User Profile


Joined 1 year, 10 months ago

follow me @eminencefont on twitter; I blog at I am a library director/career librarian and huge supporter of libraries and I love books and this is my thingy where I will tell you about the books I am reading okay bye

This link opens in a pop-up window

callan's books

View all books

User Activity

Lurking: How a Person Became a User (Hardcover, 2020, MCD) 4 stars

A concise but wide-ranging personal history of the internet from—for the first time—the point of …

Internet sociology at its best

5 stars

Loved this and not just because of all the kind words about libraries. As a contemporary of the author, this sounded a lot like my own experience with growing up online. McNeil does a fantastic job detailing the changes in agency & motivation of online “communities” and doesn’t hold back on her criticism of misdirected tech criticism, which I feel like warrants a book all its own (all of the “no one cares about your breakfast” potshots re: Twitter type stuff) - especially how the thinkpieces mistakenly targeted users vs Silly Valley giants for so long. Anyway, this readily makes my shortlist for my critical tech book club/bibliography.

Wayward (Hardcover, 2021, Knopf) 5 stars

upstate NY books are the song of my people

5 stars

I took a long time to finish this and I have no idea why; maybe I was trying to savor it. But I thought this was a truly beautiful portrait of a sad, forgotten city with all kinds of tragic dilapidated weirdness and ruined finery (Syracuse, NY). I lived there over 10 years ago and it was strange yet familiar to see a contemporary portrait - or a portrait of that place that’s been impacted and influenced by the contemporary in a way that seems separate in my mind. One of my favorites this year.

We all looked up (2015) 4 stars

The lives of four high school seniors intersect weeks before a meteor is set to …

touching, absurd, fun YA

4 stars

This book had me pretty hooked until about 2/3 in when everything kinda fell apart, but I still really enjoyed it. I like these “more about the people than the fact they’re getting eviscerated” books. I partially listened to the audiobook, which was fun; it’s great when you’ve got the whole multiple narrator thing going on. (Somehow I missed a huge plot point towards the end while I was listening in my car and I had to go back and reread the end of the ebook, but hey, merging to the Somerville exit going north on 93 is an attention hogging experience, and unrelated to any of this I need to get all four of my goddamn tires replaced. Cars are stupid. Ok bye)

To Be Taught, If Fortunate (Paperback, 2020, Hodder Paperbacks) 4 stars

At the turn of the twenty-second century, scientists make a breakthrough in human spaceflight. Through …

what does anything mean, basically?

4 stars

I really appreciated this book as much as I enjoyed it - not the same thing. I am also a sucker for the Golden Voyage disc, so that drew me in, and all of it together got me thinking deeper than most sci-fi would lead me to do. That titular bit about learning and teaching just nails it. What we do is either important or inconsequential or some mix of both… who ever knows which?

gems in a sea of moderate eye twitching

3 stars

To focus just on the good stuff: I think BB’s thoughts on dehumanization would make good fodder for a meaningful “critical whiteness” training at work, especially in environments where we love to cling to the “unbiased” identity bs. I also very much enjoyed her enthusiasm for finding & not compromising for your authentic self and the chapter on speaking truth to bullshit (though I’m sure ppl’s mileage may vary on the civility bits, because it gets pretty close to respectability politics). There was enough wisdom in this book to help me think critically about some stuff I do and some stuff that surrounds me, and that’s good enough for me.

Detransition, Baby (Hardcover, 2021, One World) 5 stars

A whipsmart debut about three women--transgender and cisgender--whose lives collide after an unexpected pregnancy forces …

one of the best this year

5 stars

Torrey Peters is clearly a super talent, and the way this book weaves between cute & sexual, introspection & snappy conversation, etc is a fantastic accomplishment. The ideas around unscrewing and redefining families give the reader a lot to think about. As a divorced cis woman who has never had any inclination towards having children but has grappled with my own existence in the gray area of masculine & feminine, I felt some validation in my own lack of cleaving to whatever the social expectations are (and I love the idea of not getting burned out in the future because of past relationship nonsense). I really enjoyed this one.

Leave the World Behind (Hardcover, 2020, Ecco) 4 stars

Amanda and Clay head out to a remote corner of Long Island expecting a vacation: …

stuff of nightmares

5 stars

This book was incredible and I don’t want to write anything very detailed about it because it’s really quite something to watch it unfold. I know some people have knocked it for being “yet another dystopia,” but if that’s the only thing they’re getting out of a tightly wound psychological drama that’s far more about race & class than it is the weird shit going bump in the night… then idmfk. But check this out; I gobbled it right down after having trouble focusing on books this month.

If We Were Villains (Paperback, 2018, Flatiron Books) 4 stars

Entreated to tell his side of the story to a detective who put him in …

finally a good book club book

4 stars

This was excellent - creepy and atmospheric af with crystal clear prose and perfect interjections of Shakespeare. Not like anything else I’ve read in a while. I think it’ll get me out of my book slump as of late.