I’ve started two new books this week – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari and Seveneves, a new novel by Neal Stephenson.

I like to balance non-fiction and fiction, usually reading a novel at night and the non-fiction earlier in the day. Non-fiction tends to spark ideas, and I don’t need that right before going to sleep.

These two new books I’m reading make for a particularly interesting balance of ideas. Sapiens is a surprisingly readable and fascinating history of the origins of our species. While Seveneves is a novel about the near future and the end of the world as we know it and how humans adapt and persist through a cataclysm.

I’m appreciating even more what good fortune it is to be a human on this planet in this time. The triumph of our species was not inevitable, and there’s no guarantee we are not going to screw things up epically.

On a cosmic scale our time in the sun has been incredibly brief. Dinosaurs roamed the earth significantly longer than we have so far. 

Knowing where we came from can make us better appreciate what we have now and just where we might go from here.