2014 in Books

(elkement. Created: 2015-04-01. Tags: Books, Reading, Philosophy. German Version.)

I have been chronicling the books I have read on my blog since 2012. For 2014 I wanted to do something different: I created the virtual equivalent of Book Spine Poetry.

This page here (on e-stangl.at) seems not fit into my overall system of writing and curating content in different places. But on the other hand I had once started the first list here, stating that what you write about books says more about you than about the books.

Last year I read mainly about:

IT security and related culture and history. I'd attribute this to nostalgic flashback and the feeling I can and should tell some funny anecdotes many years after they had happened.

Sleep research. I believe that sleep is underrated and professions are self-selecting. I am a different being when I can sleep in harmony with my inner clock. I have briefly reviewed three of these books in my blog posting on hacking the biological clock - written under the impression of the upcoming most hated Sunday of the year, end of March 2014.

Technology and its interdependence with work and life. I wrote only three posts that might qualify as book reviews, and they represent my inner inconsistency and ambiguous thoughts:

  • Nicholas Carr's thoughtful critique of too much automation. Though I was some sort of tech professional, maybe even an evangelist, most of life, it struck a chord with me. Not only am I bragging about using a scythe tongue-in-cheek, but I sometimes prefer the less automated and 'smart' solution. I can relate to architects and photographers renouncing of software voluntarily.
  • Automattic's (WordPress') way of organizing its global workforce. I also enjoy working 'remotely' and communicate 'asynchronously'. We have worked in IT like this for a long time, but we have also started to do so in our down-to-earth heat pump projects.
  • Douglas Coupland's Generation X. Gen X’s denial or envy of their boomer parents’ values and social security, and their denial of their considerably younger siblings who are cooler and more career-oriented. Yet, Coupland ends on an optimistic note.

A sign on the path (2014)

Personal website of Elke Stangl, Zagersdorf, Austria, c/o punktwissen.
elkement [at] subversiv [dot] at.