#boutofbooks 17: summary of summaries!

So I participated boutofbooks 17, and it felt like a really productive one. I did not participate in the twitterchats *sad trombone* and did not do any challenges, because that did just not fot my (BUSY!) week.

My totals (since I love numbers!)
I listened to 105 minutes of audiobook, read 966 pages, finished 5 books and started 5 books (but one was almost done when starting this week, and one I started and did not finish yet).

This readathon kickstarted my reading again. I am a lean mean reading machine, peeps! Beware or I’ll hit you with hardbacks and punch you with pages!

(Can you tell I had a busy day at work and need ro release some stress xD)

For your calenders: next BoutOfBooks will be the first week of 2017!

Review: The Circle by Dave Eggers

I had heard about THE CIRCLE. I mean, I work in IT, I know people who read books, and some of those people tend to go for the bestseller-kind-of-book, and this book got a lot of traction. So I knew it was about privacy and something google-like, and that people found the ideas scary and fascinating. Then my book club proposed us reading it, and I fully supported this idea. We tend to read non-fiction, so doing fiction is a nice change of pace for a change, and it’s a topic I have opinions on, so all seemed swell.

And oh boy, did I have Opinions! (And those Opinions will contain spoilers, so don’t read on if you mind those).  For me it was a quick and fast-paced read, some fastfood inbetween more nourishing reading. I ended up being so annoyed that I had to tweet about it (sorry tweeps!).

I really disliked the main character however, but how she was as a person and how she must have been “set up” by Eggers. I suppose he wanted a protagonist through which he could explain all of the Circle, the fictional google-esk company that gives the book it’s title and is overtaking the whole internet with the unification of all it’s services from facebook to banking to collecting all of the data. However, that did create a protagonist who is so much like a blank slate, that she has no personality of her own. She seems constantly only being imprinted by the people – men – she meets (even her body is described by how it got more attractive to men when she gained some curves after puberty; male gaze much?).

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She completely internalizes the philosophy of the Circle, becomes a spokesperson because she starts to wear a webcam-camera 24/7 (well… except bathroom visits and sleeping).The people that disagree with this, with her being so-called Transparent and the Circle’s way in general, are being portrayed as ungrateful and horrible. Mostly so her ex-boyfriend Mercer; he is being called fat and ugly multiple times throughout the book. Because being fat is the worst thing a person can be of course.

There is also casual poly-shaming. There is a comparison of people who rule companies that go for less privacy to nazi’s. And yes, of course those are just the opinions of the characters in the book, and fictional characters can say what they want, but it makes the whole book unlikable for me, since it’s seems unnecesary. If you think companies that want global surveillance for everyone are horrible, than say they are horrible. If you need an example of news that might come out that would horrify people, than don’t take the situation that one’s parents probably have or had open relationship; there is much more horrible stuff out there that does not involve people who all gave consent (yeah, I know it’s just a starter for reveiling something *really* bad, but an open relationship being portrayed as something you should be shamed for, rubs me the wrong way).

In our real, actual world we have Google and Facebook. They know much about everyone, and we often don’t know or don’t want to know how much and how they got this knowledge.Everyone is different with how the care about this. Some people (try) not to use these sites and all the (virtual) products they own. Some embrace part. Some use all and share “everything”. Not to mention that even though the internet is widespread, it is not accesible to everyone (and there is censure going on, in China, Turkey, other countries). The fact this book made all the people in the world seem as it was one homogonous group, was too farfetched for me. It also made it very western-centric, which isn’t a problem it itself, but then please don’t make it sound like it’s the whole world you’re influencing.

The book also seemed to have the underlying idea that always being connected to others over the internet, makes people needy and sensitive to possible social rejection. Again there is a generalization that this’ll work for all people, while it is way more diverse. This seems much more a personality and anxiety thing than a general rule. People are different in how much they want to give up in privacy for products. Although I must admit that general awareness of sharing things online, and how it can backfire, should get better (she said, while writing a blogpost for all the world to see).

 

It’s time for #boutofbooks again! YAY!

Bout of BooksThe Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

I’m joining this time again, full-on! I actually have the day off tomorrow, so I can spend, most of my day reading! My workdays will be a bit shorter than usual (I work in IT at a school nowadays, and the students still have spring-holiday next week, so there is less need of my services), which also equals more reading time. And next weekend is also delightfully empty and this means EVEN MORE READING OPPURTUNITY! I might go to the sauna on sunday though. Which just means reading while naked.

I went goalless the last few times, which I enjoyed. The only thing I am changing this year is that I am doing some sort of TBR, which consists of the following physical books:

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I also have some ebooks I want to finish or dive into, and will continue an audiobook on my commute (at the parts where I can’t read).

A list of the aforementioned books (because lists are lovely):

  • De dinosauriërs: ontdekkingen, soorten, ondergang
  • Man en vrouw – Margaret Mead
  • Grief is the thing with feathers – Max Porter
  • Boven Water – Margaret Atwood
  • Priestess of the white – Trudi Canavan
  • Halting state – Charless Stross
  • The bonds of love – Jessica Benjamin
  • Exile – Chris Ward
  • Lean IT: Enabling and Sustaining Your Lean Transformation
  • Rendezvous with Rama – Arthur C Clarke

And now I’m off to bed (after preparing a batch of cold brew to drink tomorrow <3), and really looking forward to tomorrow!

#boutofbooks starts TOMORROW!

… and as the picture shows, I am an expert this time, which means I’ll do my usual cheering, but now I will be OFFICIAL and stuff ;) I’ve been participating every time since I discovered this readathon about 2.5 years ago, and it’s one of my favourite things of the year, so I am happy to help the awesome Amanda and Kelly who have been organizing this read-fest for the past 14 (FOURTEEN!) times. This is the 15th. Will you join us?

I decided to not do ARC’s this year, so I am reading complete range free (which is weirdly paralyzing). I’ll have the following goals next week:

  • Read (or at last start) one of the books on feminism I acquired last year
  • Read a book made of paper
  • Read a book/anthology of short stories
  • Participate in at least one challenge (besides the intro one)

And besides this I’ll spend some of my commute on twitter, and reading and commenting on other blogs. So, if you want me to drop by this week, leave a link in the comments :)

Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon: in tweets

I’m… late to this readathon-review party. Life has this thing of getting in the way, and this time it was my girlfriend moving  (so there was painting, and all that stuff) and starting a new job. And I spend lots of time with my boyfriend, which was lovely. All this left little time for blogging though!

So, I read two-and-a-half books this time around. Which I see as quite the achievement, since I only read a small part of the 24 hour hours (because of aforementioned boyfriend and girlfriend, and my attachment to 8 hours of sleep).

There was lots of reading in public transport:

And last but not least, next time we really should make #drunkreadathon a thing!

(It was ginger beer with gin, for the curious among us)

I had a lot of fun this time, especially because I did not pressure myself to do anything. Only to read and tweet when I felt like it, and not more. I think this’ll be my strategy next time around as well. I’m starting to like this “no goal” thing.

How did you people fare?

Dewey’s 24-hour-readathon April 2015: I signed up!

Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon

So. I signed up. This time in time, instead of just hours before the start. I even already have some sort of a TBR in place:
This is what I might or might not read this readathon

But I know how it goes. It might be that after a bit I’ll feel more like more science fiction, more non-fiction, more short books, a long book, a re-read. Stuff might change any time.

So, the only thing still left is some administrative stuff (creating a goodreads shelf for this readathon, maybe even pre-format some blogposts) and making sure all the foods are ready. If you participate, what will you be snacking on?

Bout of books 11: Flailing not failing!

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

This must be the 4th time I participate in this event. The first two times, I just tweeted about it. Then I started blogging. I usually set goals on when I’ll read and how much I’ll participate in the twitter-chats (which are really awesome) and other community-centered-things, like the challenges.

This time, I am going in with NO goals.

Well, actually, it might be one goal:

Relax and have fun.

I am looking forward to reading, getting to know new people and new blogs, cheering everyone on, adding way too many books to my TBR-pile, and the feeling of togetherness that always arises during this weeklong reading marathon. And now say it all with me: FLAILING NOT FAILING!