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This & That: The Anderberg Family's Favorite Reads of July
Hello and happy Tuesday!
Today I’m excited to feature our household’s favorite books of July — it was a good month for everyone. And with the interviews and essays I’ve published, it’s been a while since I’ve featured some sharable, clickable, binge-able links. So today I’m sharing a bunch of ‘em that’ve been stacking up in my Notes app.
One more thing before jumping in: I’m thrilled to be on board with Chirp Books as an affiliate. Chirp is an a la carte audiobook retailer that I’ve been using for a couple of years, largely because their sales are incredible. So when they reached out about becoming a partner for Read More Books, I jumped at the chance. Along with Libby (for library audiobooks), Chirp has been a fantastic addition to my audiobook consumption.
When you sign up with my link, you’ll get your first book for just $2. I’ll also start linking to audiobooks whenever applicable; FYI, I get a small cut of any purchase. It goes a long way toward supporting this little newsletter that’s approaching 300 weeks of recommendations.
Questions? Comments? Let me know.
The Anderberg family’s July favorites
Jeremy — Oscar Wilde’s classic The Picture of Dorian Gray was stirring and thought-provoking, while Yellowface by R. F. Kuang was every bit as entertaining as I expected. (Check out the audiobook for Yellowface; I listened to it in about a week because I had a hard time putting my AirPods down.)
Graham (8 years old) — Graham’s pick this month was also easy: Scythe by Neal Shusterman. It’s not exactly age-appropriate, but we both loved it.
Willa (5 years old) — Our family has continued our journey through DK’s excellent children’s books. This month we’ve been exploring and enjoying The Book of Mythical Beasts and Magical Creatures.
Bo (2 years old) — Bo has finally started to somewhat enjoy the ritual of a read-aloud story before bed. More nights than not in July, the baby of the house picked First Book About the Orchestra, a fun and simple story with plenty of accompanying sounds.
A bunch of great links
My two most recent editor’s picks for Longreads focus on the tech industry: The first is a co-written article by Charlie Warzel and Ian Bogost — two of my favorite tech writers — about what Threads means for the social web. The second is a fantastic deep dive into why exactly AI-generated writing fails, dissecting its “efforts” on both a technical and philosophical level.
One more Ian Bogost piece I enjoyed recently: “What Did People Do Before Smartphones?” Though he tends to be cynical about shiny new internet objects, he hilariously makes the case here that pre-iPhone life was just boring — and not in a boredom-is-good-for-you way but in just a really boring way.
What’s important about Threads as a Twitter replacement is that it’s text-first. Tumblr is more visual, TikTok is all video, but text-based communication is always the best bet.
I loved this LitHub interview with Colson Whitehead. I haven’t read the two books in his Ray Carney series, but I always enjoy reading about how the sausage is made. Of particular note, to me, was his great answer to the question, “You’ve committed a big chunk of your professional life to [this series]. Why?”
“Because I like it. No other reason. I like it, so I’m doing it.”
Though I’ve dabbled in reading one book at a time, and have even enjoyed doing so in those moments, I always end up returning to reading 2-4 different titles at a time. Joel Miller, a fellow writer on the bookish web, unabashedly makes the case for reading a stack at a time in one of his newest articles. (Subscribe to his newsletter if you haven’t yet. It’s great.)
Bookforum, a fantastic bookish magazine, let readers know last December that it would no longer offer its print edition. Turned out to be a quick hiatus, because they recently announced a return to print. I subscribed right away; you should too!
Jane and I haven’t had a whole lot of time for TV lately, but Arnold was a great watch. Schwarzenegger is as unique a character as the world has ever produced. From bodybuilder to action movie star to politician — he’s a true self-made renaissance man. I highly recommend this three-part series.
Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it.