15 Books Recommended by Sarah Blaffer Hrdy


American anthropologist

Sarah Hrdy is an American anthropologist and primatologist who has made several major contributions to evolutionary psychology and sociobiology. She has been selected as one of the 21 “Leaders in Animal Behavior.”

The Origins of Virtue: Human Instincts and the Evolution of Cooperation by Matt Ridley


If, as Darwin suggests, evolution relentlessly encourages the survival of the fittest, why are humans compelled to live in cooperative, complex societies? In this fascinating examination of the roots of human trust and virtue, a zoologist and former American editor of the Economist reveals the results of recent studies that suggest that self-interest and mutual aid are not at all incompatible. In fact, he points out, our cooperative instincts may have evolved as part of mankind?s natural selfish behavior — by exchanging favors we can benefit ourselves as well as others.Brilliantly orchestrating the newest findings of geneticists, psychologists, and anthropologists, The Origins of Virtue re-examines the everyday assumptions upon which we base our actions towards others, whether in our roles as parents, siblings, or trade partners. With the wit and brilliance of The Red Queen, his acclaimed study of human and animal sexuality, Matt Ridley shows us how breakthroughs in computer programming, microbiology, and economics have given us a new perspective on how and why we relate to each other.

The Way We Live Now by Anthony Trollope


One of the greatest and most relevant works of Victorian literature, The Way We Live Now is a powerful satire on avarice and other vices that have come to shape and blemish modern society. Featuring a variety of characters who resort to swindle and deceit all in the interest on monetary gain, The Way We Live Now is a moral rumination that is easily Trollope’s masterpiece.

The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex by Charles Darwin


In the current resurgence of interest in the biological basis of animal behavior and social organization, the ideas and questions pursued by Charles Darwin remain fresh and insightful. This is especially true of The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex, Darwin’s second most important work. This edition is a facsimile reprint of the first printing of the first edition (1871), not previously available in paperback.

Attachment by John Bowlby


This first volume of John Bowlby’s Attachment and Loss series examines the nature of the child’s ties to the mother. Beginning with a discussion of instinctive behavior, its causation, functioning, and ontogeny, Bowlby proceeds to a theoretical formulation of attachment behavior — how it develops, how it is maintained, what functions it fulfills.In the fifteen years since Attachment was first published, there have been major developments in both theoretical discussion and empirical research on attachment. The second edition, with two wholly new chapters and substantial revisions, incorporates these developments and assesses their importance to attachment theory.

Bonobo: The Forgotten Ape by B. M. de Waal Frans


Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens


The Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe


Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow


A New York Times Bestseller, and the inspiration for the hit Broadway musical Hamilton!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Ron Chernow presents a landmark biography of Alexander Hamilton, the Founding Father who galvanized, inspired, scandalized, and shaped the newborn nation.

In the first full-length biography of Alexander Hamilton in decades, Ron Chernow tells the riveting story of a man who overcame all odds to shape, inspire, and scandalize the newborn America. According to historian Joseph Ellis, Alexander Hamilton is “a robust full-length portrait, in my view the best ever written, of the most brilliant, charismatic and dangerous founder of them all.”

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins


The Odyssey by Homer


Middlemarch by George Eliot


Daniel Deronda by George Eliot


Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky


People of the Book: A Novel by Geraldine Brooks


Snow by Orhan Pamuk



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