Memorial Day Weekend Edition: Summer Reading!
Get some more context for Context&Content over the summer!
Hey friends, on 5/31, we are taking a Memorial Day pause from our regular content. Today, I’m going to share some reading suggestions all in one place in case you want to pick up something different for your beach trip this summer!
I’ve chosen some more narrative-focused books for these top reads as I feel like you always need a good story in the summer!
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation. This great narrative history by Jon Gertner tells the story of how one context, Bell Labs, produced many innovations that shaped the 20th Century and still touch our lives today. It ends with a great summary of the contextual elements that brought about the innovation.
Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know about the People We Don't Know. This is a relatively recent one by Malcolm Gladwell unpacking many facets of a communication episode that went wrong. There’s a lot of thinking about content and context packed in here.
The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-but Some Don't. This one is a bit more “propositional” but is a great read about uncertainty. He looks at the stock market, weather forecasting, and predicting earthquakes and breaks down those fields to show how prediction-making works.
Media Ecology Seminar
If you really want to dive into media ecology, here’s a concise progression of books. There are many more books to read on this subject, but I think these will get you off to a great start.
Orality and Literacy (Ong)
Brave New World (Huxley)
Recent Personal Reads
Here are some books that may or may not be related to the above that I’ve recently read that you might also enjoy!
A World Without Email: Reimagining Work in an Age of Communication Overload. I’m a big fan of Cal Newport, and this is a great read about how to re-think “productivity” for our modern work environments.
You Never Forget Your First: A Biography of George Washington. I’m not a big biography reader, but this was a different take on Washington than I’ve ever read. A good read to challenge our ways of remembering people as the purest versions of themselves as, ultimately, we’re all human.
The Anthropocene Reviewed (Signed Edition): Essays on a Human-Centered Planet. I confess I’ve not read this one yet as my wife has been our copy, but I’ve been a listener to the podcast that preceded it from the get-go (listen here for Apple or here for Spotify) and am excited to dive into this one!
Thanks for joining me today for this quick read, and we will see you next on 6/7!