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- The Personality Brokers, Merve Emre: Details the strange pseudoscientific history of personality testing. A good pair with Cathy O’Neill’s Weapons of Math Destruction which details how similar modern pseudoscience is deployed in discriminatory hiring practices. Out in paperback on September 10th.
- In the Woods, Tana French: the first entry in the “Dublin Murder Squad” series, maybe I was just expecting more from this given the praise I’d heard for it. The characters are well written, and you can easily imagine it being a “Line of Duty” style TV show, but there’s also a surprising amount of ingrained misogyny that I just found off-putting (maybe this is just meant to reflect the male narrator).
- The Days of Abandonment, Elena Ferrante: After finishing the “Neapolitan Novels” I still wanted to read more Ferrante, and I really only have Frantumaglia and The Lost Daughter to read after this. If you enjoy Ferrante, you’ll enjoy this.
- Conversations With Friends, Sally Rooney: something about the directness of this that just made it a compelling read, and it was extremely refreshing to have the novel not do what I expected it to do in several places - which perhaps adds to the realism.
- Convenience Store Woman, Sayaka Murata: a quick, entertaining read that’s a little hard to describe - though about halfway through I realized it has the same energy as the TV show “Baskets”.
- Exit Strategy, Martha Wells: the last of the enjoyable “Murderbot Diaries” series. Sci-Fi with a sense of humor.
- Binti: Home, Nnedi Okorafor: maybe I just waited too long since reading the first entry in this trilogy, but it didn’t quite grab me as much as the first Binti did.
- The Fire Next Time, James Baldwin: still poignant and pertinent. Seeing “make America what it must become” here, now, has an extra punch in the gut to it.
- The Haunting of Hill House, Shirley Jackson: ok, I’ll admit - I read this because I wanted to know what exactly the original source material was for Netflix’s extremely loose TV adaptation. The novel is a nice piece of gothic horror and better than the series. The show also didn’t prepare me at all for how much shade the novel has for Samuel Richardson.
- The second season of AMC’s “Lodge 49” has started airing, and it’s one of my favorite recent TV shows. From a synopsis, you’d think it’s yet another puzzle box TV series that relies on plot twists, but what it is instead is an intensely character-driven meditation on American culture. Despite its high quality, it doesn’t seem to have any viewership, so I’m doing my best to evangelize it in the hopes that it doesn’t get cancelled. The first season is now streaming on Hulu in the US, and these articles might be a good entry into the series if you’re skeptical:
- 10 Books About Race to Read Instead of Asking a Person of Color to Explain Things to You
- Inside the African essay factories that churn out university coursework for 115,000 cheating British students every year
- Brillionaire’s Club, Sententiae Antiquae
- BMCR: Michael Roberts, Venantius Fortunatus: Poems. Dumbarton Oaks medieval library - this review makes me want to track down a copy of this book.
- BMCR: Adrienne Mayor, Gods and Robots: Myths, Machines, and Ancient Dreams of Technology - Mayor’s Gods and Robots has been on my to-read list for a while.
- Absorption edge sensitive radiography and tomography of Egyptian Papyri
- Preservationists Are Saving Video Game History, One Upload at a Time
- “Blast processing” in 2019: How an SNES emulator solved overclocking