The Animal That Became A God

Unfortunately, the Sapiens’ regime on earth has so far produced a little that we can be proud of. We have mastered our surroundings, increased food production, built cities, established empires and created far-flung trade networks. But did we decrease the amount of suffering in this world?

Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?


What am I talking about?

Book: Sapiens, A Brief History of Humankind

Author: Yuval Noah Harari

Country: Israel

Language: Hebrew

No. of pages: 498

Year: 2014

Published by: Vintage Books (London)

Reading history and related stuffs (I am not good at remembering dates though) bestow upon me immense pleasure. This book which is based on the evolution of humans to the present state was something that was revealing, shocking and breath-taking at times. Even though we are far ahead of our forebearers, the genus Homo in Africa, we still have no hint where we are heading towards. It seems to be an aimless and hopeless wandering. More of like a pie, the share may differ but the size of the pie remains unvarying. If at all one day the share becomes equal, then comes the extinction, everything which had a beginning has an end too.

Trust me, this one will be one of the most captivatinginvestments you could possibly make, of your time. It’s always favourable and a congenial occurrence to go after the roots to see how the dirt yield such a fragrance of pride to our present state of affairs.

About the Author

This guy specializes in world history. His research focuses on broad questions such as:

What is the relationship between history and biology?

Is there justice in history?

Did people become happier as history unfolded?

He has a PhD in History from the University of Oxford and now lectures at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Some interesting facts from the book 

You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven. But why is it important? Well, after all, fiction can be dangerously misleading or distracting. People who go to the forest looking for fairies and unicorns would seem to have less chances of survival than people who go looking for mushrooms and deer. And if you spend hours praying to non-existent guardian spirits, aren’t you wasting precious time, time better spent foraging, fighting and fornicating?

Voltaire said about God that ‘There is no god, but don’t tell that to my servant, lest he murders me at night.’

A single priest often does the work of a hundred soldiers, far more cheaply and effectively. 

The Agricultural Revolution was history’s biggest fraud. Who was responsible? Neither Kings, nor priests, nor merchants. The culprits were a handful of plant species, including wheat, rice and potatoes. These plants domesticated Homo sapiens, rather than vice versa.

Haunting and unsettling specifics

The natives of Tasmania, having survived for 10,000 years in splendid isolation were completely wiped out, to the last man, woman and child, within a century of Cook’s (Captain James Cook, an experienced sea-man as well as an accomplished geographer and ethnographer) arrival. European settlers first drove them off the richest parts of the island, and then, coveting even the remaining wilderness, hunted them down and killed them systematically. The few survivors were hounded into an evangelical concentration camp, where well-meaning but not particularly open-minded missionaries tried to indoctrinate them in the ways of the modern world. The Tasmanians were instructed in reading and writing, Christianity and various productive skills such a sewing clothes and farming. But they refused to learn. They became more melancholic, stopped having children, lost all interest in life, and finally chose the only escape route from the modern world of science and progress – death.

Even afterlife, science and progress pursued them. The corpses of the last Tasmanians were seized in the name of science by anthropologists and curators. They were dissected, weighed and measured, and analysed in learned articles. The skulls and skeletons were then put on display in museums and anthropological collections. Only in 1976 did the Tasmanian Museum give up for burial of the skeleton of Truganini, the last native Tasmanian, who had died a hundred years earlier. The English Royal College of Surgeons held on to the samples of her skin and hair until 2002.

My takeaway from the book

No to meat (Chicken, Mutton, Beef, Pork), that’s what my take away from this book. The incident which I read was unsettling and is the very reason to avoid meat. I also remember this was even in practice at my native. During my childhood days I had witnessed it without any emotional baggage.

The dairy/meat industry has its own ways of forcing animals to do its will. Cows, goats and sheep produce milk only after giving birth to calves, kids and lambs, and only as long as the youngsters are suckling. To continue a supply of animal milk, a farmer needs to have calves, kids and lambs for suckling, but must prevent them from monopolizing the milk. One common method throughout history was to simply slaughter the calves and kids shortly after birth, milk the mother for all she was worth, and then get her pregnant again.

Another method is to keep the calves and kids near their mothers but prevent them by various stratagems from suckling too much milk. The simplest way to do that is to allow the kid or calf to start suckling, but drive it away once the milk start flowing. This method usually encounters resistance from both kid and mother. Some sheep tribes used to kill the offspring, eat its flesh, and then stuff the skin. The stuffed offspring was then presented to the mother so that its presence would encourage her milk production.

A new word I learned from this book – IGNORAMUS.

The great discovery that launched the Scientific Revolution was the discovery that humans do not know the answers to their most important questions. Pre-modern tradition of knowledge such as Islam, Christianity, Buddhism and Confucianism asserted that everything that is important to know about the world was already known.

I hope you read this book and get to know more about yourselves.

Happy Reading!


Publishing Director

Authors Conversation Series – Birud Ghosalkar

Here is a sneak into our authors conversation series, Birud Ghosalkar’s The Boy With A Paint Brush is a sweet emphatic journey of a little boy into the world of creativity. Here, Birud tells her own journey into the first of children literature and what inspired her to write this book.

Book: The Boy with a Paintbrush

Release Date: 22 April 2022

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Elevator pitch for the book: One starry night when stars were bright Neel had a Dream! Join little Neel in his dreams and discover in this heartfelt story about Neel’s doubt and how his parents help him overcome it through art.

Buy The Boy with a Paintbrush Book Online at Low Prices in India | The Boy with a Paintbrush Reviews & Ratings –


  • We can clearly see the love and warmth flowing out of each and every page of this beautifully illustrated book? Could you tell us what’s the inspiration behind the story?

The inspiration is my 5-year-old son who as a kid keeps talking about his dreams. When I heard his stories, I thought of writing this book (A boy with a Paintbrush) and sharing with the audience the possibility of achieving higher sense of joy through painting/art.

  • Does being a mother interest you in writing children’s literature?

Yes, that is one of the reasons for me to write in this area. I have read lot of books for my son from different authors having diverse backgrounds such as Julia Donaldson, Chetan Vohra, Eric Carle, Oliver Jeffers, Sudha Murthy, Ruskin Bond. One common thing which I have observed is that the authors want to share their feelings and creativity with the audiences. I share similar aspirations and hence want to share my work with others.  

  • What’s your writing process? Every writer follows a certain routine, discipline, some sit over the manuscript for a while and let it cool off so if they may come up with more insight.

I first conceptualize the idea of the story; in this case it was the child struggling to express the feelings/emotions and eventually parents helping the child. I do not have a set pattern to write and finalize the manuscript. As & when ideas comes to me I continue writing the story. During the writing process I keep sharing my work with my friends and family member for their feedback which helps me understand readers point of view.

  • The story subtly moves towards parents helping their child believe in his dreams. Which I must concur is one of the best moments of the story where we can all see such a forthright example of parenting. What’s your perspective on parenting in this age and times?

My perspective is to not just being a ‘parent’ but be a guide for the child. Let the child explore things on their own, allow them to succeed and more importantly fail and then learn. Now a days parents keeps saying that kids are always around gadgets but the time in which we are living currently is driven by technology so let them enjoy that and use it for their benefits. It is easier said than done, I struggle myself to keep up with these principles on a regular basis, but I keep trying.

  • Writing a story whether for adults or children is a deep intuitive process, it’s almost like pupating. Would you like to share your journey with us?

I couldn’t agree more. It is a journey where you transform an idea into a living story which people can feel and experience. This was my first experience of publishing a book and I had to figure out everything right from finding illustrator up to publishing house. It was challenging but at the same time very experiential. I learned a lot through the process. I was clear with the illustrator (Tasneem) with whom I wanted to work so that was the first phase. We did some iterations on the content and illustrations based on feedback received and finally worked with the publishers to complete the process.

  • The book has such vibrant illustrations. Did you give some input into the illustration process?

Yes, I was actively working with Tasneem who has done a great job with illustrations. I remember we did 2-3 iterations on illustrations based on the flow of story and looking at the final product.

  • Lastly, would you like to share your views on writing and give a message to young readers and writers.

I like to write because I want to share my ideas, perspective and experiences with the readers with a hope that they enjoy my work. It gives me greater feelings of happiness. My message to young readers is to continue the reading journey because that helps to gather different perspectives, acknowledge differences and have an open mind. Try and connect with the author and share your feedback which will help the writer to improvise. For young writers, I would say that writing is one of the most creative and challenging work around us. Your writing can inspire, entertain and educate the readers. There would be some days when you feel not to write, it’s completely fine to do so. You should use such time for other activities which will rejuvenate you like music, travelling, reading books. So, continue on your journey.

New Year Message from Our Editor-in-Chief

Welcome to 2023! It’s the time for new resolutions, plans and visions for a bright and a lovely future. Going in accordance with the Roman Calendar, marking January as our vision board, I would like to look back at what all we have achieved together at Paperbacks and what we are envisioning going forward, this year looks promising on the publishing front. In the past few years the publishing industry had seen some of the darker moments and setbacks but the 2022 graph shows a slow and steady rise again. 

Paperbacks is all geared up with lots of surprises for its reader and writers slated to be released in the next few months. We have authors interviews, book reviews, and newsletters lined up. 

I would like to take a moment here and appreciate all our writers, readers, reviewers and followers to vest their faith in Paperbacks. I’m grateful for your contributions and interests. You have made 2022 a brilliant year for us and we look forward to the similar support in 2023. 

The new year is not only about beginning a fresh year but also a time for making commitments, keeping promises and a way forward to achieve milestones. We, the paperbacks editorial team, work hard to curate and bring forth the best of the literary world to our readers. 

We wish you a happy and prosperous new year.

Sincerely yours