January Physical Book Haul 2021

Is it good or bad that I brought 2 books into my home this month? On the one hand, it’s only two books! On the other? I’m supposed to be getting through my tbr shelves, not adding to them!! I couldn’t resist these books though, I found them in the selection of free books at work and given that I moved to working from home in the middle of January (thank god) I needed to grab these and take them with me when I shifted home!

Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood

First up is Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood. I’ve only ever read The Handmaid’s Tale and The Testaments by Atwood so I would like to branch out to some of her other works. This seems to be a fictionalised account of a real life tale, following a woman who is believed to have committed murder, but the reality may be more complicated than that. A historical fiction set in Canada, I’m really interested in seeing how Atwood takes this story and interweaves truth and fiction, as well as how this stacks up against the facts that we know about the case.

No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the Surveillance State:  Amazon.co.uk: Greenwald, Glenn: 9780241146699: Books

Secondly is No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald. This is a non-fiction work, written by the journalist who published Edward Snowden’s reports gleaned from classified documents. This book starts with Snowden and Greenwald first communicating, it talks about the NSA, and it examines the far reaches of the US government’s surveillance programme, far outside the boundaries of its borders. Whilst I’m not an American, Snowden’s reports were still widely reported in the UK and I didn’t follow them too closely at the time. A mixture of my change in interests and being busy with education. But I’m definitely interested in reading about this now and fingers crossed the book will be interesting!

And those are the two books I grabbed from the pile! There were many more books there but most weren’t the sort I would enjoy and I was trying to not be stupid with the books I was taking! Have you heard of or read either of these? Let me know what you think of them! And let me know which books you brought into your life in January!

So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed

I picked this book up from The Works as I hadn’t looked at any psychology since doing my A level and thought that this looked like an interesting way to get back into it. I’m glad I did as it was very interesting to read about something that is so common in today’s online based culture, but which we normally only see one side of. These people who are punished by the online community often just make a simple mistake, or the situation has been misunderstood, and this can have drastic impacts on them for the rest of their lives. It could reduce the chances of getting a job, finding a romantic partner or even just living a normal life.

The book starts off with Ronson’s own personal experience with this phenomena and shows us where his interest in how other people have reacted and coped comes from, as well as referencing some journal articles which give us some reliable data and information to absorb. The different ways in which people have gone about moving on from intense public shaming were very interesting, and the help available out there is something I had never conceived the existence of, but makes perfect sense once you’re aware of it. Nothing can ever be deleted from the internet.

It’s a very interesting and quick read, as I finished it in less than 2 hours, to learn more about how people interact and behave in todays’ age of Twitter, the Internet and accidental infamy. I very much enjoyed it and want to pick up more books by this author as his writing style flows well and the topics of his other books also look intriguing.