12 Authors Like Yuval Noah Harari: Explorers of the Human Odyssey

Dive into the works of these authors like Yuval Noah Harari, who offer profound insights into understanding our world and ourselves.

The domain of conventional literature encompasses the fields of popular science, historical accounts, and psychological exploration. Within these areas, authors strive to expound on the complexities of the human psyche and the immensity of the cosmos in a manner that is understandable to a broad audience. Their contributions foster an enhanced understanding of the human experience and our position in the cosmic expanse. Many of these authors publish insightful essays about psychology.

Yuval Noah Harari, an adept historian and author, has emerged as a leading figure in this genre. His best-selling books, SapiensHomo Deus, and 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, have enthralled countless readers worldwide. Discover our round-up collection of authors whose writings will resonate with admirers of Yuval Noah Harari.

Best Authors Like Yuval Noah Harari Ranked

1. Jared Diamond, 1937 –

Jared Diamond
Photo of Jared Diamond lecturing in a classroom

Jared Diamond, a multifaceted American scholar with expertise in geography, anthropology, ecology, and history, has a knack for tackling the complex interactions between human societies, biology, and the environment. His engaging storytelling and ability to distill complex concepts into captivating narratives have garnered him numerous awards and a dedicated following.

Guns, Germs, and Steel is one of Diamond’s most influential books, delving into the factors contributing to the rise and disparities of human societies. The book earned Diamond a Pulitzer Prize. He presents an enthralling examination of how geography and environmental factors have molded history and steered human evolution. 

“History followed different courses for different peoples because of differences among peoples’ environments, not because of biological differences among peoples themselves.” –

Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel
Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies (20th Anniversary Edition)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Diamond, Jared (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 658 Pages - 03/07/2017 (Publication Date) - W. W. Norton & Company (Publisher)

2. Steven Pinker, 1954 –

Steven Pinker
Photo of Steven Pinker in a suit

Steven Pinker, a highly respected Canadian-American cognitive psychologist, linguist, and author, focuses on language, the human mind, and human nature. His captivating writing and ability to convey complex scientific ideas to a general audience have earned him a devoted fan base among readers intrigued by cognitive and social aspects of human behavior.

In his notable book, The Better Angels of Our Nature, Pinker gives an optimistic, data-driven perspective on human history, contending that violence has diminished significantly over time. He meticulously probes the psychological, social, and cultural factors contributing to this decline, offering a thought-provoking and hopeful vision of humanity’s future.

“The decline of violence may be the most significant and least appreciated development in the history of our species.”

Steven Pinker, The Better Angels of Our Nature
The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Pinker, Steven (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 844 Pages - 10/04/2011 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

3. Nassim Nicholas Taleb, 1960 –

Nassim Nicholas Taleb
via wikipedia, public domain Nassim Nicholas Taleb

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, a Lebanese-American essayist, scholar, and statistician, primarily focuses on risk, probability, and uncertainty. Taleb masterfully weaves engaging stories with profound insights, making him a favorite among readers eager to explore the unpredictable and complex nature of the world.

In his book The Black Swan, Taleb scrutinizes the impact of highly improbable and unforeseeable events on our lives, economies, and societies. He coined the term “black swans” to describe unpredictable events with massive consequences, and are often rationalized after the fact. This enlightening book challenges conventional thinking and gives readers a fresh perspective on navigating our increasingly convoluted world.

Are you searching for books to expand your knowledge about mental health? Check out our round-up of the best books to read for mental health!

“We tend to use knowledge as therapy.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Black Swan
The Black Swan: Second Edition: The Impact of the Highly Improbable (Incerto Book 2)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Taleb, Nassim Nicholas (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 672 Pages - 05/04/2010 (Publication Date) - Random House (Publisher)

4. Malcolm Gladwell, 1963 –

Malcolm Gladwell
Photo of Malcolm Gladwell giving a speech

Malcolm Gladwell, a British-Canadian author, journalist, and public speaker, is renowned for his unique ability to delve into complex ideas and present them in an engaging and accessible manner. With a wide range of interests from social psychology to economics. Gladwell has become a favorite author for readers who appreciate thought-provoking and often counterintuitive perspectives.

In his bestselling book, The Tipping Point, Gladwell delves into the factors that trigger sudden and significant shifts in social phenomena. He introduces the notion of “tipping points” as moments when ideas, products, or behaviors reach a critical mass and suddenly spread like wildfire. This riveting book offers valuable insights into the dynamics of social change and the power of seemingly small actions.

“The tipping point is that magic moment when an idea, trend, or social behavior crosses a threshold, tips, and spreads like wildfire.”

Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Gladwell, Malcolm (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 298 Pages - 11/01/2006 (Publication Date) - Little, Brown and Company (Publisher)

5. Ray Kurzweil, 1948 –

Ray Kurzweil
Photo of Ray Kurzweil outdoors

Ray Kurzweil, an American inventor, futurist, and author, has significantly contributed to artificial intelligence, technology, and human enhancement. His forward-thinking ideas and predictions about technology’s future have captivated readers eager to explore the potential implications of rapidly advancing tech in our lives and societies.

In his game-changing book, The Singularity is Near, Kurzweil predicts the imminent fusion of humans and machines, resulting in a radical transformation of our world. He states that this “technological singularity” will usher in unprecedented advancements in AI, nanotechnology, and biotechnology, ultimately augmenting human capabilities. This provocative book offers a sneak peek into a future brimming with possibilities and challenges.

“The future is widely misunderstood. Our forebears expected it to be pretty much like their present, which had been pretty much like their past.”

Ray Kurzweil, The Singularity is Near
The Singularity Is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kurzweil, Ray (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 671 Pages - 09/22/2005 (Publication Date) - Penguin Books (Publisher)

6. Michio Kaku, 1947 –

Michio Kaku
Photo of Michio Kaku speaking at Miami University

Michio Kaku, a distinguished theoretical physicist, futurist, and author, is known for his ability to communicate complex scientific concepts engagingly and accessibly. His work focuses on string theory, quantum mechanics, and the future of science and technology. Kaku’s enthusiastic and imaginative approach to science has made him a popular author among readers who appreciate a blend of scientific rigor and wonder.

In Kaku’s captivating book, Physics of the Future, he explores how science and technology will shape our lives over the next century. Drawing on interviews with leading scientists and his expertise, Kaku offers an enthralling glimpse into a future filled with remarkable innovations, from AI to space travel. This book will inspire readers to dream about the possibilities that lie ahead.

“The job of the future will be to keep the machines happy.”

Michio Kaku, Physics of the Future
Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kaku, Michio (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 418 Pages - 03/15/2011 (Publication Date) - Anchor (Publisher)

7. Daniel Kahneman, 1934 –

Daniel Kahneman
via wikipedia, public domain Daniel Kahneman

Daniel Kahneman, an Israeli-American psychologist and economist, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences in 2002. His work focuses on the psychology of judgment and decision-making, behavioral economics, and cognitive biases. Kahneman’s ability to synthesize complex ideas and present them in a clear and engaging manner has made him a favorite among readers interested in understanding the intricacies of human behavior.

In his best-selling book, Thinking, Fast and Slow, Kahneman introduces readers to the two systems driving our thought process: System 1, fast, intuitive, and emotional; and System 2, slower, more deliberative, and more logical. Through experiments and real-life examples, Kahneman demonstrates how these two systems shape our judgments and decisions, often leading to cognitive biases and errors. This eye-opening book provides valuable insights into the inner workings of the human mind.

“The illusion that we understand the past fosters overconfidence in our ability to predict the future.”

Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
Thinking, Fast and Slow
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kahneman, Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 514 Pages - 10/25/2011 (Publication Date) - Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Publisher)

8. Matt Ridley, 1958 –

Matt Ridley
Photo of Matt Ridley posing in a suit

Matt Ridley, a British journalist, author, and biologist, has a talent for making complex scientific concepts accessible and engaging. His work often explores the intersection of biology, economics, and history, offering readers fresh insights into the development of human societies and the natural world.

In his acclaimed book, The Rational Optimist, Ridley presents a compelling case for optimism about humanity’s future. Drawing on various disciplines, he argues that human progress is driven by our ability to exchange ideas, innovate, and adapt to new challenges. This thought-provoking book offers readers a much-needed dose of positivity and encourages them to embrace the potential for a brighter future.

“Optimism is a force multiplier. It drives you to try new things, which is why an optimist is rarely bored.”

Matt Ridley, The Rational Optimist
The Rational Optimist: How Prosperity Evolves (P.S.)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Ridley, Matt (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 466 Pages - 06/10/2010 (Publication Date) - HarperCollins e-books (Publisher)

9. Alain de Botton, 1969 –

Alain de Botton
Photo of Alain de Botton in a leisure jacket and tie

Alain de Botton, a Swiss-born British philosopher, author, and television presenter, excels at bringing philosophical concepts to the forefront of everyday life. Covering a plethora of topics, from love and happiness to architecture and travel, de Botton’s relatable and captivating writing style has won the hearts of readers looking for thought-provoking insights into the human experience.

In his enlightening book, The Consolations of Philosophy, de Botton provides a fresh take on the significance of philosophy in our daily lives. He takes readers on a journey through the ideas of six renowned philosophers, demonstrating how their wisdom can offer solace and guidance during difficult times. This inspiring book showcases the power of philosophy to enrich our lives and help us traverse the obstacles we face.

“True friends don’t try to shield us from the truth, however painful it may be.”

Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy
The Consolations of Philosophy (Vintage International)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • De Botton, Alain (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 324 Pages - 01/23/2013 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

10. Robert Wright, 1957 –

Robert Wright
Photo of Robert Wright attending a video conference

Robert Wright, an American journalist, author, and scholar, is celebrated for his thought-provoking explorations of science, religion, and human nature. His interdisciplinary approach and engaging writing style have made him popular among readers who appreciate in-depth and nuanced discussions of complex subjects.

In his groundbreaking book, The Moral Animal, Wright investigates the science of evolutionary psychology to reveal the biological roots of human morality. He delves into how natural selection has sculpted our ethical instincts and social behaviors, shedding light on the often-contradictory desires and motivations that drive us. This pioneering book offers a fascinating perspective on the origins of human morality and the complexities of our nature.

“Human beings are a species splendid in their array of moral equipment, tragic in their propensity to misuse it, and pathetic in their constitutional ignorance of the misuse.”

Robert Wright, The Moral Animal
The Moral Animal: Why We Are, the Way We Are: The New Science of Evolutionary Psychology
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Wright, Robert (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 612 Pages - 11/03/2010 (Publication Date) - Vintage (Publisher)

11. Carl Sagan, 1934-1996

Carl Sagan
Photo of Carl Sagan in a jacket and turtleneck

Carl Sagan, an American astronomer, astrophysicist, and science communicator, is remembered for his ability to impart the wonders of the cosmos to a wide audience. His passion for science and his talent for inspiring curiosity made him a beloved figure among readers interested in understanding the mysteries of the universe.

In his highly praised book Cosmos, Sagan guides readers on a captivating odyssey through space and time, exploring the universe’s origins, development, and future. He delves into the history of human knowledge, the nature of life, and the search for extraterrestrial intelligence. This awe-inspiring book offers a profound and humbling perspective on our place in the cosmos.

Looking for more educational books to binge on a weekend? Check out our round-up of the best authors like Yalom! You can also search for our best book guides using our search bar.

“Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.”

Carl Sagan, Cosmos
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Sagan, Carl (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 439 Pages - 07/06/2011 (Publication Date) - Ballantine Books (Publisher)

12. Richard Dawkins, 1941 –

Richard Dawkins
Photo of Richard Dawkins at the Center for Inquiry

Richard Dawkins, a British evolutionary biologist, ethologist, and author, is known for his ability to communicate complex scientific ideas in a way that’s easy to understand. His work centers on the mechanisms of evolution, the gene-centered view of life, and the ramifications of science for religion and society.

In his groundbreaking book, The Selfish Gene, Dawkins puts forth the fascinating concept of the gene as the primary unit of natural selection. He contends that our genes drive our behaviors and characteristics, ultimately shaping the evolution of species. This provocative book has had a lasting impact on evolutionary biology and offers readers an enthralling perspective on the forces governing the natural world.

“Nature is not cruel, only pitilessly indifferent. This is one of the hardest lessons for humans to learn.”

Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
The Selfish Gene: 40th Anniversary edition (Oxford Landmark Science)
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Dawkins, Richard (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 06/02/2016 (Publication Date) - OUP Oxford (Publisher)

Looking for more? Check out our essays about science!