There’s been a heatwave all week in the Pacific Northwest.As a result, my brain has been absolutely melting, and trying to process any sort of intellectual rigor has been exceedingly difficult. So this week I asked the community for “head empty, brain off, easy reading for lazy hot summer days” — here’s what everyone said!
And as always, add your own in the comments :)
🌞 what to read when your brain is fried
🤠 Once Upon A Time in the North by Philip Pullman — “a Cowboy Western from the HDM (His Dark Materials) universe set near the arctic circle. Pure escapist guilty pleasure” — Nate
🌌 On a Sunbeam by Tillie Walden — “because space lesbians, and men don't exist” — Kevin
🍀 Yotsuba by Kiyohiko Azuma — “every couple of summers I reread [this] ... I think it’s full of that delicious summer feeling, and is so sweet and funny... ❤️” — Jess L
🌴 The Guncle by Steven Rowley — “really really wholesome and deals with loss and death in a touching manner... also we love queer media... just really easy to breeze through” — Ivan
🐸 Fair Play by Tove Jansson — “If Frog and Toad were Tinnish artists. Very calm cottagecore-esque vibes” — Nikhil
🏖️ Calypso by David Sedaris — “a collection of semi-autobiographical/humor essays, so it's easy to pick this book up + put it down at the end of each essay. it made me literally laugh out loud at multiple points” — Emily
🧛 The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires by Grady Hendrix — “a really fun horror romp! definitely a few content warnings bc it can get a little intense, but if ur ok with it, it's a fun ride and very atmospheric” — Amulya
🍋 Lemon by Kwon Yeo-Sun — “a super short and bittersweet mystery” — Amulya
🗺️ Maphead by Ken Jennings — “Jennings has a fun cheeky sense of humor, and the book is all about people who have various geography-related niche hobbies & activities (geocaching, geography spelling bee champions, geopolitical battles being fought over the contents of a forgotten map from centuries ago in a musty room in the library congress). It's a love letter to places and how we navigate them! (Also, some good thoughts on google maps and how technology has affected our ability to understand the geography of the world around us.)” — Matthew
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- on why ~ social and ethical impacts are important ~ and a breakdown/commentary from Emily Bender [thread]: There is a lot that is not wrong in this piece, but some of the framing is SO ODD. (A short thread)hai.stanford.eduComputer Scientists Can’t Treat Social and Ethical Impacts as an AfterthoughtA new National Academies of Science report argues that researchers must start projects with ethical review, working with stakeholders and experts from other fields.
Actually I blame Taylor Swift for how hot it’s been this week
Hate the twitter crop, love the audacity of our authors
💝 closing note
We’re just about to wrap up copyedits (ahh!!) on Kernel Issue 2! I asked Emily, Kernel’s Editor in Chief, if there was anything she wanted to put in the closing note about it. Unfortunately, all she had to offer was this signoff:
Reboot team 🌽
Something something climate change and infrastructure — it used to only hit 90+ once every couple of years instead of like, 10 days in a summer, and most homes are not built for it at all.
Bonus from Nikhil: “I read a ton of Rick Riordan books this summer because YA is so much more readable and fun than contemporary fiction about sad people in cities having affairs.” [ed note: Damn… no need to clock Sally Rooney like that]
Reboot previously received funding from HAI for running book events; we are not currently affiliated with them.