By Jenny Odell
** A New York Times Bestseller **
A complex, smart and ambitious book that at first reads like a self-help manual, then blossoms into a wide-ranging political manifesto.--Jonah Engel Bromwich, The New York Times Book Review
One of President Barack Obama's Favorite Books of 2019
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY: Time - The New Yorker - NPR - GQ - Elle - Vulture - Fortune - Boing Boing - The Irish Times - The New York Public Library - The Brooklyn Public Library
Porchlight's Personal Development & Human Behavior Book of the Year
In a world where addictive technology is designed to buy and sell our attention, and our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity, it can seem impossible to escape. But in this inspiring field guide to dropping out of the attention economy, artist and critic Jenny Odell shows us how we can still win back our lives.
Odell sees our attention as the most precious--and overdrawn--resource we have. And we must actively and continuously choose how we use it. We might not spend it on things that capitalism has deemed important ... but once we can start paying a new kind of attention, she writes, we can undertake bolder forms of political action, reimagine humankind's role in the environment, and arrive at more meaningful understandings of happiness and progress.
Far from the simple anti-technology screed, or the back-to-nature meditation we read so often, How to do Nothing is an action plan for thinking outside of capitalist narratives of efficiency and techno-determinism. Provocative, timely, and utterly persuasive, this book will change how you see your place in our world.
Loved by our collective!
The eye-catching title "How to Do Nothing" may be a bit reductive, but the subtitle gets closer to the book's overall goal. Odell points to the ways that corporate interests monetize our attention and explores spaces, activities, and art that challenge this gospel of productivity. Far from promoting expensive beach vacations, Odell advocates periodic retreat to inspire and reorient future actions that are anything but selfish. This is the perfect COVID read as we all prepare for the long haul of quarantine and protests. Raise hell, rest, repeat!
- 256 pages
- Melville House (12/29/20)
- 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches