What I’m reading /3

Books

Here are some of the books I’ve been reading over summer.

Julian Barnes’s The Only Story is profound, complex and heartbreaking. Just beautiful writing.

Audree Fletcher’s #ADayIsNotEnough project celebrates women influencing design for social good. It’s an honour (alongside feeling like an imposter) to be included among the women in this book. 

Summer’s reading has been punctuated by being back in Scotland. Leith, Auchtermuchty, Loch Leven, Cleish, Freuchie: poetry in place names. It’s getting harder to leave each time.

Away from reading, Jeremy Deller’s extraordinary, layered film Everybody In The Place has been bobbling in my brain and causing increased plays of Kraftwerk.


The Only Story – Julian Barnes

“Words, once spoken, can’t be unsaid. We may go on as if nothing has been lost, nothing done, nothing said; we may claim to forget it all; but our innermost core doesn’t forget, because we have been changed for ever.”

A Day Is Not Enough – Audree Fletcher

“There isn’t enough gender and ethnic diversity at senior levels in design, research and technology. It’s more than just a pipeline problem, there’s a massive cultural challenge here that we need to fix.”

Free speech – Timothy Garton Ash

“…what matters is not just how we speak, but how we listen.”

The Power – Naomi Alderman

“The shape of power is always the same: it is infinite, it is complex, it is forever branching. While it is alive like a tree, it is growing; while it contains itself, it is a multitude.”

The People Vs Tech – Jamie Bartlett

“Teaching young people how to discriminate between different types of information online is now the single most important skill schools can teach. Every school must teach the critical thinking necessary to navigate the internet sceptically.”

Why Information Grows – César A. Hidalgo

“The fact that matter can compute is one of the most amazing facts of the universe. Think about it: if matter could not compute, there would be no life… Our cells are constantly processing information in ways that we poorly understand.”

Money: An Unauthorised Biography – Felix Martin

“The problem is that money is not really a thing at all but a social technology: a set of ideas and practices which organise what we produce and consume, and the way we live together.”

101 Things I Learned in Architecture School – Matthew Frederick

“Summer people are 22 inches wide. Winter people are 24 inches wide.”

The Undercover Economist – Tim Harford

“Whether because of scarcity power, incomplete information or an externality, when the economy fails to live up to the idealised ‘world of truth’, trouble is in store.”