Book Reviews

goodreads but better. greatreads

Going to try and read N books in 2022 (50? Maybe insane)


The Utopia of Rules

Very meandering book, not entirely sure what the main "thesis" was. An analysis of bureaucracy and how it is pervasive in not just public but private life. Got me thinking about the stultifying aspects of bureaucracy in my daily life, and how bureaucracy exists to dominate and control. Graeber makes the good point that our political imagination since the 70s has been almost nonexistent, and that computing / technology doesn't really serve the imagination, but is primarily used and designed for filling out forms.

fungirl by elizabeth pich

This was a graphic novel released by a local publisher. It was very funny and well done.

Atomic Habits

I read this based on a recommendation from my work's internal slack's "career club" channel. I rarely read this kind of self help book. I thought it was OK but a lot of the observations were a bit cliche, like things borrowed from other books in this genre. I'm not entirely sure why it is as popular as it is. I also don't really feel like it has much of a coherent "system" as much as books like e.g. "getting things done" (which I also read). Maybe that's good. Inspired me to start to develop some positive habits though, which I am working on, and maybe will track on flounder

Nietzsche -- The Anti-Christ

This was mostly kind of boring relative to the other Nietzsche I've read. Mostly about 19th century Christianity. I thought the insights on Buddhism were good.


The Right to Sex: Feminism in the Twenty-first Century by Amia Srinivasan

A collection of essays exploring difficult contemporary questions regarding sex and feminism, named after its titular essay, which originally asked the question, regarding incels, does anyone have a right to sex? Her answer is, of course, no, but along the way, she asks pointed questions about the politics around who and what we desire.

Jaron Lanier "Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now"

A bit kooky, but I agree with the arguments. Reads kind of like RMS's blog. In some ways, he feels like an "insider's outsider", like Thomas Piketty or (that guy who writes for newsweek)

Nadia Eghbal "Working in Public"

An insightful and thorough investigation into open source. I don't agree with all her conclusions: she seems bound within the existing structural framework of Big Tech -- as one would expect from a member of the Ford Foundation. But overall it was a good read, and inspired me to think about my relationship with open source.