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This October, we turn our attention to a book readers have often mentioned ...

October: Considering Sapiens

Photo: Timothy Eberly

Photo: Timothy Eberly

How are you feeling? How many times have you had a conversation over the past six months where you’ve all said “ah you know, up and down” or “good days and bad” in answer to that loaded question?

But do you really know how you are, what you are missing and why? The bigger picture of keeping us all safe is one thing and, at times, we feel bad for complaining or feeling a bit sorry for ourselves for feeling lonely to missing things when others are suffering real tragedies. Why are we finding it hard to balance our collective safety with our individual fulfilment needs?

What are you missing and why? Is it the meeting someone after work, the bumping into people on the street and having a hug, the going for a coffee without a thought, the browsing in your local bookshop or library? Is it that sense of being out and about without thinking or planning and loosing track of time in the things you love to do?

At times it feels like the virus is attacking our very humanness - our need for family and friends around us, our need for touch and our need for being part of a community, for communal cultural experiences and, above all the love, the laughter and the craic.

So what it is that make us human? How did our species evolve into these beings with needs above the very basic physiological and safety ones? These are the questions that many of us have been asking ourselves over the past months and it seems that many readers have been looking for answers in our book of the month Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari. Looking through the Our City Our Books readers’ recommendations we came upon this quote and it seemed like we may find some answers to the questions we have been asking about ourselves and our behaviours:

“So thought provoking and important. I felt like I understand more about what it is to be human”, Shane McGuinness, Dublin 8.

We will be discussing Sapiens at the Our City Our Books Book Club on Tuesday 27th October at 8pm and on Thursday 29th October at 8pm on Zoom.

It is available from your library, on BorrowBox and from your local bookseller. It’s a big one so get going but if you haven’t managed to finish it by the date come along and tell us what you think so far.

We would also like you to bring along any other works that you think speak to this subject - fiction; non-fiction; memoir or poetry to share with other readers.

Join the conversation on social media or email us at

Bernadette Larkin

Our City Our Books Project Manager

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