Pursuit of Happiness

If you haven't read Yuval Noah Harari's book, Sapiens, I highly recommend it.

To give a brief synopsis, the book starts with the story of pre-historic man, noting there were once 6 different species of humans. "Homo-Sapiens", meaning the "thinking man" reigned contender as all other species were superseded. There are two theories to how this happened, which are briefly explained in the book. 

Mr. Harari goes on to explain all the major milestones of the modern human era - discovering fire and how that changed our ecological surroundings. The book implies that human-beings were responsible for wiping out over 250,000 other species to take our place in the world on top of the food-chain as the world's most dangerous predator. The book also discusses in great detail all the revolutions leading to our current era - Agricultural, Empirical, Industrial, Technological, etc. It was fascinating to learn that humans for most of their existence, accomplished and did nothing notable (for the last 6 million years), but only in the last 100,000 years did our species develop exponentially to accomplish the remarkable feats we witness today. As Mr. Harris symbolically states, "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".

Our species many accomplishments has come at a cost and Mr. Harari takes a rather glum outlook on the damage we have caused and may cause in the future. That said, he then poses the question - are we truly happier now as a modern, civilized society than our hunter-gatherer ancestors were foraging within their nomadic lifestyles? To answer the question, the book defines happiness scientifically and subjectively, while exploring it from a spiritual perspective as well.