Numlock Book Club: vote on our next book!

Now that we’ve just finished reading The Library Book by Susan Orlean — you can check out previous discussion threads here (1, 2, 3, 4) — it’s time to vote on what book we read next! This is the perfect time to invite a friend to join up.

Here are the four titles we’re considering for the next month.

At the voting link, I’m going to ask for your first choice and your second choice. Votes will be reallocated until we’ve got a winner. You have until midnight eastern time on Friday to vote. Thanks for your participation!


Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have

by Tatiana Schlossberg, 2019

Chock full of data and information about how stuff gets made, this book looks at what’s actually working and what’s actually not when it comes to making the global economy less wasteful. I love stories about the true costs of things I buy and what goes into their creation, and this one got great reviews when it came out late this past summer.

"By examining the unseen and unconscious environmental impacts in four areas-the Internet and technology, food, fashion, and fuel - Schlossberg helps readers better understand why climate change is such a complicated issue, and how it connects all of us: How streaming a movie on Netflix in New York burns coal in Virginia."


The Outlaw Ocean: Journeys Across the Last Untamed Frontier

by Ian Urbina, 2019

The world's oceans are too large to police, meaning that they're still full of danger and intrigue and teeming groups of people trying to make a living one way or another. This one doubles as a bit of an adventure story as well as an expose on one of the last lawless places in the world.

"Traffickers and smugglers, pirates and mercenaries, wreck thieves and repo men, vigilante conservationists and elusive poachers, seabound abortion providers, clandestine oil-dumpers, shackled slaves and cast-adrift stowaways -- drawing on five years of perilous and intrepid reporting, often hundreds of miles from shore, Ian Urbina introduces us to the inhabitants of this hidden world. "


The Meritocracy Trap

by Daniel Markovits

This is a pretty exiting one that I’ve seen a few excerpts published online about meritocracy and how the best intentions have led to a rough system for all parties, getting into bigger ideas about common and praised trends in parenting and education in the U.S. perpetuate inequality and make people unhappier.

“Today, meritocracy has become exactly what it was conceived to resist: a mechanism for the concentration and dynastic transmission of wealth and privilege across generations. Upward mobility has become a fantasy, and the embattled middle classes are now more likely to sink into the working poor than to rise into the professional elite. At the same time, meritocracy now ensnares even those who manage to claw their way to the top, requiring rich adults to work with crushing intensity, exploiting their expensive educations in order to extract a return.”


Protecting Pollinators: How to Save the Creatures that Feed Our World 

by Jodi Helmer, 2019

This book goes into the science behind how important pollinators are and why they're broadly in decline. Even better, this book goes into the solutions that people attempting to protect pollinators and restore populations so that they'll continue to exist and we'll continue to eat any food.

"They will also be reminded of the magic of pollinators—not only the iconic monarch and dainty hummingbird, but the drab hawk moth and homely bats that are just as essential. Without pollinators, the world would be a duller, blander place."