books and reading

What I’m Reading and Thinking About This Week

These are the things that got me reading and thinking this week.

“I Have Never Turned Heads”: What It’s Like When You’re Not the Object of Desire (Salon)

I don’t read Salon these days at all, but a really interesting conversation between two YA authors on Twitter brought me to this depresso essay by a woman whose husband has admitted to never being attracted to her body.  The discussion on Twitter was great, and the essay itself is well-written:

My husband is honest enough to say that he has never found my body particularly desirable, but still he asked me out on our first date three years ago because he found my way of being in the world, my sense of humor and my intelligence, sexy. “That matters more,” he says, “and makes you beautiful to me.” Sometimes thatto me breaks my heart a little bit; sometimes it makes me feel loved.

At any rate, it’s worth a read and a ponder.

Books Roxane Gay Has Recommended on Twitter (Book Riot)

Unpopular opinion time: I never understood what The Butter–Gay’s offshoot of The Toast, one of my favorite places on the internet–was trying to do.  So when it was announced recently that they were abandoning the project, I wasn’t sad (and I also wasn’t surprised, which makes me think that maybe my opinion isn’t so unpopular after all).  But I still think Gay has a lot to offer the internet, and her Twitter feed is great.  This is a roundup of the books she’s read and recommended in the past year, and it is a treasure trove.

Welcome to Hell: Apple vs. Google vs. Facebook and the Slow Death of the Web (The Verge)

This is one of those articles that has found me at a particularly apropos time.  I’ve been thinking a lot about ad blockers because I recently started using one when I found it impossible to navigate one of my favorite forum sites without it.  The site would redirect and had intrusive pop-up ads on every site.  I have no trouble supporting sites I like by viewing ads and even clicking on them from time to time, but when they start to seriously impede my ability to navigate and enjoy the site, it becomes a pretty serious problem for me.

This great article breaks it down for us and then also expands into what it means for mobile web browsing, which is the future of web:

So it’s Apple vs Google vs Facebook, all with their own revenue platforms. Google has the web, Facebook has its app, and Apple has the iPhone. This is the newest and biggest war in tech going today.

And the collateral damage of that war — of Apple going after Google’s revenue platform — is going to include the web, and in particular any small publisher on the web that can’t invest in proprietary platform distribution, native advertising, and the type of media wining-and-dining it takes to secure favorable distribution deals on proprietary platforms. It is going to be a bloodbath of independent media.

It’s a very accessible, very excellent look at an important issue.

What got you reading and thinking this week?


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