We Have Never Been Middle Class – Hadas Weiss

The trouble with ordering books from Verso, though I love Verso, is that sometimes you get a book that looks really great but turns out to be someone’s dissertation. Not that dissertations are inherently bad, but they’re inherently bad for non-academics. You know what I mean. Can you really have pages where more than half …

How To Break Up With Your Phone – Catherine Price

You know you need this book. We all need this book. Price used herself and her friends as an experiment in breaking the phone addiction, and came up with some pretty good tips and tricks. She leads you through a 30 day Phast (phone fast) right after spending 8 chapters telling you what all that …

Pure America: Eugenics and the Making of Modern Virginia – Elizabeth Catte

I knew I had to pick this one up just based on the title alone. As a Virginian, I know my state carries a hell of a lot of really bad shit tucked up into its secret attics, with eugenics being number two right behind enslavement. For such a mellow state in most ways, we’re …

Feminism for the 99%: A Manifesto – Cinzia Arruzza, Tithi Bhattacharya, Nancy Fraser

I just kept thinking: this is why when the right says liberals are boring and pretentious it rings true. It’s supposed to be a call to arms; a manifesto for shaking things up and calling feminists to the table. And it’s SO BORING to read. I know these ideas, I share these ideas, and yet …

Dirtbag, Massachusetts: A Confessional – Isaac Fitzgerald

Have you ever read a book and thought, I wonder how this person has written my autobiography. Are we all alike? All of us whose parents failed in spectacular ways? All of us who turned the pain into pain that manifested itself outside instead? All of us who decided to obliterate the memories with alcohol? …

You Play The Girl: On Playboy Bunnies, Stepford Wives, Train Wrecks, & Other Mixed Messages – Carina Chocano

Everything you watch and read and come across has a message for you. Chocano tells us about the messages she received as a girl on how to be a girl (from her grandfather’s Playboy magazines and from Barbie). She also decodes everything from Katharine Hepburn’s fight against patriarchy to those fabulous party girls of the …

The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity – David Graeber and David Wengrow

I do love me some anthropology. I love even more when things I learned in college are turned on their heads. A new perspective on some of the same archaeology and ethnography I read way back (20 years ago!?!). This giant book, finished right before Graeber’s untimely death, really does take on everything we think …

2022 Recap: 132 Books

I finished 132 books in 2022. That might be a record. It was ten more books than last year. I averaged 3 days for each book and 110.5 pages a day. Of course, some of those days were zero days and some of them 250 page days. That’s the way the attention span goes. September …

Breaking Things At Work – Gavin Mueller

Reading this at work felt like a flex. I am a giant dork. Do you think you know all about the Luddites? Well, Mueller has a better idea. They weren’t anti-technology but pro worker and pro humane work. Translated to today, that’s the same as people who sabotage delivery bots or scorn the self-driving vehicles. …

Bad Sex: Truth, Pleasure, and an Unfinished Revolution – Nona Willis Aronowitz

Though Nona is a bit younger than I am she grew up in the same stew of sexual freedom and continued misogyny: the 90s & 00s. Through the lens of her own relationships, and through the exploration of the writings of her mom, famous feminist Ellen Willis, Nona gives us more nuance around female sexuality …