The 4.5 books I read on a beach this week

The Lesser Bohemians by Eimear McBride

A potentially daring femme coming-of-age story wasted on a descent into melodrama — anything bad that can happen happens to these characters. Nevertheless, a quick and captivating beach read.

Runaway by Alice Munro

I would characterize Munro’s style as somewhere on the spectrum between drama and dark comedy — she is a prime candidate for penning a Black Mirror episode. Every one of the short stories in this anthology came with a twist that subverted the imagination and took the reader just far enough. Like all good fiction writers, Munro preys on very real human fears: that those closest to us can betray us, that our judgment can fail us, and that we may never really know if we are loved, and if we are safe.

Brotopia by Emily Chang

Brotopia reads almost like a year in review. I was very familiar with most, if not all, of the content in the book. While the message Chang delivers needs to be heard (and then re-heard), I feel her argument suffers a bit from underrepresenting the potential for diversity in women’s viewpoints. I also wonder how tech culture changes and morphs outside of the Bay Area, and whether all the same conclusions and learnings apply with equal relevance outside of San Francisco.

The Wellness Syndrome by Carl Cederstrom

Guilty as charged. The author examines the wellness movement through the critical lens that questions positive psychology both as a complement to extreme personal responsibility (the belief that have you the right mindset, nothing can go wrong) and as a way to continually improve your life while putting off living.

But, really, the first half of Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo sapiens stole the beach show. It’s epic, stay tuned.