Category Archives: Marion’s Favorite Books

Marion’s favorite books that he has reviewed.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 10: Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cal Newport has written another excellent book about how technology (mostly social media) has affected modern life. Digital Minimalism is the follow-up the ground-breaking book, Deep Work and Newport expands on his ideals from that previous work to propose a new philosophy for the social media age.

Newport lays out this philosophy in two parts.  First, it is the foundation for digital minimalism. I can sum it up with this paragraph from the book:

“A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.” (p.28)

Newport argues that the bad effects of technology and social media has cost us our attention and we need to have a more disciplined approach with our use of technology and social media. And companies like Facebook and Twitter wants our attention more than it should be humanly acceptable.

The second part of the philosophy for Digital Minimalism is how one can apply it pragmatically. Newport supports practices such as a 30 day digital decluttering, embracing solitude regularly, playing board games, and probably the most controversial aspect in the entire book, not clicking “Like” when you are on social media. He supports this aspect in this paragraph:

The key issue is that using social media tends to take people away from the real world socializing that’s massively more valuable. The small boosts you receive from posting on a friend’s wall or liking their latest Instagram photo can’t come close to compensating for the large loss experienced by no longer spending real-world time with that same friend.  Where we want to be cautious…is when the sound of a voice or a cup of coffee with a friend is replaced with “likes’ on a post. (pp. 141-142)

On the surface, it may seem that Newport is proposing a radical philosophy with Digital Minimalism.  However, I believe he has made a strong argument for how we can have a better relationship with technology and social media.  Our attention is a valuable commodity, and we have given away too easily in the social media age. Newport has provided a pathway on we can get this precious commodity back.  I highly recommend Digital Minimalism and it will be one of my favorite reads of 2019.

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 9: Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay

                Guy Gavriel Kay has become an author I look forward to reading. His brand of fantasy captured my attention in Ysabel, Children of Earth and Sky, and Sailing to Sarantium, the first book in Sarantine Mosaic series. Kay has carved out his own niche in fantasy that… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 8: Fantasy’s Othering Fetish by P. Djeli Clark

Fantasy’s Othering Fetish by P. Djeli Clark came onto my radar recently and after reading the comments in Goodreads about this book made me want to read it.  Actually, it is more of a long-form essay than a full-length book, Clark makes the argument about how the fantasy genre has treated the non-European as an… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 6: The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne

There are a lot of writing craft books out there for writers.  I’m sure many of them are useful for fledging writers to get better at their craft of writing fiction.  However, I realize that a certain writing craft book comes into a writer’s life at the right time. The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 5: Little Leaders-Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison

My 9 year old daughter, Norah, wanted to read this one.  Again. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History by Vashti Harrison celebrates the contributions of African-American women in American Society. Forty women were featured in the beautifully illustrated book from well-known names like Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, Ella Fitzgerald, Maya Angelou, and… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 3: Ruth and the Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey

February is Black History Month in the United States and I have always wanting to learn something about our history as Americans that I did not know previously. Well, I found out last month on the Rick Steves’ travel podcast about a travel guide published during the days of Jim Crow. The Negro Motorist Green… Continue Reading

Wisdom From Kammbia Book Review 2: Let Me Be Frank With You by Richard Ford

I’m a reading completist. I did not realize completist was a word until I typed this review.  I felt it’s appropriate for my latest Wisdom From Kammbia review. In 2015, I read and wrote a review for The Sportswriter by Richard Ford, the first Frank Bascombe novel. I wrote that I hated the protagonist and… Continue Reading