Staff Picks: Uncanny Valley - A Memoir

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

There were some philosophical questions posed in the book that made me really think about the tech I consume on a daily basis

Anna Wiener's memoir about her life and work in Silicon Valley is not to be missed. It is funny and dark, cynical and more than a little guilty. Told with plenty of wit and self awareness, Wiener does not spare herself as she makes the reader simultaneously envious of her lucky climb from barely-covering-bills job in the New York publishing world to making six figures in a middle management job at a start up in the Bay Area. If you've seen the HBO show Silicon Valley you know what to expect here: dysfunctional, seemingly rule free work places, Cheeto dust on the fingers of new billionaires, rampant misogyny, opulent mandatory group dinners and ski vacations, being kept semi-captive in the workplace.... All in all, this book made me laugh and taught me a lot more about how the tech industry works (or worked, while she was in it. Wiener has since left Silicon Valley to write full time). There were some philosophical questions posed in the book that made me really think about the tech I consume on a daily basis, especially when related to our privacy and the limits of useful tech. I love the creative way Wiener tells the story: extraordinarily careful not to name any names, but making sure you know exactly who she's talking about. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a good true story. Wiener is a writer to follow.

(Submitted by Mandy)

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