[I've been 
reading]

And Then There’s This   book icon  
by Bill Wasik (2009)

read: 8 July 2020
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

I had started this book at some earlier time and finally picked it backup again. It was fun to read something about viral culture but less fun to read it as a memoir of the guy who maybe invented the flash mob. Because, he talks about virality but in some ways injects his own attempts at making things viral into many of the chapters. And I’m sure he’s fine but I didn’t want to read about his experiments (many of which failed) I wanted to read more about the things that happened, not just him talking to his friend and BuzzFeed founder Jonah Perretti. Read like a long New Yorker article but not one I would necessarily finish.

Fall, or Dodge in Hell   book icon  
by Neal Stephenson (2019)

read: 8 July 2020
rating: [0]
category: fiction

By the end of this book I was very very sick of it. It’s like 1/3 cool story (which is how it starts out), and 2/3 plodding fantasy legend (which is built into the middle and increasingly becomes the major plotline of the book). I have so many questions about why, when you can have a built-it-yourself “uploaded brains” world, it turns into the same old dick-measuring quests and wars. Which are as tiresome to read about in the uploaded-brains world as they are in just the plain old world. I was hate-reading it by the end just to see who won. I think the book may have lost me in the first chapter where I was like “Really a billionaire is going to have a medical procedure done and they tell him not to eat anything and he DOES ANYWAYS and doesn’t tell anyone? Bullshit.”

The Other Side of the Coin   book icon  
by Angela Kelly (2019)

read: 2 July 2020
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A book about the woman who dresses the queen. More interesting than you’d think, but also a look into the odd fawning environment surrounding the aristocracy. You get to see a lot of great photos of rarely seen outfits and a few behind-the-scenes shot, but it’s also super clear how tightly the Queen’s image is controlled. This is highlighted the most where, in the photo credits at the end, you learn that the cover photo is itself a composite of two other images, and that image itself never actually happened. Kelly herself is a bit of a mystery, eternally grateful for her job, but with the rest of her life pretty unknown.

Women of the Klan: Racism and Gender in the 1920s   book icon  
by Kathleen Blee (1992)

read: 23 June 2020
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A look at women and WKKK activity in Indiana in the 20s. Including interviews with elderly women looking back at their KKK involvement (many with “those were the days” sentiments). Creepy and very well-researched look at how the hate machine works, or worked. The author goes into some detail explaining just why information on some of these groups is hard to find, and just how, in many ways, the groups were simultaneously money-making machines as well as racist hate groups.

Vagabonds   book icon  
by Hao Jingfang (2016)

read: 22 June 2020
rating: [+]
category: fiction

I didn’t read the reviews until after I had finished this. This book felt long to me. There was impressive world building, but living inside the mind of an anxious female protagonist who everyone is kinda gaslighting is really a bit of a slog. Mixed feels. I read it all, I wanted it to go somewhere; it felt like a lot of philosophical thought exercises masquerading as a fiction story about life on socialist Mars vs. life on capitalist Earth, felt very didactic. When I learned the author was also an economist, I was not surprised.

« top »