Broad Band: The Untold Story of the Women Who Made the Internet by Claire L. Evans, VICE futures editor and lead singer of the band YACHT. She presents the first social history of women and the internet. These innovators, concentrating where computers have made our lives better, richer, and more connected, are the unsung heroes of network culture. The book features women who have pioneered technology, like Ada Lovelace, Grace Hopper, Stacy Horn, as well as database poets, desktop thespians, cyber-ingenues, glass ceiling-shattering entrepreneurs, and the self-proclaimed “biggest bitch in Silicon Alley.” You can read an interview with the author here, and a book recommendation from the editors of Scientific American.
Circe by Madeline Miller. In the house of Helios, god of the sun and mightiest of the Titans, a daughter is born. But Circe is a strange child–not powerful, like her father, nor viciously alluring like her mother. Turning to the world of mortals for companionship, she discovers that she does possess power–the power of witchcraft, which can transform rivals into monsters and menace the gods themselves. With unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language and page-turning suspense, Circe is a triumph of storytelling, an intoxicating epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, as well as a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man’s world. Read reviews here, here, and here. You may also like this interview with the author.
How To Break Up with Your Phone by Catherine Price. Packed with tested strategies and practical tips, this book is the essential, life-changing guide for everyone who owns a smartphone. Is your phone the first thing you reach for in the morning and the last thing you touch before bed? Do you frequently pick it up “just to check,” only to look up forty-five minutes later wondering where the time has gone? Do you say you want to spend less time on your phone–but have no idea how to do so without giving it up completely? If so, this book is your solution. You can read some of her advice in this NYT article.
I Am, I Am, I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death by Maggie O’Farrell. Ann Patchett had this to say about this book: “I Am I Am I Am is a gripping and glorious investigation of death that leaves the reader feeling breathless, grateful, and fully alive. Maggie O’Farrell is a miracle in every sense. I will never forget this book.” This astonishing memoir recounts the near-death experiences that have punctuated and defined her life. Seventeen discrete encounters with Maggie at different ages, in different locations, reveal a whole life in a series of tense, visceral snapshots. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself. In taut prose that vibrates with electricity and restrained emotion, O’Farrell captures the perils running just beneath the surface, and illuminates the preciousness, beauty, and mysteries of life itself.
Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala. In the long-anticipated novel from the author of the critically acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, a revelation shared between two privileged teenagers from very different backgrounds sets off a chain of events with devastating consequences. It explores what it means to be different in a fundamentally conformist society and how that difference plays out in our inner and outer struggles. It is a novel about the power of words and self-identification, about who gets to speak and who has the power to speak for other people. You can read reviews here, here, and here.