Secret to Happiness and Success
4.3 (147 ratings)

What's The Power of Nunchi about?

The Power of Nunchi (2019) is an introduction to the subtle Korean art of gauging other people’s moods and thoughts in order to create trust, connection, and harmony. While nunchi has its roots in Korean culture, its lessons are applicable to contexts far beyond Korea. That’s because nunchi is a social skill that’ll empower you to read a room and understand others so that you can improve your relationships, get ahead at work, and influence people in any context and place. 

Who should read The Power of Nunchi?

  • Employees who want to get ahead at work
  • Wellness seekers who want to better connect with others
  • Korean culture enthusiasts

Culture Books: Why We Can’t Sleep by Ada Calhoun

Why We Can’t Sleep

Ada Calhoun
Women’s New Midlife Crisis
3.7 (56 ratings)

What's Why We Can’t Sleep about?

Why We Can’t Sleep (2020) explores the question of why American women from Generation X are experiencing a midlife crisis. These women were sold the story that nothing was stopping them from achieving their wildest dreams, when in reality they’ve faced enormous challenges to get ahead. Not only did they graduate into a disastrous job market, they also face gender and age discrimination and all too often end up having to care for young children and elderly parents simultaneously. Everything they’ve achieved has been against enormous odds. 

Who should read Why We Can’t Sleep?

  • Women born between 1965 and 1980 seeking affirmation for their exhaustion
  • People interested in how parenting has changed over generations
  • Economists interested in the human toll of stock market crashes

Culture Books: A Biography of Loneliness by Fay Bound Alberti

A Biography of Loneliness

Fay Bound Alberti
The History of an Emotion
4.0 (130 ratings)

What's A Biography of Loneliness about?

We tend to think of loneliness, like any emotion, as something universal. But its history is surprisingly recent. In A Biography of Loneliness, cultural historian Fay Bound Alberti traces the development of the modern concept of loneliness since its origins around 1800, and addresses the question of how it has gained such prominence in contemporary society.

Who should read A Biography of Loneliness?

  • People interested in cultural history
  • Anyone interested in emotions
  • Those concerned by the prevalence of loneliness today

Culture Books: The War For Kindness by Jamil Zaki

The War For Kindness

Jamil Zaki
Building Empathy in a Fractured World
4.5 (210 ratings)

What's The War For Kindness about?

It can often seem like tribalism and cruelty have our modern world in a vice-grip. But The War for Kindness (2019) shows us that not all hope is lost: together, we can fight the trend toward isolation and hatred through the incredible power of empathy. 

Who should read The War For Kindness?

  • Psychology buffs who want to delve deeper into the science of empathy
  • Caregivers dealing with burnout
  • Anyone having trouble empathizing with those who have opposing views

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 (203 ratings)

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 (164 ratings)

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: Know My Name by Chanel Miller

Know My Name

Chanel Miller
A Memoir
4.6 (32 ratings)

What's Know My Name about?

In Know My Name (2019), Chanel Miller presents her side of what happened when she was sexually assaulted by Stanford student Brock Turner and forced to endure a long and traumatizing trial in the public eye. Drawing parallels between her own experience and the structural mistreatment of women in the court system, she explains what made her determined to share her story and empower other survivors.

Who should read Know My Name?

  • People who want to learn more about the experience of sexual assault survivors in the US court system
  • Memoir-lovers who want to be inspired by the story of a remarkable woman 
  • Activists who want inspiration for effecting political change

Culture Books: The Rest Is Noise by Alex Ross

The Rest Is Noise

Alex Ross
Listening to the Twentieth Century
4.3 (44 ratings)

What's The Rest Is Noise about?

The Rest Is Noise (2011) takes you on a musical journey through the twentieth century, from the game-changing work of Richard Strauss and Igor Stravinsky to the minimalist compositions of John Cale and Philip Glass. Author Alex Ross puts modern classical music into eye-opening perspective, chronicling the revolutionary changes and how they were influenced by the tumultuous events of the 1900s.

Who should read The Rest Is Noise?

  • Music buffs and fans of classical music
  • Anyone interested in the history of the twentieth century
  • Scholars of contemporary art

Culture Books: Maps of Meaning by Jordan B. Peterson

Maps of Meaning

Jordan B. Peterson
The Architecture of Belief
4.6 (496 ratings)

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: The Greater Freedom by Alya Mooro

The Greater Freedom

Alya Mooro
Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes
3.8 (26 ratings)

What's The Greater Freedom about?

The Greater Freedom (2019) chronicles one British-Egyptian woman’s struggle to forge her own identity from the two cultures that raised her. Using stories from her own background, detailed research, and interviews with fellow women of the Arab diaspora, author Alya Mooro examines issues including sexuality, Islam, beauty standards, and immigration. She ultimately finds that there is freedom in choosing to exist in-between established tropes of culture, nationality, and identity.

Who should read The Greater Freedom?

  • Modern women reckoning with their conservative upbringing
  • Anyone who has ever felt self-conscious about their appearance
  • Anyone whose family is more religious than they are

Culture Books: How You Say It by Katherine D. Kinzler

How You Say It

Katherine D. Kinzler
Why You Talk the Way You Do – and What It Says About You
4.2 (138 ratings)

What's How You Say It about?

How You Say It (2020) examines the role that speech plays in structuring society. Through research and intelligent analysis, it shows how our accents, word choices, and other linguistic quirks become part of our identity and change how we see others.

Who should read How You Say It?

  • Social scientists wanting to learn more about language
  • Big talkers curious about the hidden meaning of their accents
  • Anyone interested in unpacking their unconscious biases

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 (811 ratings)

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 (153 ratings)

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 (289 ratings)

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: The Book of Humans by Adam Rutherford

The Book of Humans

Adam Rutherford
A Brief History of Culture, Sex, War and the Evolution of Us
4.2 (209 ratings)

What's The Book of Humans about?

The Book of Humans (2018) is an accessible tour of evolutionary history. It illuminates both the many qualities we share with animals and the many others that set us apart. Incorporating the latest scientific discoveries from genetics and archaeology, it provides a thrilling compendium of the rich variety of life on Earth.

Who should read The Book of Humans?

  • People seeking a primer on evolutionary biology
  • Darwin enthusiasts
  • Animal lovers

Culture Books: Grand Transitions by Vaclav Smil

Grand Transitions

Vaclav Smil
How the Modern World Was Made
4.3 (243 ratings)

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: Can't Even by Anne Helen Petersen

Can't Even

Anne Helen Petersen
How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation
4.3 (170 ratings)

What's Can't Even about?

Can’t Even (2020) is an attempt to explain and defend the generation that became the world’s punching bag: the millennials. Arguing against accusations of laziness and entitlement, it suggests that millennial exhaustion is a natural response to the messed-up world they inherited.

Who should read Can't Even?

  • Millennials dealing with burnout and exhaustion
  • Friends and relatives of this troubled generation
  • Anyone interested in the problems of modern work

Culture Books: Transcendence by Gaia Vince


Gaia Vince
How Humans Evolved Through Fire, Language, Beauty, and Time
4.2 (257 ratings)

What's Transcendence about?

Transcendence (2020) is a wide-ranging overview of humanity’s history, from its beginnings on the savannas of Africa to the globe-spanning civilization of today. This multifaceted exploration shows how fire, language, beauty, and time came to define our species.

Who should read Transcendence?

  • History buffs seeking a deep look at the past
  • Armchair anthropologists curious about the origins of human society
  • Anyone interested in what makes humans human

Culture Books: Woke, Inc. by Vivek Ramaswamy

Woke, Inc.

Vivek Ramaswamy
Inside Corporate America's Social Justice Scam
3.9 (207 ratings)

What's Woke, Inc. about?

Woke, Inc. (2021) explores how the ideology of wokeness has come to infect America’s corporate sphere. While paying lip service to various social-justice causes, major American companies are acting in ways that are anything but just –⁠ and generating major profit in the process. Aside from being a nefarious way for corporations to make money, this strategy is also doing lasting damage to American democracy in surprising ways, and it’s time to snuff it out.

Who should read Woke, Inc.?

  • Conservatives and centrists worried about the excesses of progressivism
  • Liberals who want to hear the other side’s perspective
  • Anyone interested in American social ills

Culture Books: Subtract by Leidy Klotz


Leidy Klotz
The Untapped Science of Less
4.1 (1,266 ratings)

What's Subtract about?

Subtract (2021) explores subtraction as a way to make positive change. It examines the human love affair with adding and having “more” – and it explains how our brains and environments work against subtraction. 

Who should read Subtract?

  • Design professionals looking for a fresh perspective
  • Psychology buffs wanting new insights
  • Anthropology enthusiasts

Culture Books: Sex for One by Betty Dodson

Sex for One

Betty Dodson
The Joy of Selfloving
4.2 (179 ratings)

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 (294 ratings)

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 (605 ratings)

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: The 1619 Project by Nikole Hannah-Jones

The 1619 Project

Nikole Hannah-Jones
A New Origin Story
4.1 (523 ratings)

What's The 1619 Project about?

The 1619 Project (2021) is an anthology of essays investigating the origins of the slave trade in America, and how it has shaped what the country would become. It’s also an exploration of how we create history, and how these stories shape our political present. The essays are accompanied by fictional excerpts and poetry, bringing to life the experiences of enslaved people in America.

Who should read The 1619 Project?

  • History-lovers interested in learning more about cutting-edge research from the 1619 Project. 
  • Americans wanting to learn about how the slave trade has shaped their country.
  • Anyone wanting to understand the roots of institutional racism, and how to fight white supremacy.

Culture Books: Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick


Nathaniel Philbrick
A Story of Courage, Community, and War
4.6 (34 ratings)

What's Mayflower about?

Mayflower (2006) tells the epic story of the 1620 voyage to establish a colony of religious separatists on North American shores, and the astonishing aftermath of their fateful trip. From life-or-death struggle to peaceful coexistence with native peoples to devastating war just a half century later, it tells the unvarnished truth of the people and politics that went on to shape a nation.

Who should read Mayflower?

  • History buffs looking for new insights into a little-known chapter of America’s past
  • Epic saga lovers who crave complex stories of survival, politics, and conflict
  • Anyone curious about the real facts behind all the feel-good myths, and how they went on to shape the future of a nation

Culture Books: “You Just Need to Lose Weight” by Aubrey Gordon

“You Just Need to Lose Weight”

Aubrey Gordon
And 19 Other Myths About Fat People
2.6 (25 ratings)

What's “You Just Need to Lose Weight” about?

“You Just Need to Lose Weight” (2023) takes a deep dive into some of society’s most harmful myths about fat people. By revealing the facts behind these common misconceptions, Aubrey Gordon gives readers the tools to analyze their own internal biases, combat anti-fat discrimination, and support the goal of social acceptance for people of all sizes.

Who should read “You Just Need to Lose Weight”?

  • Anyone who wants to learn about the myths surrounding fatness
  • People interested in confronting anti-fat bias and discrimination
  • Supporters of fat activism

Culture Books: Mythos by Stephen Fry


Stephen Fry
A Retelling of the Myths of Ancient Greece
4.7 (565 ratings)

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: This Naked Mind by Annie Grace

This Naked Mind

Annie Grace
Control Alcohol, Find Freedom, Discover Happiness & Change Your Life
4.2 (157 ratings)

What's This Naked Mind about?

This Naked Mind (2015) challenges our culture's love affair with alcohol. It offers matter-of-fact, actionable insights that help free drinkers from its perceived hold.

Who should read This Naked Mind?

  • Party animals who want a permanent break
  • Mindful drinkers seeking balance
  • Curious cats who question cultural norms

Culture Books: Death of a Salesman by Arthur Miller

Death of a Salesman

Arthur Miller
4.2 (28 ratings)

What's Death of a Salesman about?

Death of a Salesman (1949) is widely regarded as one of the twentieth century’s greatest plays. A poignant critique of the promises and pitfalls of capitalism and the American Dream, it follows the salesman Willy Loman, his increasingly tense relationships with his family and colleagues, and his tragic, hallucinatory descent into fantasy and madness. 

Who should read Death of a Salesman?

  • Budding playwrights and theater enthusiasts
  • People curious about the dangers of unbridled capitalism
  • Anyone interested in modern drama

Culture Books: A Radical Awakening by Shefali Tsabary

A Radical Awakening

Shefali Tsabary
Turn Pain into Power, Embrace Your Truth, Live Free
4.1 (47 ratings)

What's A Radical Awakening about?

A Radical Awakening (2021) shows you how to heal by connecting to your authentic self – the person you were meant to be before society’s lies and conditioning morphed you into something else. It speaks from a woman’s point of view, but it doesn’t exclude men. Instead, it seeks to lift everyone from the pain of their past and into a higher consciousness.

Who should read A Radical Awakening?

  • Anyone who wants to heal from their past 
  • Women who’d like to discover their inner power
  • People who feel subjugated by society

Culture Books: Guns, Germs and Steel by Jared Diamond

Guns, Germs and Steel

Jared Diamond
The Fates Of Human Societies
4.1 (429 ratings)

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: The Harvard Psychedelic Club by Don Lattin

The Harvard Psychedelic Club

Don Lattin
How Timothy Leary, Ram Dass, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil Killed the Fifties and Ushered in a New Age for America
4.2 (177 ratings)

What's The Harvard Psychedelic Club about?

The Harvard Psychedelic Club (2010) tells the remarkable story of four individuals, Timothy Leary, Richard Alpert, Huston Smith, and Andrew Weil. Each of these men crossed paths at Harvard University in the early 1960s, where experiments were ongoing involving the consciousness-expanding effects of psychedelic substances. Each went on to explore different paths during the counterculture movement that followed.

Who should read The Harvard Psychedelic Club?

  • Spiritual seekers
  • People interested in 1960s culture
  • Anyone curious about psychedelic drugs

Culture Books: Essentially Less by Dirk von Gehlen

Essentially Less

Dirk von Gehlen
Minifesto for a Conscious Approach to Attention
4.6 (333 ratings)

What's Essentially Less about?

Essentially Less (2023) isn’t a Blink based on a book, it is the book. In a time when our attention is becoming a crucial and contested resource, it makes a case for the importance of focusing on what’s essential. It’s a joint production by journalist Dirk von Gehlen and Blinkist’s editors.

Who should read Essentially Less?

  • Anyone who believes that less is more
  • Fans of short culture
  • Those interested in the future of reading and writing

Culture Books: Humanly Possible by Sarah Bakewell

Humanly Possible

Sarah Bakewell
Seven Hundred Years of Humanist Freethinking, Inquiry, and Hope
4.2 (202 ratings)

What's Humanly Possible about?

Humanly Possible (2023) traces the roots of humanism in literature and science back through history. While telling the stories of the great humanist thinkers, it sheds light on humanity today as well as how we can better relate to our lives and environment through humanist beliefs and pursuits. 

Who should read Humanly Possible?

  • Anyone interested in the humanities
  • People looking for non-religious alternatives to moral thinking
  • Optimists

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

In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts

Gabor Maté
Close Encounters with Addiction
4.6 (49 ratings)

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: Size by Vaclav Smil


Vaclav Smil
How It Explains the World
3.1 (40 ratings)

What's Size about?

Size (2023) explores how dimensions, microscopic to monumental, permeate every aspect of our lives. It delves into the cultural, scientific, and technological repercussions of size, unraveling its paradoxes and illuminating our multifaceted relationship with scale.

Who should read Size?

  • Curious minds seeking understanding of the world’s physical dimensions
  • Environmental enthusiasts exploring human impact
  • Innovators who are fascinated by scalability

Culture Books: The Stranger in the Woods by Michael Finkel

The Stranger in the Woods

Michael Finkel
The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
4.3 (21 ratings)

What's The Stranger in the Woods about?

The Stranger in the Woods (2017) recounts the extraordinary story of a man who chose to leave behind the comforts and social aspects of modern life – and instead opt for a solitary existence in the woods of Maine. 

Who should read The Stranger in the Woods?

  • Psychology lovers looking for stories of extraordinary people 
  • True crime buffs curious about what’s behind the headlines
  • Anyone fascinated by unusual tales of survival against the odds

Culture Books: The Art Thief by Michael Finkel

The Art Thief

Michael Finkel
A True Story of Love, Crime, and a Dangerous Obsession
4.6 (146 ratings)

What's The Art Thief about?

The Art Thief (2023) is the remarkable true story of a Europe-wide crime spree that lasted over a decade and netted almost two billion in stolen art. Along the way exposing how an enabling family, and international rules of criminal investigation, led to many of the most important works being destroyed.

Who should read The Art Thief?

  • True crime lovers looking for an unusual tale 
  • Psychology buffs curious about intimate portraits of narcissistic personalities in action
  • Anyone curious about how important works of art disappear, and why they are so often never recovered

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
4.6 (18 ratings)

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: Killing the Witches by Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard

Killing the Witches

Bill O'Reilly & Martin Dugard
The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts
4.2 (12 ratings)

What's Killing the Witches about?

Killing the Witches (2023) revisits one of the most frightening episodes in American history: the Salem Witch Trials, which saw over 200 people accused of witchcraft and 20 killed. This dramatic history reveals how Puritan tradition shaped early America and examines its repercussions to this very day.

Who should read Killing the Witches?

  • Fans of Bill O’Reilly
  • Readers interested in Puritan history and early American culture 
  • Those interested in understanding mob mentality and mass hysteria

Culture Books: I'm Not Yelling by Elizabeth Leiba

I'm Not Yelling

Elizabeth Leiba
A Black Woman's Guide to Navigating the Workplace
4.0 (2 ratings)

What's I'm Not Yelling about?

I’m Not Yelling (2022) is part memoir, part tactical guide for Black women navigating corporate America. Filled with anecdotes and statistical data, it highlights the unique challenges Black women face in the workplace, and offers a range of reflections, strategies, and affirmations to empower you to step into your full potential. 

Who should read I'm Not Yelling?

  • Black businesswomen and female entrepreneurs 
  • Anyone wanting to educate themselves on the Black experience in America 
  • Individuals of minority groups committed to reclaiming their voice in the workplace 

Culture Books: Optimal Illusions by Coco Krumme

Optimal Illusions

Coco Krumme
The False Promise of Optimization
3.3 (34 ratings)

What's Optimal Illusions about?

Optimal Illusions (2023) explores the potential pitfalls of over-optimization. Unpacking the consequences of a world obsessed with efficiency, it sheds light on social imbalances, environmental damage, and the unyielding grip of rigid systems. Brace yourself for a paradigm shift as it unveils a new way to optimize – one that balances efficiency with resilience, diversity, and inclusion.

Who should read Optimal Illusions?

  • Strategists seeking resilience
  • Innovators embracing complexity
  • Leaders prioritizing humanity

Culture Books: Spoon-Fed by Tim Spector


Tim Spector
Why almost everything we've been told about food is wrong
3.9 (56 ratings)

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 (17 ratings)

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: Wired for Intimacy by William M. Struthers

Wired for Intimacy

William M. Struthers
How Pornography Hijacks the Male Brain
2.8 (30 ratings)

What's Wired for Intimacy about?

Wired for Intimacy (2010) is a practical and hopeful guide for Christian men looking to find freedom from pornography. Combining science and spirituality, it reveals how pornography affects the male brain and provides hands-on solutions to redeem modern masculinity.

Who should read Wired for Intimacy?

  • Christian men struggling with porn addiction
  • Pastors, youth pastors, and church leaders who want to help their male constituents
  • Anyone concerned about porn's societal effects

Culture Books: Doppelganger by Naomi Klein


Naomi Klein
A Trip into the Mirror World
3.9 (7 ratings)

What's Doppelganger about?

Doppelganger (2023) explores what happened after the author, Naomi Klein, spent years being mistaken for media personality Naomi Wolf, her ideological opposite, and how this bizarre situation provided insight into our polarized era. Blending memoir, analysis, and doppelganger mythology, Klein uses her uncanny experience to investigate the fragmented culture of social media avatars, conspiracy thinking, and political tribalism threatening modern democracies.

Who should read Doppelganger?

  • Those curious about the impacts of social media on society and politics
  • Political thinkers concerned with increasing polarization and conspiracy theories
  • Anyone seeking insights on how to bridge divides and find common ground in a divided culture

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 Drive (Old Version) as the ultimate read on Culture.

What are the Top 10 Culture books?

Blinkist curators have picked the following:
  • Drive (Old Version) by Daniel H. Pink
  • Musicophilia by Oliver Sacks
  • Civilization by Niall Ferguson
  • How Music Works by David Byrne
  • Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston A. Price
  • Rational Ritual by Michael Suk-Young Chwe
  • The Road to Character by David Brooks
  • The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
  • Orientalism by Edward W. Said
  • China's Second Continent by Howard French

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:
  • Daniel H. Pink
  • Oliver Sacks
  • Niall Ferguson
  • David Byrne
  • Weston A. Price