Books I read in May, 2020

The books and my thoughts

It’s strange to only have 2 finished books here. I blame the long book queues on Libby.

Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener

Uncanny Valley is Anna Wiener’s memoir of her foray into Silicon Valley. Her disappointment with the tech landscape is as valid (if not more) now as it was in 2013 when she initially started working in tech.

The book hooks you in with the author’s observation on the delusion of the tech industry and then makes you think about the influence of technology on culture, politics and laws. One thing that did irk me in the book: the author’s commentary on women in tech. One example: When going to the Grace Hopper Conference, the author reduces Admiral Grace Hopper to just another military technologist. Not acceptable in my book where female role models in technology are far and few.

This book made me nod along and ruminate about the flaws the author brings up about the current state of tech in the U.S and made me think. Great, I know there something is wrong. What am I doing about it?

The Testaments by Margaret Atwood

Margaret Atwood’s first novel The Handmaid’s Tale makes you think that the current climate we live in was modeled upon Gilead. Does that mean that The Testaments offers us hope for the future? You see the same Gilead you did in The Handmaid’s Tale with the glimmer of a rebellion. And it is this glimmer, that makes The Testaments more “fun” to read than its predecessor.

While I was disappointed to not hear June’s side of the story in this book, learning about Aunt Lydia’s past and how she came to her current position was insightful.

On my 2020 reading list

Non Fiction

Fiction

Looking for recommendations

Earlier this month I shared my reading goals from here on, so inline with that I am looking for recommendations in the following areas:

  • Poetry
  • Urdu fiction – please note I haven’t read Urdu in 11 years, so any recommendations should be geared towards absolute beginners.
  • Audiobooks – I am going to start running again and am looking for audiobook recommendations to listen to while I run.

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