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Reading List for April 2023

Covers for the books Wordslut, Console Wars, and New Arcadia: Revolution

Spring of 2023 is in full swing, and it is time for April's reading list. In April I managed to listened to 19 titles, of which one three of them were new. I will highlight all three this month.

The first title is "Wordslut: A Feminists Guide to Taking Back the English Language" by Amanda Montell.

A brash, enlightening, and wildly entertaining feminist look at gendered language and the way it shapes us.

The word bitch conjures many images, but it is most often meant to describe an unpleasant woman. Even before its usage to mean “a female canine,” bitch didn’t refer to women at all—it originated as a gender-neutral word for “genitalia.” A perfectly innocuous word devolving into an insult directed at females is the case for tons more terms, including hussy, which simply meant “housewife”; and slut, which meant “an untidy person” and was also used to describe men. These are just a few of history’s many English slurs hurled at women.

Amanda Montell, reporter and feminist linguist, deconstructs language—from insults, cursing, gossip, and catcalling to grammar and pronunciation patterns—to reveal the ways it has been used for centuries to keep women and other marginalized genders from power. Ever wonder why so many people are annoyed when women speak with vocal fry or use like as filler? Or why certain gender-neutral terms stick and others don’t? Or where stereotypes of how women and men speak come from in the first place?

Montell effortlessly moves between history, science, and popular culture to explore these questions—and how we can use the answers to affect real social change. Montell’s irresistible humor shines through, making linguistics not only approachable but downright hilarious and profound. Wordslut gets to the heart of our language, marvels at its elasticity, and sheds much-needed light on the biases that shadow women in our culture and our consciousness.

The second title I want to highlight is Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation

Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.

In 1990, Nintendo had a virtual monopoly on the video game industry. Sega, on the other hand, was just a faltering arcade company with big aspirations and even bigger personalities. But that would all change with the arrival of Tom Kalinske, a man who knew nothing about videogames and everything about fighting uphill battles. His unconventional tactics, combined with the blood, sweat and bold ideas of his renegade employees, transformed Sega and eventually led to a ruthless David-and-Goliath showdown with rival Nintendo.

The battle was vicious, relentless, and highly profitable, eventually sparking a global corporate war that would be fought on several fronts: from living rooms and schoolyards to boardrooms and Congress. It was a once-in-a-lifetime, no-holds-barred conflict that pitted brother against brother, kid against adult, Sonic against Mario, and the US against Japan.

Based on over two hundred interviews with former Sega and Nintendo employees, Console Wars is the underdog tale of how Kalinske miraculously turned an industry punchline into a market leader. It’s the story of how a humble family man, with an extraordinary imagination and a gift for turning problems into competitive advantages, inspired a team of underdogs to slay a giant and, as a result, birth a $60 billion dollar industry.

The last title I want to highlight is a sequal. The title is New Arcadia: Revolution (New Arcadia Book 2)

In the not-so-distant future, a deadly plague has forced billions into their homes, and locked them up tight. Hope may soon arrive in the form of an effective new cure from the mega-global Chum Corporation, but not before they decide their customers are ready for it.

That’s why they’ve created New Arcadia—a real-as-life virtual-reality game designed to bring the isolated people of the world together again.

After its successful launch in New Arcadia: Stage One, the game is being updated and expanded with a new rhythm-game mechanic to bring players together on the dance floor. No longer just for 1990s arcade fighting-game fans, all ages are being welcomed to the virtual party now.

For Prime Beta Tester John Chambers and his friends in New Arcadia, the stakes have never been higher. As the original players of the game, they feel a duty to ensure the new arrivals in New Arcadia adapt successfully to the world and prove to the Chum Corporation that people are ready to come together again in real life.

But there are other players within the game who have a more sinister objective—and they’ll do anything to ensure that the online experiment of New Arcadia is doomed to disaster and the people of the world continue to languish in solitude for a long, long time.

To succeed, John and his friends will have to conquer the mean streets of New Arcadia. And kill it on the dance floor.

I am not sure how many titles I will end up listening to in April, I am sure there will be at least a few, but beyond that I do not know how many titles.

Note, the links below contain affiliate links and I get a small commission if you purchase something.
Title Author First Listen Amazon Apple
Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams No Amazon Apple
Wordslut: A Feminists Guide to Taking Back the English Language Amanda Montell Yes Amazon Apple
A Painted House John Grisham No Amazon Apple
Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations (Great Courses) Brian M. Fagan No Amazon Apple
Turning Points in American History (Great Courses) Edward T. O’Donnell No Amazon Apple
The Great Escape Paul Brickhill No Amazon Apple
Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo, and the Battle That Defined a Generation Blake J. Harris Yes Amazon Apple
Band of Brothers Stephen E. Ambrose No Amazon Apple
The Event (The Event Book 1) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
New Threat (The Event Book 2) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
New World (The Event Book 3) Nathan Hystad No Amazon Apple
New Arcadia: Stage One (New Arcadia Book 1) Eric Jason Martin No Amazon Apple
New Arcadia: Revolution (New Arcadia Book 2) Eric Jason Martin Yes Amazon Apple
Vicarious Rhett C. Bruno No Amazon Apple
Pilot X (Pilot X Book 1) Tom Merritt No Amazon Apple
Orion Colony (Orion Colony Book 1) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
Orion Uncharted (Orion Colony Book 2) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
Orion Awakened (Orion Colony Book 3) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
Orion Protected (Orion Colony Book 4) Jonathan Yanez and J.N. Chaney No Amazon Apple
Total   19    

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