Books I’m Reading

As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, I’m doing a bunch of reading-like-a-grad-student* this spring to try to get my head around the current state of online places and ways to be together and work together. A few people asked for a reading list, so I’ve pulled the books together—my stack of papers and articles is pushing 350 items and I don’t have time to winnow it down yet, but I’ll get there. (Also I’m sure I’ve forgotten books, this is literally just what I could gather up in my hands/on my devices.)

This is a snapshot of what I’m looking at, not a set of recommendations. Some of these books are much better than others. (About half of these are rereads.)

books aimed at practitioners (mostly not recently published)

  • Designing Social Interfaces: Principles, Patterns, and Practices for Improving the User Experience, Crumlish and Malone
  • Community Building on the Web : Secret Strategies for Successful Online Communities, Amy Jo Kim
  • Building Successful Online Communities: Evidence-Based Social Design, Kraut and Resnick
  • Designing for Community: The Art of Connecting Real People in Virtual Places, Derek Powazek
  • Online Communities : Designing Usability, Supporting Sociability, Jenny Preece
  • Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities, Wenger, White, and Smith

framework reading

  • Community and Privacy: Toward a New Architecture of Humanism, Chermayeff and Alexander
  • The Timeless Way of Building, Christopher Alexander
  • Emergent Strategy, adrienne maree brown
  • A Pattern Language, Alexander, Ishikawa, and Silverstein
  • Governing The Commons: The Evolution of Institutions for Collective Action, Elinor Ostrom
  • Understanding Knowledge as a Commons, eds. Hess and Ostrom
  • The Real World of Technology, Ursula Franklin
  • The Ursula Franklin Reader: Pacifism as a Map
  • How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor
  • Thinking In Systems, Donella Meadows
  • Fields, Factories, and Workshops, Peter Kropotkin

the rest

  • Custodians of the Internet: Platforms, Content Moderation, and the Hidden Decisions that Shape Social Media, Tarleton Gillespie
  • Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations, Clay Shirky
  • Lurking: How a Person Became a User, Joanne McNeil
  • The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, Howard Rheingold
  • The Power of Many: How the Living Web Is Transforming Politics, Business, and Everyday Life, Christian Crumlish
  • The Well: A Story of Love, Death & Real Life in the Seminal Online Community, Katie Hafner
  • The Rise of Virtual Communities: In Conversation with Virtual World Pioneers, Amber Atherton
  • Black Software: The Internet & Racial Justice, from the AfroNet to Black Lives Matter, Charlton McIllwain
  • The People’s Platform: Taking Back Power and Culture in the Digital Age, Astra Taylor
  • Design Justice: Community-Led Practices to Build the Worlds We Need, Sasha Costanza-Chock
  • In the Wake: On Blackness and Being, Christina Sharpe
  • New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future, James Bridle
  • The Age of Surveillance Capitalism: The Fight for a Human Future at the New Frontier of Power, Shoshana Zuboff
  • The Fight for Privacy: Protecting Dignity, Identity, and Love in the Digital Age, Danielle Citron
  • Understanding Context: Environment, Language, and Information Architecture, Andrew Hinton
  • Building Web Reputation Systems, Farmer and Glass
  • Hacking Diversity: The Politics of Inclusion in Open Technology Cultures, Christina Dunbar-Hester
  • Race After Technology: Abolitionist Tools for the New Jim Code, Ruha Benjamin
  • Radical Technologies: The Design of Everyday Life, Adam Greenfield
  • Working in Public: The Making and Maintenance of Open Source Software, Nadia Eghbal
  • Design for Safety, Eva Penzeymoog
  • Liberating Voices: A Pattern Language for Communication Revolution, Douglas Schuler
  • Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism, Safiya Noble
  • The Cold Start Problem: How to Start and Scale Network Effects, Andrew Chen
  • The Production of Houses, Notes on the Synthesis of Form, all four volumes of The Nature of Order, Alexander and co.
  • The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, Grace Lee Boggs
  • The Religion of Technology, David Noble
  • Routledge Handbook of the Study of the Commons, ed. Hudson, Rosenbloom, and Cole
  • My Tiny Life: Crime and Passion in a Virtual World, Julien Dibbell

* In honor of the hours I am spending virtuously not playing Tears of the Kingdom, grad-student mode for me rn is pretty much shaking trees, grabbing apples, snatching birds’ eggs, bagging weird emus, and hoarding sticks. In June, we cook. (And kill monsters.)

16 May 2023