dean reading

Reviews: nonfiction

It's been a minute since I updated, sorry! In the meantime I have watched most of the first 2 seasons of The Bureau, a French workplace spy drama that my spouse likes more than I do, though I don't dislike it; it's funny that the dramatic music is reserved for workplace confrontations instead of tense moments in Iranian prison.

Binyamin Appelbaum, The Economists’ Hour: Somewhere between an intellectual history and another kind of history: how neoliberal economists took over governments’ thinking about how to run economies.

Lee Vinsel & Andrew L. Russell, The Innovation Delusion: Maintenance is super important, and a lot of things go wrong because it’s sexier to build new things than keep the existing things in good shape. The authors think that our commitment to “innovation” is therefore a mistake, though a new bridge might not be innovative; the “innovation” mindset, they argue, has become a buzzword even as innovations have actually slowed down. I basically agreed but I’m not sure how much I learned.

Justin Gest, Mass Appeal: Communicating Policy Ideas in Multiple Media: Short book with some basics about distilling ideas into topic sentences/tweets/elevator pitches and the like; not novel but might be a useful reference. Important but hard-to-follow advice about reading one’s written work aloud and practicing speeches, ideally in front of someone else.

Andy Mulvihill with Jake Rossen, Action Park: Fast Times, Wild Rides, and the Untold Story of America’s Most Dangerous Amusement Park: Very funny writing (but watch out for the descriptions of grim accidents) recounting the history of Action Park, where fun was always prioritized over safety. The descriptions of the teenage workers’ shenanigans took me back to my own youth, where we did things that were largely less stupid than what these people did, but with the same sense of recklessness and cameraderie.

Daniel M. Lavery, Something That May Shock and Discredit You: Memoir-ish account, punctuated by Lavery’s distinctive imagined conversations/monologues in the voices of historical/literary characters, of his transition and his relationship to transness and religious faith. Reminded me a lot of David Sedaris in exposing his own uncertainties and follies.

James Forman, Jr., Locking Up Our Own: Fantastic exploration of the dynamics that led Black politicians and voters to support tough on crime policies, almost always as part of a more comprehensive education, public health, and anti-poverty policy to protect Black communities. But they only got the tough on crime (and, Forman points out, the hiring of Black police officers, but that didn’t end up helping many Black people who weren’t protected by class position and location outside of poor neighborhoods). It’s a compelling and sad story.

Bonnie Honig, Shellshocked: Essays of feminist criticism in the age of Trump. She argues that shock politics and disaster capitalism are intimately intertwined with misogyny, and starts by performing a close reading of Trump’s family romance with gilding, TV, and monarchical aspirations, down to naming his son Barron, which is also the name he used when he was pretending to be a spokesman for himself. There are some gems in her analysis of pop culture phenomena, such as when she discusses the show Unbelievable by evoking W.E.B. Du Bois’s question “How does it feel to be a problem?” and arguing that the analogous question for misogyny is “How does it feel to be unbelievable?” because un/believability is structural. But I didn’t learn an awful lot.

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

nonfiction

Peter Kolchin, Unfree Labor: American Slavery and Russian SerfdomCollapse )

Robin Wall Kimmerer, Braiding SweetgrassCollapse )
John Harris, The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle PassageCollapse )
David Grann, The Lost City of ZCollapse )
Silvana Condemi & François Savatier, A Pocket History of Human Evolution: How We Became SapiensCollapse )
David Schneider, The Invention of SurgeryCollapse )
Hallie Rubenhold, The FiveCollapse )
Adam Tooze, The Deluge: The Great War, America and the Remaking of the Global Order, 1916-1931Collapse )
Kate Brown, Manual for Survival: A Chernobyl Guide to the FutureCollapse )
David McCullough, The Wright BrothersCollapse )
Richard White, Railroaded: The Transcontinentals and the Making of Modern AmericaCollapse )
Thomas Richards, Jr., Breakaway Americas: The Unmanifest Future of the Jacksonian United StatesCollapse )
Brent Goldfarb & David A. Kirsch, Bubbles and CrashesCollapse )
W. Caleb McDaniel, Sweet Taste of Liberty: A True Story of Slavery and Restitution in AmericaCollapse )
Robert O. Paxton, The Anatomy of FascismCollapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

Fiction

So, that all happened. I am definitely doomscrolling and hope you all are doing ok.

Michael Marshall Smith, The Best of Michael Marshall SmithCollapse )
Alaya Dawn Johnson, Reconstruction: StoriesCollapse )
Arkady Martine, A Desolation Called PeaceCollapse )
Naomi Kritzer, Chaos on CatNetCollapse )
Adrian Tchaikovsky, Someday All This Will Be YoursCollapse )
Adrian Tchaikovsky, IroncladsCollapse )
Brenna Twohy, SwallowtailCollapse )
R.F. Kuang, The Burning GodCollapse )
Jim Butcher, Battle GroundCollapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

Nonfiction

J.D. Dickey, Rising in FlamesCollapse ) 

Denise Pope et al., Overloaded and Underprepared: Strategies for Stronger Schools and Healthy, Successful KidsCollapse )
Adam Hochschild, Spain in Our HeartsCollapse )
Barbara W. Tuchman, Practicing HistoryCollapse )
Steven Johnson, The Ghost MapCollapse )
Rebecca Solnit, Recollections of My Nonexistence: A MemoirCollapse )
Gene Weingarten, One DayCollapse )
Megan Kate Nelson, The Three-Cornered WarCollapse )
Adam Hochschild, Bury the ChainsCollapse )
Karl Jacoby, Shadows at Dawn: A Borderlands Massacre and the Violence of HistoryCollapse )
Brian Deer, The Doctor Who Fooled the WorldCollapse )
Joyce Lee Malcolm, The Tragedy of Benedict ArnoldCollapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

fiction

KJ Charles, The Sugared GameCollapse )
Garth Nix, Shade’s ChildrenCollapse )
Simon Jimenez, The Vanished BirdsCollapse )
Megan Whalen Turner, Return of the ThiefCollapse )Garth Nix, The Left-Handed Booksellers of London:Collapse )
Malka Older, Madeline Ashby, Mishell Baker, Heli Kennedy, E.C. Myers, & Lindsay Smith, Orphan Black: The Next ChapterCollapse )
Zen Cho, The Order of the Pure Moon Reflected in WaterCollapse )
T. Kingfisher, The Hollow PlacesCollapse )
Michael Rutger, The PossessionCollapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

Fiction

Hi, I am not okay, but as someone on Twitter said, I'm doing things I ordinarily enjoy because I don't know what else to do. (Other than volunteer for GOTV activities, which has been surprisingly heartening, though then again I am in a bright blue area.) I hope you all are as well as possible!


Charles Stross, Dead Lies DreamingCollapse )
Emily Tesh, Drowned CountryCollapse )
Alexis Hall, Boyfriend MaterialCollapse )

Adrian Tchaikovsky, The Expert System’s BrotherCollapse )
Adrian Tchaikovsky, FirewalkersCollapse )
Alina Boyden, Stealing ThunderCollapse )
James R. Gapinski, Fruit RotCollapse )
Kameron Hurley, The Light BrigadeCollapse )

A.K. Larkwood, The Unspoken NameCollapse )
Alix E. Harrow, The Ten Thousand Doors of JanuaryCollapse )
Jim Butcher, Peace TalksCollapse )
Lauren Beukes, AfterlandCollapse )
K.B. Wagers, Beyond the EmpireCollapse )
Tamsyn Muir, Harrow the NinthCollapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

Nonfiction

David Sedaris, CalypsoCollapse )
Claudia Rankine, Just UsCollapse )
Janelle Shane, You Look Like a Thing and I Love YouCollapse )

Amy Stanley, Stranger in the Shogun’s City: A Japanese Woman and Her WorldCollapse )
Sarah A. Seo, Policing the Open RoadCollapse )
Alexis Coe, You Never Forget Your FirstCollapse )
J.D. Dickey, Empire of MudCollapse )
Slavery’s Capitalism, ed. Sven Beckert: Collapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

Fiction and Beforeigners

Beforeigners is an HBO show set in Norway, 7 years after people from earlier time periods started appearing in numbers. Meret turned me on to it and it is amazing. Not only are there a ton of witty details about what life would be like, it also has a charismatic lead and some interesting things to say both about (1) immigration/anti-immigrant sentiment and (2) how people get inured to previously unbelievable and you-would-have-thought-intolerable situations, which has obvious relevance to the current situation. People are arriving from a thousand years ago! Ugh, is that still happening? The female lead was a Viking (but we don't use that term any more) shieldmaiden, and warriors aren't supposed to become police officers, so she just told them she was a farmwife, and they had no idea how to evaluate that claim so they believed her. Does have police work, but not US police work, so I hope it's tolerable?

My daughter and I also powered through the new She-Ra, which was great (though I think I still like Steven Universe better). Next up: new season of Lucifer, then probably Legend of Korra.


Veronica Roth, The Chosen OnesCollapse )
K.M. Szpara, DocileCollapse )
T. Kingfisher, A Wizard’s Guide to Defensive BakingCollapse )
Stephen King, If It BleedsCollapse )
The Year’s Best Science Fiction 2019, ed. Jonathan Strahan. Collapse )
Tasha Suri, Empire of SandCollapse )
Edited By, ed. Ellen Datlow: Collapse )
Best of British Fantasy 2019Collapse )
K.B. Wagers, A Pale Light in the BlackCollapse )
K.B. Wagers, After the Crown:Collapse )
Joe Hill & Gabriel Rodriguez, Locke & Key: Welcome to Lovecraft:Collapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.

dean reading

Nonfiction

ETA: Hi, I need distraction. I wish I had something other to offer. I hope everyone is as well as they can be.

T.J. Stiles, The First TycoonCollapse )
T.J. Stiles, Jesse JamesCollapse )
Thomas Piketty, Capital and IdeologyCollapse )
Gregory A. Daddis, Westmoreland’s War: Reassessing American Strategy in VietnamCollapse )
Kate Manne, Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts WomenCollapse )

Laura Spinney, Pale RiderCollapse )
Benjamin E. Park, Kingdom of NauvooCollapse )
Janine Barchas, The Lost Books of Jane AustenCollapse )
William Dalrymple, The AnarchyCollapse )
Rachel Hope Cleves, Charity and Sylvia: A Same-Sex Marriage in Early AmericaCollapse )

comment count unavailable comments on DW | reply there. I have invites or you can use OpenID.