Posted by & filed under Book Club, Reading and Reviewing. 2 comments

I FINALLY have the chance to catch up on reading this weekend! Come hang out on Twitter & read with me (because who says reading has to be a lonely activity?!) or stick around here for the reviews afterward.  So what are you reading? What books are on your wish list?

Reading Now:
Post Human by David Simpson

Sorry, David Simpson….. I hate your cover. But I am loving* the book.

*Loving: tentatively and with reservations. I’m about halfway through the first Post Human book, and so far enjoying it. The writing is sometimes choppy with disorienting time/perspective jumps, I’m less-than-convinced by the romantic story arcs, and I’m rolling my eyes hard while reading this. BUT despite my efforts not to, I actually kind of like the book…

And, call me escapist if you want, but I really, really need a break from the real world to read some fiction.

 


Hacker, Hoaxer, Whistleblower, Spy by Gabriella Coleman

Ok, so I’m not a total escapist. I do still read non-fiction.

I didn’t think I’d be reading this one, though. Barrett Brown critiqued it and Jeremy Hammond gave his (somewhat more positive) take on the book. Initially, I thought reading the “characters'” stories in their own words would be enough. Who needs an academic with a publishing contract, when the characters are real damn people who can speak for themselves?

But here’s something Jeremy said in his review that finally made me pick up the book:

“We are condemned as criminals without consciences, dismissed as anti-social teens without a cause, or hyped as cyber-terrorists to justify the expanding surveillance state. But hacktivism exists within the history of social justice movements. Hacktivism is still the future, and it’s good to see people still doing something about it.”

I can’t make personal judgements about the stories in this book, because I don’t actually know the people involved. But the stories of hacktivists are historic. Their ongoing battles are history in the making, their cases foundational to the social and judicial order of the digital age. Regardless of whether this book is the definitive corpus of anonthropology (probably not), the subject matter is significant. HHWS, like any book, may just be one flawed view, but it’s a view of an intriguing and notable time and therefore, I think, worth a look.

So I’m giving it a read and coming to my own conclusions.

 

On my wish list:

In Real Life by Cory Doctorow

Here’s one that I really want to read, but haven’t been able to get my hands on yet. The last book I read by Cory Doctorow was Pirate Cinema, which has made it’s way onto my Favorites(EVER) book list, so I really, really, really want to see what he’s come up with since then.

Anyone read this one already?

Here’s the description from Amazon:

“Anda loves Coarsegold Online, the massively-multiplayer role playing game that she spends most of her free time on. It’s a place where she can be a leader, a fighter, a hero. It’s a place where she can meet people from all over the world, and make friends. Gaming is, for Anda, entirely a good thing.

But things become a lot more complicated when Anda befriends a gold farmer — a poor Chinese kid whose avatar in the game illegally collects valuable objects and then sells them to players from developed countries with money to burn. This behavior is strictly against the rules in Coarsegold, but Anda soon comes to realize that questions of right and wrong are a lot less straightforward when a real person’s real livelihood is at stake.”

 

2 Responses to “Reading List!”

  1. raincoaster

    In my opinion HHWS is indeed the definitive corpus of anonthropology. And I know EVERYONE in that book, and have read all the book’s competition, too. Used to be Parmy Olsen’s book We Are Legion, but not anymore.

    Reply
    • AeliusBlythe

      Wow, that’s good to know. I’m sure it’s a very different story from the point of view of someone close to the events, and as I said I definitely can’t judge it from that standpoint. But I know Coleman did work extensively with the people she wrote about, and there must be a lot of value in her thorough, (more) neutral account. I am really looking forward to finishing the book.

      BB seemed to have more, um, interesting things to say about Parmy Olson’s book (though, to be fair, I think pre-Snowden, the Booz Allen stuff was probably treated with suspicion by almost everyone.)

      Reply

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