No Place to Hide, a review

No Place to Hide by Glenn Greenwald isn’t exactly a hyped book. But when I spotted it going for free at my old work, I couldn’t resist it. It’s all about Edward Snowden’s NSA leak which is something I’ve wanted to learn more about.

This was incredibly interesting. Greenwald is actually the journalist whom Snowden worked with to release the data, meaning that we get a full rundown of the events. We learn who Greenwald was prior to all this (and a little bit about Snowden too), and how Snowden got in contact with him in the first place. We learn about how Greenwald’s husband was impacted, as well as Greenwald himself. And all of this is on top of what we learn about the leaks themselves.

Greenwald isn’t great at tech, he makes that clear through a few anecdotes of Snowden struggling to get him to use encrypted methods of communication. However, this means that we get some pretty basic and easy to understand explanations of the information that he’s included in this book.

One thing I will never get over is the ridiculous PowerPoint presentations that had been used by the NSA. Now PowerPoint is a great tool, but why was a government organisation using the old rainbow WordArt effect? 😂

I did try and run this through CAWPILE, but in 2021 there wasn’t a non-fiction rating available so I was basically just trying to make it equal my actual rating! So. I gave this book a solid 4 star rating.

If you’re at all interested in this topic, I think this is a really great book to fill up and I’m glad I’ve got this on my non-fiction shelves!

Hyped vs Unknown Books

With so many books out there it can be hard to find that 5 star needle hiding in a 3 star haystack! So often we’ll follow the heard. Hyped books must be hyped for a reason right? Meaning they’re more likely to be a great read. So quite often we’ll push them to the front of the queue before other, less well known works.

I’m just as guilty of this as anyone, maybe more so! But sometimes I need a little reminder that it’s not always the best way to read. I get these reminders from time to time. Sometimes it’s a book that’s been on my shelves for many moons that I’ve finally picked up, sometimes it’s a book a friend has forced me to read, and sometimes it’s my own inner curiosity shining through!

This time? My curiosity! I picked up a book on the NSA leaks from a little free table at work back in January when I still worked in the office. I thought it sounded quite interesting. Since then I’ve been tempted to unhaul it. I’ve not heard a single mention of it online ever until I specifically went hunting and it’s not something that anyone else would care about. Maybe it just isn’t any good?

Well if you can’t tell, No Place to Hide by Glen Greenwood is my current read and I’m enjoying it so much. To the point where I’m annotating my copy! It’s so interesting, there are so many facts, and I’m loving how it’s written. But it’s also not one I’m likely to give 5 stars nor to recommend to all but a select few people. And yet I’m really glad I picked it up.

So this is your reminder. Pick up that book you bought cause you thought it looked interesting. It might just be better than the latest hyped read!

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: 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!