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How to Do Nothing
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
After the American presidental election of 2016, Jenny Odell felt so overstimunated and disoriented by information, misinformation, and the expressions of others, that reality itself seemed to slip away. How To Do Nothing is her action plan for resistance. Drawing on the ethos of tech culture, a background in the arts, and personal storytelling, Jenny Odell makes a powerful argument for refusal: refusal to believe that our lives are instruments to be optimised. She argues that nothing can be quite so radical as doing... nothing.
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batsy
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Faves of 2019 #adventrecommends Dec 6

I fear that the title might put people off. It's not a how-to, but a slow, detailed meditation on screen damage and the commodification of attention. Detailed, textual, factual, and philosophical ... I love a book that makes me consider the mundane in a different way.

@emilyrose_x

Sace Stacked. This sounds like something I'd want to actually own as well. 5d
Bookishthoughts Your suggestions are always interesting. Thanks for sharing.💗 5d
Amiable What a pretty cover, too! 5d
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twohectobooks Surprised I hadn‘t stacked this already, your original review made me very interested! 5d
sudi I read about this one on Shelf Awareness and it seems like an interesting read. 5d
batsy @Sace @twohectobooks @sudi It's the kind of book one can return to again and again. I read a digital ARC & I'd like to own a physical copy too. 5d
batsy @Bookishthoughts Thank you! I hope you find it a worthwhile read if you try it ❤️ 5d
batsy @Amiable I love it too, so pretty 🌹 5d
Lindy This is one of my faves too. 5d
Suet624 I didn‘t know about this book. Thank you for posting about it. 5d
batsy @Lindy ❤️ 5d
batsy @Suet624 My pleasure! 5d
Cathythoughts Sounds like a good one ❤️ 4d
Liz_M I need to suggest this title to my bookclub! 4d
batsy @Liz_M It'll be a great pick for a bookclub I think, so much to discuss. 4d
100 likes9 stack adds15 comments
review
Blaire
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

I listened to this slowly. It was a great companion read to “winners take all,” in giving me a new framework to look at the world. It centers the importance of place, and focus on nature, and art, and taking notice. Made me think about connection and how much time is spent hitting refresh or being distracted from surroundings. Not a how-to but a contemplation. @Lindy #nonfictionnovember

Lindy Lovely review. ❤️ 1mo
batsy I loved it, too. A deeply immersive read that took me out of the "short attention span social media brain" I live in most of the time! 1mo
47 likes2 comments
review
cjpend
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

Odell describes her book as “less a lecture than an invitation to take a walk.” Though broadly categorized as a work of social science, Odell pulls examples from art, history, nature, disaster, and a plethora of other experiences that make up what it is to be human in a society that too often focuses on the fixed individual self. A must read for anyone. I can‘t imagine that anyone could walk away from this book unchanged.

batsy Great review! I feel the same about it. 1mo
3 likes1 comment
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Blaire
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Listened to part of this book while enjoying a beautiful fall day. Much to think about...so far it is a good antidote to the productivity is everything message of 168 hours which made me so angry. #audiowalk #getoutside

review
Lindy
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

I started this in print format and found it hard to follow Odell's long, philosophical sentences. When I switched to audio format, I adored her style. Her work is a call to activism that stresses the importance of taking time to listen, to pay attention, and to contemplate. Also, it's an invitation to reconsider the idea of what it is to be productive. I‘ve listened to the #audiobook twice. It‘s available on Hoopla & read by Rebecca Gibel.

emtobiasz Thanks for the #Hoopla tip! Definitely checking this one out! 2mo
batsy I found this book so refreshing and thought-provoking. 2mo
Lindy @emtobiasz 😇👍 2mo
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Lindy @batsy Me too. I was thinking about it obsessively for awhile and I‘ve recommended it to a number of friends already. 2mo
Cathythoughts Sounds like a good audio ... 👍🏻 2mo
Lindy @Cathythoughts Yes, indeed. 😁 2mo
Blaire I‘ve been wanting to read this...will try it on audio. 2mo
Lindy @Blaire Let me know what you think about it afterwards, ok? 2mo
Blaire @Lindy I will. Plan to start it this week. Love seeing people‘s hoopla finds. I love it but it‘s hard to find what books are available on there. 2mo
Lindy @Blaire Hoopla doesn‘t have good discoverability. I wish there was a “newly added” search. Popular, Recommended, and Featured aren‘t helpful to me. When I‘m browsing Hoopla, I mark titles that interest me with the ❤️that signifies “favourite” because that‘s the simplest way I know of to find them later. 2mo
Blaire Just posted my review. Took me a while to listen to because I wanted to focus on her words. 1mo
40 likes1 stack add11 comments
review
Palimpsest
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

My issue with this book is that perhaps the people who will pick it up and read it are already conscious of the harm in over-productivity. It has some great ideas about where we choose to focus our attention. On social media sites and if so which ones are best for us? I loved the thoughts on bioregionalism and getting involved in our own communities. I already ask my son all the time to stop and listen to what he hears around him, but this book

Palimpsest Has a lot of valid points and suggestions as to how we view the world. I didn‘t care for the chapter on communes, but understand its inclusion and how it doesn‘t work to run away from the world, but to be in balance with it. it would have been good for me to read in one or two sittings instead of the small snippets I read it in. It didn‘t change me as much as remind me of what I love about being in nature and paying attention to what counts. 2mo
Andrea4 I was just talking today with someone about how our culture is so "production" focused to the exclusion of basic health (mental, physical, and spiritual) and also focuses on instant results/gratifaction etc rather than putting any long term thought into actions. 2mo
Palimpsest @Andrea4 absolutely. Jenny Odell addresses the issue of smartphones and e-mail and constantly being available for work. Also, with the attention economy and influencers how we are unable to focus on any one thing or soon forget about it, seeking the gratification of “likes”. This book doesn‘t completely pull out, but suggests where we could focus our attentions to have better lives and more meaningful relationships within our communities. 2mo
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Lindy I'm on my third read (listen) of this. Lots to mull over. 2mo
Palimpsest @Lindy I am happy I have a copy as I‘m sure I will want to revisit it again as well. Definitely a book I will recommend. There is a lot of info packed into this book. 2mo
Andrea4 @Palimpsest omgosh, the lack of focus I swear is bleeding into actual human relationships. As someone out in dating world, there's a pressure to constantly be entertaining so one doesn't lose interest (in like 1 week!!!) 2mo
batsy Yes, I felt the same. Lots to think about and I appreciated how her writing made me think in new ways. 2mo
41 likes2 stack adds7 comments
review
lahousewyfe
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

After reading this book - skimming it, really- I feel like I need to delve so much more deeply into it. It's not a quick read. It's dense, and written with an intelligent and curious reader in mind. Learning to pay attention in different ways, to direct your attention with purpose, these activities take time and quiet and determination. I think part of next year will be dedicated to more study of attention placement.

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Lindy
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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In a public space, ideally, you are a citizen with agency; in a faux public space, you are either a consumer or a threat to the design of the place.

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Lindy
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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As someone who is both Asian and white, I am an anomaly or a nonentity from an essentialist point of view. It‘s not possible for me to be native to anywhere in any obvious sense, […] but the sight of western tanagers, a favourite bird, migrating through Oakland in the spring, gives me an image of how to be from two places at once.

(Photo from Audubon.org)

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Lindy
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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My most-liked Facebook post of all time was an anti-Trump screed. […] It‘s not a form of communication driven by reflection and reason but rather a reaction driven by fear and anger. Obviously these feelings are warranted but their expression on social media feels like firecrackers setting off other firecrackers in a very small room that soon gets filled with smoke.

35 likes1 stack add
blurb
youneverarrived
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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#7days7covers #covercrush

Tagging @Moray_Reads if you want to join in? 7 of your favourite covers each day for a week, no explanation needed. Tag a litten each day to join in.

merelybookish Gorgeous cover! Have you read this yet? I'm intrigued! 3mo
youneverarrived @merelybookish no not yet, but I know @batsy has and she wrote a great review about it. It‘s high up on my list to read soon. 3mo
Cathythoughts Yes ! Great cover ... sounds good , stacked 3mo
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Tanisha_A Beauty! 3mo
squirrelbrain Great cover! ❤️ 3mo
batsy Great pick, I love this cover too 💜 3mo
BiblioLitten I love this cover! 3mo
64 likes2 stack adds7 comments
review
LizzieLou
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

I love this book. It's not about a digital detox, it's about how your attention is being commodified and the best way to take it back. It's about the philosophy of real life community versus online yelling. It's not a guilt trip and it doesn't make you feel like you're bad if you still use social media, but it gives you ideas about how to balance your online presence with real people because that's the only way things really change and grow.

Emilymdxn I loved this one too! 4mo
batsy Nice review! I found it a really rewarding read. Lots to think about. 4mo
26 likes2 comments
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gingerandjazz
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Loving this important & thoughtful book so far, even if I‘m going against its fundamental principles by posting about it on social media... oops.

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8little_paws
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Enjoying this poolside this evening. It's a library copy but pretty sure I'll end up buying my own copy.

LizzieLou I did the same! Borrowed it on audio and then bought a hard cover. 4mo
59 likes6 stack adds1 comment
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mreads
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Mehso-so

Meh. A philosophical manifesto on the benefits of doing nothing. Nothing being sitting in nature and observing.

#nonfiction2019 @Riveted_Reader_Melissa something personal

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Sorry it was meh, it sounds like it should have been more.... 4mo
43 likes1 comment
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gingerandjazz
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Après-swim reading: How To Do Nothing, by Jenny Odell. ?

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youneverarrived
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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So when I was in Waterstones having a coffee I obviously couldn‘t resist buying a book 😂 this one was thanks to the review by @batsy 💜

batsy Oh I hope you find it a worthwhile read! ❤️ Plus that cover is beautiful! 5mo
Tamra I did a bit of nothing today and I have to say it was truly refreshing! 5mo
youneverarrived @batsy it sounds so good! Isn‘t it gorgeous 💕 5mo
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youneverarrived @Tamra sometimes that‘s just what we need 🧡 5mo
BiblioLitten I have been eyeing this one after @batsy s review. 😊 5mo
IamIamIam This looks spectacular!!! 5mo
81 likes4 stack adds6 comments
review
batsy
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

Not a how-to at all, but a multidisciplinary work on engaging with the world outside of the corporate-controlled attention economy. It's dense & philosophical, incorporating theory, art criticism, tech, & nature writing. It made me see differently & want to exist differently. I love books that do that. We need more books to remind humans of our place in the vast planet—we're not superior. Similarly, we should resist low-key dehumanisation ⬇️

batsy by corporations. We should not have to resist having our lives instrumentalised & reduced to the value of "eyeballs" on a website so that a small coterie of people can profit off of it, & yet here we are. It takes a whole book to explain how "doing nothing" is another way of doing a whole lot of something that is outside the logic of capitalism. We are all more than our value to capital. I appreciate a lot of the points that Odell makes. 6mo
BarbaraBB You just sold me another book 💕 6mo
Trashcanman I swear you need to start your own book review blog. You have a way with words. I know I've said it before but I truly am reminded of it with each book review you do. Sold on ready it. If you worked for a publisher book sales would go way up. 😊 6mo
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batsy Thank you @BarbaraBB @Trashcanman ❤️❤️ It's one of those books that can't be boxed into any particular category but I'm glad I read it 🙂 6mo
Leftcoastzen Nice review!As I try to explain to people all of this “free content “is not really “free “.I need to read this book to help inform a coherent argument.Stacked! 6mo
BarbaraBB @Trashcanman is right you know, your reviews are really of a complete other level 🙌 6mo
erzascarletbookgasm Sounds interesting! And fantastic review as always 😘 6mo
readordierachel Sold, sold, sold 👍🏼 6mo
squirrelbrain Sounds fascinating - stacked! 6mo
youneverarrived Excellent review 🖤 stacking. 6mo
batsy @BarbaraBB @Trashcanman You are too kind 😘😘 6mo
batsy @erzascarletbookgasm @youneverarrived Thanks, friends 💜💜 6mo
batsy @readordierachel @squirrelbrain I hope you find it a worthwhile read if you try it 😊 6mo
Cathythoughts Brilliant review... ✨ 6mo
mhslibrarylady Adding this to my TBR list! 6mo
batsy @Cathythoughts Thank you 😘 6mo
batsy @mhslibrarylady Hope you like it 🙂 6mo
RaimeyGallant Reading your reviews is dangerous for my tbr. 6mo
rohit-sawant Stunning review! 🙌🏼 6mo
batsy Thanks @rohit-sawant 🖤 6mo
Centique I love your explanation - id like to see a book from you on this! 😍🙌 6mo
Suet624 It‘s funny..I‘ve been sitting on my front porch listening to songbirds, watching hummingbirds, looking at my garden and handwriting a letter to a friend. It‘s been a delightful afternoon of doing very little. And I‘m very content. (edited) 6mo
batsy @Centique You're too sweet ❤️ This is the kind of book I wish I had the intelligence to write 😆 6mo
batsy @Suet624 Perfect. And so apt. Whenever I think back on moments in life I utterly cherish, it has rarely (never) involved being "productive" in the sense of how corporations want us to be productive. 6mo
sisilia That‘s what I love doing! Nothing 😆 I loved it when I parked myself in a cafe at 7am in Tokyo... not committed to anything, just people-watching, and occassionally flipping my book 😅 6mo
batsy @sisilia You speak my language! 😁 That's my ideal scenario 😍 6mo
Maiya_Hanson Life 6mo
111 likes20 stack adds28 comments
review
Emilymdxn
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

Incredible, very refreshing. I feel I‘ve learned a lot about what tech companies etc. want from me and why the idea of ‘resistance in place‘ which I love now can apply to living in today‘s world. Yes it‘s depressing thinking about what tech companies want from us and what consumerism wants us to be, but reading about the idea of appreciating our environment in different ways was inspiring, particularly on a stopped commuter train late for work

Palimpsest Good to know that this is a pick. It‘s sitting in my to read pile. 😊 6mo
75 likes8 stack adds1 comment
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Emilymdxn
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Sunday night in with this book that I‘ve been really looking forward to ever since @SW-T posted it a while ago!

SW-T Hope you enjoy! I found lots of food for thought in it. 6mo
65 likes1 comment
review
SW-T
How to Do Nothing | Jenny Odell
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Pickpick

Not a how-to, but a reminder about the value of doing nothing. Do less, rest more. Build parks, not towers.
Wasn‘t a fan of the actual writing style, but I did like the content. Context collapse, information overload, the importance of noncommercial public space, and how the lack of spacial or temporal context in online platforms can be leveraged and used to create hateful, shaming, or vindictive public content. Plenty of food for thought.

Crazeedi Interesting review! 7mo
Weaponxgirl Thanks for the review, I‘ve been looking at this wondering if I should read it. 7mo
SW-T @Crazeedi @Weaponxgirl It‘s a food for thought type of book. I enjoy those on occasion ☺️ 7mo
Crazeedi @SW-T me too! 7mo
Weaponxgirl Yup, love those sort of books, now I have to wait for it to be released in the uk 7mo
17 likes2 stack adds5 comments