Ellen Gilchrist's Bookshelf
By Robert Ardrey
First published in 1966, this dazzling book about the science of anthropology taught me my place in the universe. On the same boat where I discovered Márquez, a friend handed me this book and changed the way I understood the world. It was full of humbling, exciting ideas. "We may prefer to think of ourselves as fallen angels but in reality we are risen apes," as Ardrey's contemporary Desmond Morris would later put it. Risen apes who could create written language and walk on the moon and transplant hearts and write the Constitution of the United States of America.