Under Your Boot-Soles

2024 Book List

Snow Crash by Neil Stephenson

I found the arc of this novel to be rather prescient, given the direction society is headed in presently. It touches on many of ills that we all seem to be facing: Withdrawal from reality in favor of “The Metaverse” (he coined this phrase, as far as I know), Corporate capture of all facets of daily life, and manipulation of the populace via technology, to name a few. Published in 1992, Stephenson could probably see the direction of some of these themes, however nascent they may have been. While this is not my favorite Stephenson novel (that honor goes to Fall; or, Dodge in Hell), I enjoyed it and satire is always fun to read.

The Fiery Trial by Eric Foner

While this one took me a bit longer to finish, I enjoyed gaining a fuller appreciation of Lincoln and the historic struggle he guided The Union (and later “The Nation”) through. I’m left with a deeper admiration and understanding of our 16th president. In many ways, I see many similarities between myself and Lincoln. He was on a path of constant growth and learning both intellectually and spiritually–qualities that I strive to preserve and leverage in my own life.

Little Brother by Cory Doctorow

I tore through this one in about three days. I almost never to that with books but that could be because I just came off a dense Foner book on such a dense era in American History. Little Brother drug up some latent feelings from when I was younger. The urge to push back on all the nonsense after 9/11 I heard from the media, professors, and many people close to me. Freedom and privacy are tightly intertwined. You can’t have one without the other. I found the example of asking people to imagine taking a dump in a glass-sided porta-john in the middle of Times Square to be not only hilarious but also very salient. I’ll most definitely be re-deploying next time I hear someone drivel on about how National Security is paramount.