Books could be used as a great vehicle to learn a language and discover the world. Let me introduce you to a few books of my choice that will certainly build your English vocabulary but also bring some ideas on important topics and provoke discussion.

Below you’ll find an extract from the book titled 21 LESSON FOR THE 21st CENTURY by Yuval Noah Harari.


Read the extract and listen to the audio – in the link below. Check the phrases in bold – each has been linked with its definition from the Cambridge Dictionary.

Liberty – Big Data is Watching You


 The liberal story cherishes human liberty as its number one value. It argues that all authority ultimately stems from the free will of individual humans, as it is expressed in their feelings, desires and choices. In politics, liberalism believes that the voter knows best. It therefore upholds democratic elections. In economics, liberalism maintains that the customer is always right. It therefore hails free-market principles.

[…]In Western political discourse the term ‘liberal’ is sometimes used today in a much narrower partisan sense, to denote those who support specific causes like gay marriage, gun control and abortion. Yet most so-called conservatives also embrace the broad liberal world view. Especially in the United States, both Republicans and Democrats should occasionally take a break from their heated quarrels to remind themselves that they all agree on fundamentals such as free elections, an independent judiciary, and human rights.

 In particular, it is vital to remember that right-wing heroes such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher were great champions not only of economic freedoms but also of individual liberties. In a famous interview in 1987, Thatcher said that ‘There is no such thing as society. There is [a] living tapestry of men and women … and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves.’

[…]when Britain needed to decide whether it should leave the EU, Prime Minister David Cameron didn’t ask Queen Elizabeth II, the Archbishop of Canterbury, or the Oxford and Cambridge dons to resolve the issue. He didn’t even ask the Members of Parliament. Rather, he held a referendum in which each and every Briton was asked:

 ‘What do you feel about it?’

 You might object that people were asked ‘What do you think?’ rather than ‘What do you feel?’, but this is a common misperception. Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights – or perhaps any voting rights.  However, for better or worse, elections and referendums are not about what we think. They are about what we feel.


Check if you learned the vocabulary. Do the test below, verify your answers with the key below and by clicking each phrase:

LPPhrasedefinitionTrue | False
1misperceptiona belief or opinion about something that is right or accurate
2 judiciaryall the judges in a country
3 embrace to accept new ideas, beliefs, methods, etc in an enthusiastic way
4tapestrylong tape
5 partisannot showing support for a particular political system or leader
6 hailsto greet or welcome (a person, thing etc) as something
7stems from to grow over long period of time
8 right-winga part of an animal body
9cherishesto love someone or something very much and take care of them
10upholdsto agree with a decision, especially a legal one, and say it was correct


Discuss the following questions:

  1. What does liberalism believe in when it comes to politics and economy?
  2. Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher shared similiar views – what were they? Do you agree with them?
  3. How was the question regarding the referendum about leaving EU formulated? Why?


  1. false 2. true 3. true 4. false 5. false 6. true 7. false 8. false 9. true 10. true

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