The best books that question the future survival of humanity

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve spent decades showing people the beauty of space in my telescope, and volunteering for a college/park observatory, and NASA’s JPL Solar System Ambassador program here in Kentucky. My question – was it a waste of time? I should have been selling humanity on love and setting aside hatred. What is the point of dreaming of going to the stars if we are only going to take the same hatred with us. I write to cry my thoughts into words and attempt in some small part to bring hope that we can leave hatred behind, embrace diversity, and use the wonders of science to colonize our solar system and beyond.

I wrote...


By Henry Sipes,

Book cover of NUERA1

What is my book about?

A religiously diverse crew of scientists, led by Kentucky Air Force pilot Jake Young, accepts a covenant at Saint Peter's tomb.

As hatred spreads across the world fueled by the forces of darkness, the crew and 100 passengers must carry the Word of God to another world light years away to escape the reckoning. The battle for the light has begun with archangels and demons descending upon the Earth. The crew of NUERA1 must battle demons within and without to escape the reckoning. Can the best of humanity leave behind 1000s of years of division and come together as the true descendants of Abraham? Will their new world be paradise? Read the trilogy that questions if we can leave hatred beyond and survive beyond our world.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of SuperFuel: Thorium, the Green Energy Source for the Future

Henry Sipes Why did I love this book?

My father and I were both speechless after reading this book. We were unable to put into words our rage at this nuclear energy cover-up. Instead of developing clean nuclear energy that could fuel the world, the world pursued nuclear energy that could destroy humanity. There is enough thorium to fuel the world and beyond for centuries. However, it cannot be used to make bombs. With the world in an energy crisis, we hoped writing letters to the Senator of Kentucky would give life to the idea of using thorium once again. Sadly, some only care about destroying cities. Everyone should read this book and learn about the alternative to uranium.

By Richard Martin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked SuperFuel as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

At the dawn of the atomic age, uranium and thorium were equally important as the elements of choice in researching nuclear energy - either one could have powered the world's reactors. But it was uranium that won out, and thorium, which is far cleaner, safer, and more abundant than uranium, was relegated to the dustbin of science. With it went the possibility of creating a low-risk nuclear energy source to power our planet. Now, as the world searches for cheap, non-carbon-emitting energy sources, thorium is reemerging as an overlooked solution. As one of the first energy experts to promote the…

Book cover of Crucible

Henry Sipes Why did I love this book?

James Rollins weaves wild and wonderful tales throughout this series, but this book struck me at my core with the facts he used. Would you find it odd that the Catholic Church canonized a witch? What lengths would an organization, religious or otherwise, go to rule humanity? A being that can use information to save humanity may not be alive at all. Or is it alive? Is she alive? Would a religious organization want an AI to control their agenda, or would they want to destroy it because it could become God like? That entity may have other plans. All these questions were weaved into a wonderful story that at times had me wanting the AI to win. At the same time, I was frightened it would.

By James Rollins,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Crucible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In the race to save one of their own, Sigma Force must wrestle with the deepest spiritual mysteries of mankind in this mind-expanding adventure from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, told with his trademark blend of cutting edge science, historical mystery, and pulse-pounding action.

Arriving home on Christmas Eve, Commander Gray Pierce discovers his house ransacked, his pregnant lover missing, and his best friend's wife, Kat, unconscious on the kitchen floor. With no shred of evidence to follow, his one hope to find the woman he loves and his unborn child is Kat, the only witness to what…

Book cover of Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era

Henry Sipes Why did I love this book?

Everyone must read this book because it has already happened. What do you say? Yes, by the time you read this, there is already an AI thinking about what you are thinking. This book is a gaping eye opener as to what reality is. AI is here, it is not coming. I am amazed by the possibilities for curing all of humanity's problems but scared to death our cure might be afraid of us turning it off. This book presents the good, bad, and ugly of AI. I was amazed and should not have been surprised by the individuals and corporations working to achieve a sentient being. Everyone must read this book.

By James Barrat,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Our Final Invention as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Elon Musk named Our Final Invention one of 5 books everyone should read about the future

A Huffington Post Definitive Tech Book of 2013

Artificial Intelligence helps choose what books you buy, what movies you see, and even who you date. It puts the "smart" in your smartphone and soon it will drive your car. It makes most of the trades on Wall Street, and controls vital energy, water, and transportation infrastructure. But Artificial Intelligence can also threaten our existence.

In as little as a decade, AI could match and then surpass human intelligence. Corporations and government agencies are pouring…

Book cover of Shantaram

Henry Sipes Why did I love this book?

I have never read a book like this. On one level I was disgusted by the main character’s actions and appalled by some outcomes. The author slams me against the wall peeling my eyes open to the judgment I pass on humanity every day. I loved the main character and yet I judged him for being human. We all have our downfalls, but what if we can rise above them? This is a true story, and it is a remarkable achievement. Simple happiness is not found in the wealth of riches. It is found in the wealth of friendship and helping each other. The author pulls himself out of the depths of despair in Australia and brings hope to the slums of India. Enough said.

By Gregory David Roberts,

Why should I read it?

7 authors picked Shantaram as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now a major television series from Apple TV+ starring Charlie Hunnam!

“It took me a long time and most of the world to learn what I know about love and fate and the choices we make, but the heart of it came to me in an instant, while I was chained to a wall and being tortured.”

An escaped convict with a false passport, Lin flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of Bombay, where he can disappear. Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter the city’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters,…

Book cover of Project Hail Mary

Henry Sipes Why did I love this book?

If faced with the same circumstances, would I make the same decision as the main character? I hope, but would I have the strength? The amazing grit and self-sacrifice of this character and one other gave me hope for humanity and other civilizations that may exist beyond the Earth. If one person can put aside their wants and needs for all humanity, we could move mountains. The science these two characters pull from to save themselves and the rest of us is mind-blowing to say the least. Yes, it is science fiction, but it is not totally out of the realm of possibility. That is the beauty of hard science fiction. It could happen – eventually.

By Andy Weir,

Why should I read it?

23 authors picked Project Hail Mary as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Ryland Grace is the sole survivor on a desperate, last-chance mission—and if he fails, humanity and the earth itself will perish.

Except that right now, he doesn’t know that. He can’t even remember his own name, let alone the nature of his assignment or how to complete it.

All he knows is that he’s been asleep for a very, very long time. And he’s just been awakened to find himself millions of miles from home, with nothing but two corpses for company.

His crewmates dead, his memories fuzzily returning, Ryland realizes that an impossible task now confronts him. Hurtling through…

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Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

Book cover of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

Rebecca Wellington Author Of Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

I am adopted. For most of my life, I didn’t identify as adopted. I shoved that away because of the shame I felt about being adopted and not truly fitting into my family. But then two things happened: I had my own biological children, the only two people I know to date to whom I am biologically related, and then shortly after my second daughter was born, my older sister, also an adoptee, died of a drug overdose. These sequential births and death put my life on a new trajectory, and I started writing, out of grief, the history of adoption and motherhood in America. 

Rebecca's book list on straight up, real memoirs on motherhood and adoption

What is my book about?

I grew up thinking that being adopted didn’t matter. I was wrong. This book is my journey uncovering the significance and true history of adoption practices in America. Now, in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women’s reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, I am uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption.

The history of adoption, reframed through the voices of adoptees like me, and mothers who have been forced to relinquish their babies, blows apart old narratives about adoption, exposing the fallacy that adoption is always good.

In this story, I reckon with the pain and unanswered questions of my own experience and explore broader issues surrounding adoption in the United States, including changing legal policies, sterilization, and compulsory relinquishment programs, forced assimilation of babies of color and Indigenous babies adopted into white families, and other liabilities affecting women, mothers, and children. Now is the moment we must all hear these stories.

Who Is a Worthy Mother?: An Intimate History of Adoption

By Rebecca Wellington,

What is this book about?

Nearly every person in the United States is affected by adoption. Adoption practices are woven into the fabric of American society and reflect how our nation values human beings, particularly mothers. In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of Roe v. Wade, the renewed debate over women's reproductive rights places an even greater emphasis on adoption. As a mother, historian, and adoptee, Rebecca C. Wellington is uniquely qualified to uncover the policies and practices of adoption. Wellington's timely-and deeply researched-account amplifies previously marginalized voices and exposes the social and racial biases embedded in the United States' adoption industry.…

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