So February 18th is World Anthropology Day, and as per usual, I wanted to share books with you that somehow, in someway are anthropological in nature. With that in mind, I picked a set of 10 great books to celebrate World Anthropology Day. Granted the day might be over, but it is never too late to learn more or read books, right?
Note that I am not an anthropologist (though the profession certainly intrigues me – every aspect of it) so maybe some books might not be a perfect fit. I did try to look at the categories/listings that Goodreads users and/or Amazon tracked them by, along with the fact that they do appear on other similar lists. Also, the books are as varied as they can be, so don’t be surprised if a picture book follows a textbook-ish book.
In all honesty, I am yet to read many of these books though most have been on one of my TBRs or the other for a long time. And while I tried to include all aspects of anthropology there is, I ended up exploring linguistic anthropology more than anything else, so many of the books lean towards that.
So here is my list of
10 Great Books To Celebrate World Anthropology Day
This post contains affiliate links, that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support. Please see the full disclosure for more information. I only recommend products I definitely would (or have already) use myself.
Guns, Germs and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies
by Jared Diamond
This book was one I got started on years ago and was totally into it when I had to return it to the library. For some reason, I never did check it again. Maybe it is time I did so, and move it from my Want to Read to my Read list.
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
by Yuval Noah Harari
I recently (? – is 3 months recent?) won the graphic version of it in a giveaway (thank you Dara – NotInJersey!); I am finally sitting down to read it. And loving loving it!
When We Became Humans: Our incredible evolutionary journey
by Michael Bright and Hannah Bailey
A fascinating look into evolution geared towards younger audiences, but based on what I have read so far, everyone will enjoy it regardless of their age.
The Mother Tongue: English and How It Got That Way
by Bill Bryson
While I am not sure if this would be linguistic anthropology, this has been on my tbr and I truly enjoy reading Bryson, so here it is.
The Story of People: A first book about humankind
by Catherine Barr and Steve Williams, and Illustrations by Amy Husband
A book I am yet to read; but the blurb and what I saw of it so far have me intrigued.
Outliers: The Story of Success
by Malcolm Gladwell
A book I have listened to many times on audio (one of the two books I have actually), as well as read and enjoyed a couple of times. I also mentioned it a few times in the blog, but for some reason, never reviewed. Time for a re-read and review then.
Stamped: Racism, Antiracism, and You
by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X Kendi
Stamped From the Beginning
by Ibram X. Kendi
Repeating words from an earlier post — I am yet to review Stamped but suffice to say that reading this meant I want to read more by both these authors. (Well, I had already read Antiracist Baby by Kendi earlier this year!!)
Stamped is actually an adaptation for younger readers – of Kendi’s Stamped From the Beginning, so you pick that instead if you wish.
Dinotopia, A Land Apart from Time
by Jared Diamond
This book is simply beautiful. The illustrations are brimming with imagination, detail and color, and take you on a tour of a world that you would love to live in – Dinotopia. I did find this on one anthropology list, and if you think it is far-fetched, then I can use the connection that the author is an anthropologist (he earned his degree in that field).
Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays
by Joan Didion
I read a couple of the essays in this brilliant collection, including Keeping a Notebook (reviewed here). I need to get to the rest of them soon, considering I now have the book.
The Gene: An Intimate History
by Siddhartha Mukherjee
Siddhartha Mukherjee, along with Harari made it on my list of auto-buy authors even before I had read a single book by them. Truth be told, I am yet to read Mukherjee, but he still remains on that list.
More Lists to Check Out
- A whole list of mystery books here
- A short list of popular novels from Barnes and Noble
- Recommended reading from Anthropology4U
- My list of books for people who love words and language
And then, there are of course
Movies to Watch
- The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) – A movie I have watched often; first as a young girl, a few times in between, and more recently with my teens.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – A brilliant though slightly disturbing movie (and the book is worth a read too).
- Avatar (2009) –
- Into the Wild (2007)
- Babette’s Feast (1987)
- Babies (2010)
- Water (I) (2005)
- The Class (2008)
- Schooling the World (2010)
And Now, the End Of This Post
Dear reader, have you read any of these Books To Celebrate World Anthropology Day? Your thoughts on them (if you have)? Which one are you tempted to read the most among these? Any recommendations for me – books and/or movies?
26 thoughts on “10 Great Books To Celebrate World Anthropology Day”
I also have Outliers in my Audio book collection.
Just finished looking up the definition of Anthropology. Now I know why I could not pin down what branch of science it is. It is so broad, it is almost the study of anything about humans. That would rule out books about aliens, animals, fish and birds unless those books included interaction of the species with humans.
Have fun and blog on!
thanks so much Doug; great to hear from you! And yes, you actually nailed it about the broadness of anthropology 🙂
And that is why Dinotopia made sense in this list..
These are all new to me. Great post.
I’ve been meaning to read Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari for ages but have never gotten round to it. These books all sounds really interesting.
with you on Sapiens (finally reading it now though)
I always thought this a dry and dusty topic, but you managed to put vibrant color to it. Kudos!
Thanks so much DJ.. Some other ‘ologies’ are dry topics for me too.. Maybe I need to look at them differently after reading your comment here 🙂
It’s good to know about Anthropology day Vidya! I think I might enjoy “When we became humans ” and “The story of people”. The title sounds interesting and will keep them in mind.
Thanks Nisha..both those books are geared towards younger audiences and I have found these books are interesting and informational as well
Stamped is the only one of these I have read, and it was one of my favorite reads of 2020. So powerful, and I loved this middle grade/YA version especially. (Jason Reynolds is amazing.)
I need to read other books by Reynolds now.. and yes, Stamped is powerful indeed..
I haven’t read any of these books but I have seen Avatar! I’ll have to add a few of these to my reading list!
You should check them out..
You always have the BEST lists!
Makes me so glad to hear you say that Danielle..
Never hear of Anthropology day, thanks for the info and the book selections.
you are welcome..
This is a great gathering of good titles for this subject, and I love your extras!
thanks so much Karen…
This is such a great list and a very interesting day to learn about because I haven’t heard about Anthropology day before.
Thanks so much Sacha
Such an interesting subject! I was a linguistics major and somehow haven’t heard of that book by Bill Bryson. But I do love his work, so I’m going to be checking it out asap!
thanks Heather… I enjoy Bryson as well which is why this book made it here
Did not even know this was celebrating, although I can definitely see its relevance.
This is certainly an interesting celebration