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A Babel Fish Bookshelf

It's that time of year to round up good books. Here's what I've been reading -- and still plan to read.

December 13, 2019
 
 

For years I've kept some sort of record of what I've been reading, though it's not always complete. (I use LibraryThing -- it has both a handy phone app and an excellent privacy policy.) Here are a few books I read this year that I found especially illuminating or enjoyable.

On my librarian shelf I can recommend:

The Revolution That Wasn’t by Jen Schradie -- a fascinating field study of how activists across the political spectrum use technology and why the right is better at it (my review).

The Social Fact: News and Knowledge in a Networked World by John Whibey -- a journalist reflects on how information spreads through social networks and what it means for journalism, engaged citizenship and democracy (my review).

The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Shoshana Zuboff -- an epic investigation into how big data and big tech influence everything, worthwhile, though I had reservations (my review).

How to Do Nothing by Jenny Odell -- technology, art, philosophy, nature; it's a liberal arts meditation on how to approach living in a world shaped by the attention economy (my review).

On my mystery lover shelf I enjoyed:

Your House Will Pay by Steph Cha -- two families whose lives are entwined over an act of violence, and a sensitive exploration of the complexities of racism (my review).

Conviction by Denise Mina -- a rollicking adventure told in a wry Scottish voice that makes you laugh while it delves into internet fame, true crime podcasts, troll armies and female rage (my review).

Curious Toys by Elizabeth Hand -- billed as The Alienist meets The Devil in the White City but utterly original (my review).

Heaven, My Home by Attica Locke -- which single-handedly redeemed the police procedural for me by digging into the complexities of law enforcement for African Americans (my review).

On my to-be-read pile -- added just this week:

Race After Technology by Ruha Benjamin -- how tech encodes racism and inequality.

The Missing Course by David Gooblar -- John Warner recommended this book on college teaching.

Snowden's Box by Jessica Bruder and Dale Maharidge -- the role trust played in getting Edward Snowden's documents to journalists and the role of trust in the age of surveillance.

What books knocked your socks off this year? What are you looking forward to reading?

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