Welcome back to the bookish version of Six Degrees of Separation. Here’s how it works: Start with the book suggested by Kate over at booksaremyfavouriteandbest, and see where you end up by linking it to six other titles. It’s easy and it’s fun, and no two chains are the same!
This month’s starting point is How To Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell – here’s the synopsis from Goodreads:
“This thrilling critique of the forces vying for our attention re-defines what we think of as productivity, shows us a new way to connect with our environment and reveals all that we’ve been too distracted to see about our selves and our world.
When the technologies we use every day collapse our experiences into 24/7 availability, platforms for personal branding, and products to be monetized, nothing can be quite so radical as… doing nothing. Here, Jenny Odell sends up a flare from the heart of Silicon Valley, delivering an action plan to resist capitalist narratives of productivity and techno-determinism, and to become more meaningfully connected in the process.”
The first book I thought about after reading that synopsis was Trick Mirror: Reflections on Self-Delusion. Through this essay collection, Tolentino dives into how culture shapes us and, more specifically, how self-delusionion we’ve become as technology has become more popular and more invasive in our daily lives.
I’ve had Hatching Twitter: A True Story of Money, Power, Friendship, and Betrayal on my Kindle forever…and as I was writing this post, I realized this really is a book I hope to read soon. This book is about the startup of Twitter – a company that was worth $11.5 billion in less than six years! Twitter was the start of this 24/7 omnipresent way of life, and this book tackles how its introduction to the world affected business, politics, media, and other fields in innumerable ways.
Another book set in Silicon Valley that totally tackles the tech industry’s lifestyle is Uncanny Valley. While I’ve seen mixed reviews about this one, I’m still interested enough to give it a try.
Slightly switching gears now, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World is book with real life applications to help minimize the influence of socail media and technology in our lives. It’s so easy to be overrun with our phones and keeping our “friends” up-to-date minute by minute, but it can also turn toxic quite quickly. Since COVID-19, I feel like this could be a great book for me to pick up and read!
Maybe a bit of a wild card, My Year of Rest and Relaxation‘s synopsis made me think this could be a good addition. Just the idea of getting back to yourself and not letting the world/social media/keeping up with the Joneses be the guage of your happiness sounds like a refreshing idea. Again, the reviews of this have been very mixed, but I really want to give it a try!
The Overstory is a meditation on the importance of getting back to nature and I could not think of a better book to read right now! It’s on my Must Read List for 2020…maybe it will be my next read!
Next month (September 5, 2020) the chain begins with Curtis Sittenfeld’s latest novel, Rodham.