Summer of Books 2019

Ezra Eeman
Jun 27, 2019 · 3 min read

Novels in nature! Books on the beach! Don’t know what to read? Here are some suggestions. From media essays to Japanese fiction, here’s everything to satisfy your hunger for books.

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MEDIA/TECH

1. Hello World by Hanna Fry.

Hannah Fry takes us on a tour of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of the algorithms that surround us. In Hello World she lifts the lid on their inner workings, demonstrates their power, exposes their limitations, and examines whether they really are an improvement on the humans they are replacing.

2. Automating the News by Nicholas Diakopoulos

In this lively exposé, Nicholas Diakopoulos takes a look at the rapidly shifting terrain of automated news, focusing on people who tell stories — increasingly with the help of computer algorithms that are fundamentally changing the creation, dissemination, and reception of the news.

TRANSFORMATION/CULTURE/LEADERSHIP

3. Range by David Epstein

In Range author David Epstein makes the case that in most fields — especially those that are complex and unpredictable — generalists, not specialists, are primed to excel. Generalists often find their path late, and they juggle many interests rather than focusing on one. They’re also more creative, more agile, and able to make connections their more specialized peers can’t see.

4. Thinking in Systems by Donella Meadows

Thinking in Systems is a concise and crucial book offering insight for problem-solving on scales ranging from the personal to the global. This essential primer brings systems thinking out of the realm of computers and equations and into the tangible world, showing readers how to develop the systems-thinking skills that thought leaders across the globe consider critical for 21st-century life.

DESIGN/Innovation

5. Curation by Michael Bhaskar

In a world of excess, the act of selecting, refining and arranging to add value helps us overcome information overload. In Curation, Michael Bhaskar reveals how a little-used word from the world of museums is becoming a crucial business strategy for the 21st century.

6. The Beauty of Everyday Things by Soetsu Yanagi

In an age of feeble and ugly machine-made things, the essays from Soetsu Yanagi call for us to deepen and transform our relationship with the objects that surround us.

LOOKING AT THE WORLD

7. Picnic Comma Lightning by Laurence Scott

Picnic Comma Lightning looks at how digital life is distorting, echoing and magnifying our age-old preoccupation with what is real and what isn’t. Where do we draw the line? How is technology shifting these boundaries? And how do we maintain a sense of reality in an increasingly unreal world?

8. Upheaval by Jarred Diamond

At a time when crises are erupting around the world, Jarred Diamond traces how six countries have survived defining catastrophes revealing the factors that influence how both nations and individuals can respond to enormous challenges.

FICTION

9. Machines Like Me by Ian McEwan

Machines Like Me occurs in an alternative 1980s London and tells the provocative and thrilling tale of a love triangle between an unemployed drifter, a bright student, and a synthetic human.

10. Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata.

A beautiful story of an oddball shop assistant in a Japanese convenience store.

LONGLIST

In case you have an appetite for more here are some other inspiring books for this summer.

11. The Big Picture, The Fight for the Future of Movies by Ben Fritz

12. Underland by Robert Macfarlane

13. The Age of Surveillance Capitalism by Soshana Zuboff

14. The Porpoise by Mark Haddon

15. Ayesha at Last by Uzma Jalaluddin

16. The Wall by John Lanchester

DUTCH

17. Artificial Stupidity door Fredo De Smet

18. The Game door Alessandro Baricco

19. De Goede Zoon door Rob van Essen

20. Dennie is een star door Maartje Wortel

Disclaimer: This is my personal selection for this summer. I yet have to read them but I’m quite certain that these books will not disappoint you. Happy to hear any feedback. Descriptions are pulled from the publishers’ websites.

Ezra.

Shapes & Ideas

Venturing in the adjacent possible; ideas about media…

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