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How to Do Nothing (Hardcover, 2019, Melville House) 4 stars

In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and …

Review of 'How to Do Nothing' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Pretentious, inconsistent and unpragmatic. Four Thousand Weeks is a much better philosophical self help book, while Stolen Focus is a much better deep dive on the technology industry. This occupies a fluffy area in the middle, where the only practical advice given is to start birdwatching.

There are glimmers of interesting points about the impact of social media on activism and how the attention economy disproportionately affects different groups, but that is overshadowed by the rest. There are half baked ideas throughout, e.g. bioregionalism - given half a page of explanation before she strays off into waffle again. Frequent diversions to talk about modern and performance art honestly alienate all but those that are fully immersed in that sphere (that is not inherent to the topic - it is her tone that makes it unrelatable). Overall an unsatisfying read with little to take away from it.

Anxious People (2020, Atria Books) 4 stars

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of A Man Called Ove and “writer …

Review of 'Anxious People' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

3.5 stars. I liked this book and it was super readable, but sometimes too readble - it's a bit of an onslaught of back to back dialogue and narration which was kind of tiring! I did like the characters though and enjoyed the ending. I was also very surprised by how the story turned out, there was some misdirection that worked very well.

The Greek islands (1978, Viking Press) No rating

Review of 'The Greek islands' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

I did not fully finish this, but I read more than half while visiting the Greek islands. It gave a really nice context to my trip, and I got into the writing pretty well. It was interesting to see how much has changed since he wrote it. However there was such a heavy reliance on Greek myths I didn't know that I felt a little lost at times.

'Salem's Lot (1991) 4 stars

Author Ben Mears returns to ‘Salem's Lot to write a book about a house that …

Review of "'Salem's Lot" on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

2.5 stars. I liked the main characters, especially Mark and Ben, but it was rather relentlessly depressing in multiple ways. The main story is one bad thing after another, but the side characters beating eachother and hitting their babies, horrible pervy men and rape scenes... All that felt very unnecessary and without nuance. I recently read The Outsider, in which arguably the victims are worse off - but the overall story is more optimistic and I enjoyed it a lot more. I guess that's the difference between a second book and a 58th book!