9 Books That Explain How the World Works

Mark Manson
12 min readAug 28, 2023

T he proliferation of content in the internet age has turned our attention into a rare commodity. Every day, every hour, every minute, we are bombarded with information. This is not doing us any good.

Earlier this year, I wrote an article exhorting us to reclaim our attention, to take back control, to choose better sources of information and not be enslaved to the internet.

One of my recommendations in the article was to ditch short-form content like social media and bite-sized news, and instead opt for longer-form content like books and podcasts — anything that takes a long time to consume.

After that article was published, a number of you emailed to ask what books to read. Honestly, any book is better than mindlessly scrolling through your social media feed. But here are nine in particular that will not only help you reclaim your attention, but also teach you about the world in the process.

You’re welcome.



I saw Why Information Grows referenced in Harari’s Homo Deus (discussed below) as…



Mark Manson

Author of #1 NYTimes Bestseller ‘The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck’. OG Blogger. Psychology Nerd. I enjoy cats and whiskey. But not at the same time.