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2021 book stats
3 books started
3 books finished
1,280 pages read
45% digital
80% fiction
55% by non-white-guys Why does this matter?
A Novel
Robinson, Kim Stanley
read on May 26, 2021

I think a lot of climate change articles I've read do a poor job of contextualizing the actual impact of climate change. They will say things like "the polar ice caps are melting at X cubic meters per day", or "sea level will rise by Y inches by 2050", or even "average temperatures will go up globally by Z degrees", but I hadn't really seen something that describes what impact that will really have on the world. What will that make my life like? Or other peoples lives? What will be the inevitable sociopolitical consequences of this?

This book addresses those questions head on, in interesting ways. For me I guess the most interesting were:

  • The general physiological impact that it will have on people, particularly those who survive famines / heat waves, etc.
  • The non-centralized approach to solving climate change - each nation addresses the issue independently, somewhat proportional to their population's impact from climate change.
  • The effect of terrorism post tipping point - particularly targeting carbon profiteers or those who still use carbon-heavy processes (planes)
  • The general ingenuity of addressing the problem from so many angles.
  • Really liked the plot line around carbon coins - a crypto currency backed by carbon sequestration, and supported by G8 federal banks.

It's a long book, probably too long, but it really does a great job describing the world we're quickly running towards. At times its rightfully terrifying.

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Elliott, Alicia
read on May 26, 2021

This is billed as a collection of essays, but that doesn't do it justice. It's not quite an autobiography either, nor is it memoir. But it is an absolute tour de force. Elliot's perspective and lived experience is deeply powerful, even to someone like myself who frankly had so little overlap or sympathy, though that of course made it all the more urgent of a read. Some of it was very uncomfortable. Some of it I didn't 'agree' with (to whatever extent one can disagree with this kind of writing, which is not explicitly persuasive but obviously does persuade). But all of it felt deeply essential, and raw, and authentic. The writing is just absolutely fantastic. Really, spectacularly good.

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A Novel
Mengiste, Maaza
read on January 3, 2021

A fine fiction book, but this didn't really move me one way or the other. It had split narratives, employed a bit oddly, where I didn't care much at all about the B-story and so ignored it a bit, and then sooner or later the whole thing sort of shifted to the B-story, which was a bummer.

I had no idea that Italy invaded Ethiopia during WWII though, that was really something.

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