Wednesday, 1 November 2017
twenty-seven word reviews of books read during august, september and october
Nnedi Okrafor’s Binti. Some great aliens in YA novella about Himba girl (Namibia) leaving home (in various senses) for offworld uni. A fiction about being tough enough to wage peace.
Ken MacLeod's Corporation Wars: Dissidence. Emergent sentience, exo-mining, simulated simulations, political mistrust, relatable robots; the alt-right “fancying themselves elite while… outstripped economically by the Chinese and intellectually by their own phones.” Enjoyed.
Angela Nagle's Kill All Normies: Online Culture Wars From 4Chan And Tumblr To Trump And The Alt-Right. Field-guide: ‘alt-lite’ (nasties, contrarian outrage-merchants), hard ‘alt-right’ (extreme racists, fascists), 4Chan, Pepe. Some ultra-left trends – Situationism, Yippies, valuation of ‘transgression’ for own sake – may’ve fed the beast.
Juliet Jacques' Trans: A Memoir. Narrates author’s trans journey, reflecting on school, family, literature, art/ LGBT cinema, theory, journalism, fear, violence, student debt, admin jobs, football (Norwich supporter, “someone has to be”).
Tessa Hadley, London Train Two stories; main character in one =incidental character in second; otherwise, links are geographical, thematic: London, Wales, climate fear, love affairs, passage of time, cups of coffee.
John Williams' My Son’s Not Rainman: One Man, One Autistic Boy, A Million Adventures. Writer’s gift for telling observations, funny lines (he does stand-up) mediates the intimacy of this readable account of autism (son) and nervous breakdown (dad). Myth-busting, tough, hopeful.
Daniel Siegel & Tina Payne Brayson's The Whole-Brain Child, 12 Proven Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind. Like Gottman, a ‘grower’ for me; the more I reflect on the hand model and other metaphors and strategies here, the more depth and applicability I find.