jml's notebook

Some more non-fiction reads

This clears out the non-fiction part of my non-blogged backlog.

Unf*ck Your Habitat, Rachel Hoffman

Our cleaner returned home for lockdown, and it soon became clear that I needed to take drastic action.

I picked up this book on DRMacIver's recommendation, and found it really valuable.

Highlights for me:

I think I knew literally every thing this book had to say, but that's not the point. It's about communicating a mindset, not facts.

Against the Grain, James C. Scott

The author of Seeing Like a State wrote a book about the earliest states. Specifically, about the relationship between the structure of these states and the crops they chose to grow.

The blurb promises more than it delivers, but that's OK. It's still a good book.


Like James C. Scott's other books, I'm sure this would benefit from re-reading.

Capitalist Realism, Mark Fisher

Why is it easier to imagine the end of the world than to imagine a world without capitalism?

That's the main question in this book, and I honestly cannot remember the answer.

The process of getting there is interesting though, citing films such as Children of Men (not the book) and Office Space (not the comic).

It's been a while since I've read this, but I recall that the prose was denser than it needed to be. Picking a page at random:

It is evident that the theme of sterility must be read metaphocially, as the displacement of another kind of anxiety.

It's not awful, but it's not direct either. Why not, "Sterility is a metaphor for a different anxiety"?

Anyway, I can neither recommend nor warn away from this book. I want to read it again, because the aesthetics of late-stage capitalism are interesting.