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Books 4 & 5 - 2016 - 15000pages

Dec. 26th, 2016

07:51 pm - Books 4 & 5 - 2016

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Book 4: Work’s Intimacy by Melissa Gregg – 198 pages

Description from bookdepository.co.uk:
This book provides a long-overdue account of online technology and its impact on the work and lifestyles of professional employees. It moves between the offices and homes of workers in the knew "knowledge" economy to provide intimate insight into the personal, family, and wider social tensions emerging in today s rapidly changing work environment. Drawing on her extensive research, Gregg shows that new media technologies encourage and exacerbate an older tendency among salaried professionals to put work at the heart of daily concerns, often at the expense of other sources of intimacy and fulfillment. New media technologies from mobile phones to laptops and tablet computers, have been marketed as devices that give us the freedom to work where we want, when we want, but little attention has been paid to the consequences of this shift, which has seen work move out of the office and into cafes, trains, living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms. This professional "presence bleed" leads to work concerns impinging on the personal lives of employees in new and unforseen ways. This groundbreaking book explores how aspiring and established professionals each try to cope with the unprecedented intimacy of technologically-mediated work, and how its seductions seem poised to triumph over the few remaining relationships that may stand in its way.

This book reads like a PHD thesis, and while the topic is an interesting one, its presentation here is rather dry. Gregg looks out how work has infiltrated our private lives, and how we come to view this not as an infiltration per se but as necessary for us to feel competent at our jobs. Having worked in a Big 4 accounting firm for six years, I can relate (I think I worked 10 years in six with all the overtime!). Despite the dryness of Gregg’s style, I could relate to much of her findings. She comments on both the casualization of the workforce, and the insecurity this creates for employees, as well as the way employees are increasingly exploited by employers, particularly when they will do most anything to succeed in their chosen field. Both of these factors contribute to employees doing more and more work in their own time, but rather than be construed as work invading our lives, many employees, particularly those of the more conscientious variety, see this behavior as simply necessary to keep up, and achieve their career goals. This is combined with the access that new technologies gives us, allowing companies to ‘offer’ flexible work arrangements that often just convert to more net time working. Ultimately, despite the dryness of Gregg’s style, I think many professionals will relate to her findings.

4 / 50 books. 8% done!

1072 / 15000 pages. 7% done!

Book 5: The Meteor Crater Story by Dean Smith – 69 pages

Description from amazon.com:
50,000 years ago, a giant invader from out space hurtled through our Earth's atmosphere at incredible velocity and collided with northern Arizona's rocky high plateau. The meteorite's explosive impact destroyed all living things within a radius of several miles, created the chasm we call Meteor Crater, and strewed rock and meteorite fragments across a wide area.

While travelling through the US in late 2015, my family and I stumbled across Meteor Crater in Arizona. This big hole in the ground apparently is a little bit more significant than that, having had a rather large role in our understanding of the type of outer space visitor that created it. The site itself is pretty cool (I have some pretty cool photos!) and the book provides a decent summary of the history of the site, and about the phenomenon of meteor craters. An interesting read.

5 / 50 books. 10% done!

1141 / 15000 pages. 8% done!

Currently reading:
-        The Martian by Andy Weir – 369 pages
-        Wrath of Aphrodite by Bess T. Chappas – 207 pages
-        My Life by Bill Clinton – 957 pages

And coming up:
-        The Second Chronicles of Thomas Covenant: Volume 3: White Gold Wielder by Stephen Donaldson – 500 pages
-        The Odyssey by Homer – 324 pages
-        The Presidents of the United States of America by Frank Freidel – 88 pages

Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: Divided and Conquered - from Star Trek Beyond