Pretty much a third of my book intake centers on media studies and the places of convergence between tech, science, civics and mass communications. I’m a nerd; this you knew.
In a recently-read Tim Wu book, “The Attention Merchants,” his last chapter touches on the loss of readership for single-interest sites. It really struck a true note, as I used to care about some esoteric things, like PXLvision cameras or Ed Wood films or the history of the SDS. And in the early days of the web, there was a certain excitement in mining for info, finding sites that were specific to these niche interests; no matter how well they executed, it was nice to find fellow travelers in the corners of the Weird Web. In some respects, the personal blog evolved this same sense of loss, with individual citizens moving their musings, their field notes, their writing tests onto social media.
Yesterday, I was contacted by someone who I’d interviewed a time/two over the years, regarding some pretty esoteric public events that he’d thrown over the years. He’d written a piece about Artica and wanted to grab some pics from past years. In fact, he told me, the pics were already in the piece and, well, did I mind if he used them? I didn’t mind. I’m glad someone/anyone takes the time to sketch out long pieces under their own banner and if some long-forgotten pictures help the story along, great.
For me, the following was an unexpected, entertaining read. Maybe you’ll find it the same: Artica and the Essence of Wabi-Sabi by Lew Blink.
Happy web surfing, dudes.
January: The Other Wes Moore: One Name, Two Fates by Wes Moore; You Think It, I’ll Say It: Stories, by Curtis Sittenfeld; The Attention Merchants: The Epic Battle to Get Inside Our Heads by Tim Wu; Digital Renaissance: What Data and Economics Tell Us About the Future of Popular Culture by Jared Waldfogel
February: Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc. by Jeff Tweedy; The Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates; The Big Switch: Rewiring the World from Edison to Google by Nicholas Carr
March: Farm City: The Education of An Urban Farmer by Novella Carpenter; The Freedom Manifesto by Tom Hodgkinson; The Truths We Hold by Kamala Harris; Free Will by Sam Harris; This Will Only Hurt a Little by Busy Phillips; Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow by Yuval Noah Harari
April: Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari; Shake the Devil Off by Ethan Brown; Less Than Zero by Bret Easton Ellis; Gone Feral by Novella Carpenter; The View From Flyover Country: Dispatches from the Forgotten America by Sarah Kendzior
May: State of the Union by Nick Hornby; Flat Broke with Two Goats by Jennifer McGaha; No Walls and the Recurring Dream by Ani Difranco; Lafayette Square: An Urban Renaissance by Timothy Conley; Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion by Sam Harris
June: How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan;
July: The St. Louis Anthology edited by Ryan Schuessler; Ship It by Britta Lundin; How Soon is Never? by Mark Spitz; St. Louis Sound by Steve Pick & Amanda Doyle; Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
August: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Number One Chinese Restaurant by Lillian Li
September: Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell; How to Stop Time by Matt Haig; Born a Crime by Trevor Noah; Possum Living by Dolly Freed; Waiter Rant: Confessions of a Cynical Waiter by Steve Dublanica
October: Waiting: The True Confessions of a Waitress by Debra Ginsberg; Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld; Raised in Captivity: Fictional Nonfiction by Chuck Klosterman
November: The Lifespan of a Fact by John D’Agata and Jim Fingal