The best books to prepare you for the digital era

Why am I passionate about this?

I'm Somi Arian, a tech philosopher, award-winning filmmaker, author, LinkedIn-Top-Voice, and the founder of InPeak, a Web3 education and professional networking platform. My background in Philosophy of Science and Technology informs my role in society as a 'Transition Architect.' My documentary, The Millennial Disruption, featuring industry leaders, won three international awards. My book, Career Fear (and how to beat it), addresses the future of work and the skills we all need to survive and thrive in the age of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. As a speaker, I give talks and workshops internationally on the impact of technology on society, the business landscape, the future of work, Web3, NFTs, the Metaverse, and blockchain technology.

I wrote...

Career Fear (and how to beat it): Get the Perspective, Mindset and Skills You Need to Futureproof your Work Life

By Somi Arian,

Book cover of Career Fear (and how to beat it): Get the Perspective, Mindset and Skills You Need to Futureproof your Work Life

What is my book about?

Career Fear (and how to beat it) is a book that addresses the challenges we face in today's rapidly changing business landscape. As someone who has spent years working in technology and media, I have seen firsthand the impact that emerging technologies are having on the workforce. Many people are fearful of how these changes will affect their careers, and I wanted to write a book that could help alleviate some of those fears.

In the book, I guide readers through the skills and mindset needed to navigate a career in the age of innovation. From understanding how the world of work is changing to developing critical thinking skills, the book offers practical advice and real-world examples to help readers succeed in their chosen field.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy books, we may earn an affiliate commission.

The books I picked & why

Book cover of Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies

Somi Arian Why did I love this book?

I highly recommend the book Superintelligence to anyone interested in the future of artificial intelligence and its potential impact on humanity.

In this book, Bostrom asks thought-provoking questions about what might happen if machines surpass humans in general intelligence and become extremely powerful, possibly beyond our control. He explores the possibilities of a "seed AI" and how to make its intelligence explosion survivable while addressing the control problem.

What I found particularly interesting is Bostrom's philosophical approach to the subject. He raises deep and interesting issues that are not yet clear to us after thousands of years and that are not at all transferable into a computer program.

He argues that the superintelligence may be unexpected and strange to us in almost all its dimensions and that we will probably have only one chance to get it right, since after that the game is over for us humans.

In short, Superintelligence is an essential read for anyone interested in the future of AI and its potential consequences for humanity. The author's approach is at least one level deeper than other hyper-optimistic and naive AI books and perspectives, and the book raises issues that are vital to consider when approaching AI and superintelligence.

By Nick Bostrom,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. Other animals have stronger muscles or sharper claws, but we have cleverer brains.

If machine brains one day come to surpass human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become very powerful. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on us humans than on the gorillas themselves, so the fate of our species then would come to depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.

But we have one advantage:…

Book cover of Principles: Your Guided Journal (Create Your Own Principles to Get the Work and Life You Want)

Somi Arian Why did I love this book?

In this book, Ray Dalio shares the invaluable knowledge he has gathered throughout his career.

He believes that principles of life, management, economics, and investing can all be systematized and understood like machines. With hundreds of practical lessons that revolve around his principles of "radical truth" and "radical transparency," Dalio highlights the most effective ways for individuals and organizations to make decisions, approach challenges, and build strong teams.

He also describes the innovative tools that his firm uses to bring idea meritocracy to life, including "baseball cards" for employees that distill their strengths and weaknesses and computerized decision-making systems that make believability-weighted decisions.

While the book provides novel ideas for organizations and institutions, Principles also offers a clear, straightforward approach to decision-making that Dalio believes anyone can apply, no matter their goal.

By Ray Dalio,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

From Ray Dalio, the legendary investor and #1 New York Times bestselling author of Principles—whose books have sold more than five million copies worldwide—comes a guided reflection journal that empowers readers everywhere to develop their own principles for success in work and life.

“Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life.” —Ray Dalio

In his #1 New York Times bestseller Principles, legendary investor Ray Dalio introduced millions of readers around the world to the unconventional approach he developed as the founder and builder of Bridgewater Associates, the largest…

Book cover of Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow

Somi Arian Why did I love this book?

Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow is a thought-provoking and insightful book that takes a deep dive into the future of humanity.

Harari's approach to the subject matter is engaging and his arguments are presented with clarity and precision, making it a valuable read for anyone interested in exploring the potential paths of human evolution. The book provides a compelling analysis of how science, technology, and human progress intersect, while also offering ideas and predictions about the future.

The author challenges readers to think about the state of current trends and how we can better shape our future touching on a wide range of topics, from artificial life to overcoming death, and raising important questions about the future of humanity.

I highly recommend this book for its ability to inspire readers to think critically and imaginatively about the future of humanity. Harari's engaging style and accessible language make the book a pleasure to read, while his insightful analysis will leave readers pondering the book's ideas long after the final page is turned.

By Yuval Noah Harari,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?


Sapiens showed us where we came from. In our increasingly uncertain times, Homo Deus shows us where we're going.

'Spellbinding' Guardian

The world-renowned historian and intellectual Yuval Noah Harari envisions a near future in which we face a new set of challenges. Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century and beyond - from overcoming death to creating artificial life.

It asks the fundamental questions: how can we protect this fragile world from our own destructive power? And what does our future hold?

'Even more readable, even more important, than…

Book cover of Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

Somi Arian Why did I love this book?

Life 3.0 is an eye-opening and thought-provoking book that explores the impact of artificial intelligence on various aspects of our lives.

As one of the leading experts in the field, Tegmark offers a unique perspective on the potential of AI to transform our future, for better or for worse. From discussing the ethical and societal implications of autonomous weapons to the philosophical questions surrounding consciousness and the meaning of life, Tegmark challenges readers to join the conversation about the role of AI in shaping our world.

With a compelling narrative style and engaging storytelling, Tegmark guides readers through complex topics with clarity and insight. He does not shy away from controversial issues, presenting a range of viewpoints and inviting readers to make their own decisions about what kind of future they want to create.

For anyone interested in the possibilities and dangers of artificial intelligence, Life 3.0 is an essential read that will leave a lasting impact.

By Max Tegmark,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Life 3.0 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'This is the most important conversation of our time, and Tegmark's thought-provoking book will help you join it' Stephen Hawking


AI is the future - but what will that future look like? Will superhuman intelligence be our slave, or become our god?

Taking us to the heart of the latest thinking about AI, Max Tegmark, the MIT professor whose work has helped mainstream research on how to keep AI beneficial, separates myths from reality, utopias from dystopias, to…

Book cover of The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age

Somi Arian Why did I love this book?

This book is a prescient and compelling analysis of the challenges and opportunities presented by the transition from an industrial to an information-based society.

The authors, who have a track record of accurately predicting global political and economic trends, explore the shift towards a new era of individualized power, as governments lose their grip on commerce and society becomes more democratized.

They offer practical strategies for adapting financially to this new reality, emphasizing the importance of cultivating two skillsets in depth and becoming the best in your field to capitalize on the growing trend of personalized, online work.

The book covers a range of topics, including the mega political transformations in historic perspective, the sophistication of violence in the agricultural revolution, and the emergence of the cyber economy. It also delves into the impact of the information age on the global economy, government, and society, and explores the potential for prosperity and renewal in the face of radical changes in human history.

The Sovereign Individual is a must-read for anyone seeking to understand the transformative power of the information age and the strategies necessary for adapting to this new reality.

By James Dale Davidson, William Rees-Mogg,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Two renowned investment advisors and authors of the bestseller The Great Reckoning bring to light both currents of disaster and the potential for prosperity and renewal in the face of radical changes in human history as we move into the next century.

The Sovereign Individual details strategies necessary for adapting financially to the next phase of Western civilization.

Few observers of the late twentieth century have their fingers so presciently on the pulse of the global political and economic realignment ushering in the new millennium as do James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg. Their bold prediction of disaster on…

You might also like...

Book cover of Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink

Ethan Chorin Author Of Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink

New book alert!

Why am I passionate about this?

Author Story-lover Middle East expert Curious Iconoclast Optimist

Ethan's 3 favorite reads in 2023

What is my book about?

Benghazi: A New History is a look back at the enigmatic 2012 attack on the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, its long-tail causes, and devastating (and largely unexamined) consequences for US domestic politics and foreign policy. It contains information not found elsewhere, and is backed up by 40 pages of citations and interviews with more than 250 key protagonists, experts, and witnesses.

So far, the book is the main -- and only -- antidote to a slew of early partisan “Benghazi” polemics, and the first to put the attack in its longer term historical, political, and social context. If you want to understand some of the events that have shaped present-day America, from political polarization and the election of Donald Trump, to January 6, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, Russian expansionism, and the current Israel-Hamas war, I argue, you need to understand some of the twists and turns of America's most infamous "non-scandal, scandal.”

I was in Benghazi well before, during, and after the attack as a US diplomat and co-director of a medical NGO. I have written three books, and have been a contributor to The NYT, Foreign Affairs, Forbes, Salon, The Financial Times, Newsweek, and others.

By Ethan Chorin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Benghazi! A New History of the Fiasco that Pushed America and its World to the Brink as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

On September 11, 2012, Al Qaeda proxies attacked and set fire to the US mission in Benghazi, Libya, killing a US Ambassador and three other Americans.  The attack launched one of the longest and most consequential 'scandals' in US history, only to disappear from public view once its political value was spent. 

Written in a highly engaging narrative style by one of a few Western experts on Libya, and decidely non-partisan, Benghazi!: A New History is the first to provide the full context for an event that divided, incited, and baffled most of America for more than three years, while silently reshaping…

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in artificial intelligence, presidential biography, and space horror?

10,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about artificial intelligence, presidential biography, and space horror.

Artificial Intelligence Explore 289 books about artificial intelligence
Presidential Biography Explore 19 books about presidential biography
Space Horror Explore 23 books about space horror