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callan

callan@bookwyrm.social

Joined 1 year, 8 months ago

follow me @eminencefont on twitter; I blog at librarycallan.com/blorg. I am a library director/career librarian and huge supporter of libraries and I love books and this is my thingy where I will tell you about the books I am reading okay bye

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If We Were Villains (Paperback, 2018, Flatiron Books) 4 stars

Entreated to tell his side of the story to a detective who put him in …

finally a good book club book

4 stars

This was excellent - creepy and atmospheric af with crystal clear prose and perfect interjections of Shakespeare. Not like anything else I’ve read in a while. I think it’ll get me out of my book slump as of late.

Autonomous: A Novel (2017, Tor Books) 3 stars

When anything can be owned, how can we be free

Earth, 2144. Jack is an …

Boring, sorry

2 stars

The first 100 pages of this had me hooked, but then it all fell apart. The plot was boring, the writing grew really procedural and stale, and the Jack/Threezed half of the narrative didn’t hold up to the first few sections about Eliasz and Paladin. I appreciated the book’s themes and message about autonomy, but… lukewarm at best.

Black Buck (2021, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company) 4 stars

An unambitious twenty-two-year-old, Darren lives in a Bed-Stuy brownstone with his mother, who wants nothing …

great points, not so great plot

3 stars

Had trouble making it through this one; it was about as subtle as a hot pink kangaroo and things just kind of flowed in a frictionless weird way that I didn’t really enjoy. Still, points majorly taken about the bullshit white meritocracy fest that is tech & sales jobs. Anyway, looking forward to dig into something else.

The Innovation Delusion (Hardcover, 2020, Currency) 3 stars

Innovation is the hottest buzzword in business. But what if its benefits has been exaggerated, …

Extremely good & important points

3 stars

… but also very much written by two white dudes who teach tech in higher ed. I still think ppl should read this, especially those of us in education and/or libraries who don’t understand the continual growth model given the crucial maintenance aspects of what we do. It would have been nice to see more citations from people who aren’t like, that guy from Freakonomics. But I still think this is an important and enjoyable read.

The Case Against Free Speech: The First Amendment, Fascism, and the Future of Dissent (2019, Bold Type Books) 5 stars

A hard-hitting expose that shines a light on the powerful conservative forces that have waged …

excellent

5 stars

I can't say enough good things about this book. The writing is searing, forcing you to give a fuck about this stuff even if you're like, of course we need free speech in a dEmoCracY lol. I am super bad at reviewing books as anyone on here who follows me can likely attest but this is an amazing accomplishment and you should read it nowweww. It took me two days to get through it and that last chapter about the convergence of big tech and surveillance and IF is just 🔥🔥🔥. I am 100% using it in class next semester. Damn. I wish I had something substantive to say about this book other than read it, fuckos, but I'm hungry and tired so sorrryyyyy. Only complaint: no mention of libraries in here.

Braiding Sweetgrass (Hardcover, 2013, Milkweed Editions) 4 stars

As a botanist, Robin Wall Kimmerer has been trained to ask questions of nature with …

read it

4 stars

I think there's way more to get out of this than I did on a first go-round. I didn't realize it was as upstate NY as it is, but I feel like I see my home in a series of whole new lights after reading this. Nourishing and encouraging at the face but wistful mournful in the bones.

Too Smart (Paperback, The MIT Press) 4 stars

Who benefits from smart technology? Whose interests are served when we trade our personal data …

excellent

4 stars

Nothing here was especially new to me, but that's fine - I'm always on the lookout for a good succinct relatively accessible book to use in class and/or book clubs, and this is a strong candidate. It's well written -- glib and straightforward, and yet with enough hope & inspiration for a better version of our current technoshitworld that it's pretty inspirational. I grabbed a bunch out of the notes section to track down later and am looking forward to reading several of the cited works soon. PS: there's a chapter called "Pretty Rate Machine" which is just Italian chef finger kiss

The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains (2010) 3 stars

"Is Google making us stupid?" When Nicholas Carr posed that question, in a celebrated Atlantic …

better/more interesting than I thought but still very much written by a white dude

3 stars

I generally enjoyed reading this and appreciated that libraries were given a pretty decent analysis, which is definitely not something you can say about all books in this general "reflective tech" genre. It is overwhelmingly based on the conclusions and musings of middle-aged white men - most egregiously in the beginning before we start to get into the meat of how Carr surmises the internet has changed our brains. But he has many good insights here about how the nature of how info is presented to us determines how we use it and what we get out of it. For my anecdatal $0.02, I think I probably succumbed to the shallowing effect 10-15 years ago but steadily have grown out of it, mostly by spending a lot more time reading books than I was at that time. Interesting to contrast the techlash of a decade ago - are we getting …