[I've been 
reading]

The Keeper of Lost Causes   book icon  
by Jussi Adler-Olsen (2007)

read: 20 October 2018
rating: [0]
category: fiction

The person who suggested I read this book is now officially not allowed to reccommend books for me unless she lets me know if there is torture in it or not.

Hotel Silence   book icon  
by Audur Ava Olafsdottir (2018)

read: 17 October 2018
rating: [+]
category: fiction

This book was full of difficult issues but over all pretty good to read. It’s about a middle-aged man trying to figure out what is going on with his life after his wife leaves him. He has a daughter he is close with, a neighbor friend and a mother with dementia. It’s tough to be him. He goes away for an unknown location but somewhere that war has destroyed. And he finds a space there, and heals. Unlike some of the other books Iv’e read recently, this book has difficult otpics and descriptions (especially of some of the wartime stuff that has happened to this town) and yet it’s not difficult to manage. There’s a flatness to it that, given the subject matter, actually presents as calm. I liked this very much.

Atlas of Unknowns   book icon  
by Tania James (2009)

read: 14 October 2018
rating: [+]
category: fiction

Picked this up on a libraryt’s booksale shelf which, I’ll be honest, an awful lot of my pleasure reading comes from. It’s a really interestingly complicated story of two sisters growing up without a mother in a somewhat rural part of India in a not very well off family and the different paths their lives take and how they come back together. I loved the different groups of people that sort of played off each other: Christian Indian people versus Hindu Indian people. Indian people who live in the West versus those who have come right from India. Older generations versus younger generations. Men versus women. Fulfilled versus unfulfilled people. Liars versus truth tellers. All of these groups dance around each other and figuring out who is in which groups and why is an interesting exercise. The actual plot here is almost secondary to watching all the interpersonal relationships play themselves out in various ways. So interesting.

Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor   book icon  
by Virginia Eubanks (2018)

read: 13 October 2018
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

A great, if sobering, look at how the tools that are supposed to help us live better are actually helping big companies and governments keep track of us in ways that don’t always help. Eubanks outlines how tools that are intended to link people with social services can also become surveillance devices and that once you’re in you’re never really out again which creates a culture of the spied-upon and the spyers. Deeply unsettling especially because with all the research she’s put into this, you know she’s right.

Noodling for Flatheads   book icon  
by Burkhard Bilger (2002)

read: 10 October 2018
rating: [+]
category: non-fiction

Great cover and a great topic. Bilger was raised in the South and then left. Then he goes back and talk to people who engage in a lot of “local customs” such as grabbing catfish out of the water with your bare hands and playing marbled with largeish rocks. He talks to the people involved, is generally decent and respectful to them, even though sometimes they have way-out ideas. Along the way you the reader learn about moonshining, catfishing, cock fighting and whether you can raise frogs in bulk. This book is from 2002 and I’d really love to read an update since some of these traditions seemed on the verge of dying out at the time but I’m pretty sure I saw guys catfishing in this way on the tv.

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