Also of interest…
In discontents of the digital age
Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
by Jaron Lanier (Holt, $18)
Jaron Lanier’s slim new book begins as a polemic but “becomes something much more profound,” said Zoe Williams in TheGuardian.com. The complaints that the onetime Silicon Valley pioneer voices about social media’s toxic effects may echo thoughts you’ve had yourself, yet each chapter is built around a principle “so elegant, sometimes even so beautiful,” you will see humanity more clearly—and fear more deeply what our devices are doing to us.
Live Work Work Work Die
by Corey Pein (Metropolitan, $28)
Corey Pein’s “exhausting, one-note” memoir “captures something essential about Silicon Valley that has eluded other authors,” said Nikil Saval in The New York Times. Pein, having been burned by two startups, devised a startup of his own that promised clients that it could destroy rivals by unionizing their shops. Though “an aura of laziness pervades the exercise,” Pein’s account of his bid for vengeance shows us what failure looks like in a land defined by jackpots but where failure is more common.
by Nick Drnaso (Drawn & Quarterly, $28)
“This is the best book I’ve read this year,” and it made me feel terrible, said Mike Donachie in the Toronto Star. Nick Drnaso’s “masterful” graphic novel is about the disappearance of the young woman of the title, and about how the tragedy affects people in her inner circle and beyond. “It’s more than that, though.” When a murder video surfaces and a deluge of conspiracy theories follows, Sabrina becomes a story about the times we live in, how we are isolated by our hyperconnectedness.
Custodians of the Internet
by Tarleton Gillespie (Yale, $30)
Most social media companies prefer not to fully reveal how they police user-generated content, said Anna Lauren Hoffman in Science. But Microsoft researcher Tarleton Gillespie has written an “accessible and wide-ranging” introduction to the field. Though Gillespie’s account can be “frustratingly apolitical,” he explores nearly every facet of how content deemed objectionable is—or isn’t—filtered out, all with a keen awareness that debates about free expression online have grown more fraught.