The Word for World Is Forest

Ursula K. Le Guin

The Athsheans live among a forest, on a planet that “yumens” are attempting to colonize.

Lost in Work

Amelia Horgan

“Our entrance into work is unfree, and while we’re there, our time is not our own.”

The Problem with Work

Kathi Weeks

A provocative and irresistable argument that the need to “work for a living” is not a natural order but rather an invention—and one that can change.

Bullshit Jobs

David Graeber

An expansion of the immensely popular essay of the same title, here David Graeber takes a long hard look at why so many jobs are rank bullshit, and what can be done about it.

Breaking Things at Work

Gavin Mueller

A brisk read that locates echoes of Luddism in current practices like the free software and right-to-repair movements, and makes the case for rescuing Luddism from the dustheap.

From the title through every chapter, paragraph, and sentence, this book is a deeply researched polemic against the myth of the “labor of love.”

A Collective Bargain

Jane McAlevey

A brisk, fist-pumping read from veteran labor organizer Jane McAlevey, A Collective Bargain tells stories of unions who won big—and who won during the Trump years, perhaps the darkest time in decades of waning worker power.

Cubed

Nikil Saval

An insightful history of professional work, Nikil Saval’s Cubed interrogates how we work by digging into where we work, and the way those workplaces have changed and evolved.

Uncanny Valley

Anna Wiener

I avoided this book when it first came out because I feared it would hit too close to home. I wasn’t wrong.

This is a clear-eyed call for the climate movement to go beyond peaceful protest in order to avert ecological collapse.

Under a White Sky

Elizabeth Kolbert

“We live in a world where deliberately dimming the fucking sun might be less risky than not doing it.”

The Ministry for the Future

Kim Stanley Robinson

Robinson writes science fiction that aspires to be a New Yorker essay. This is not entirely bad.

The Unreal and the Real

Ursula K. Le Guin

The titles of the two parts of this selected edition of Le Guin’s stories are Where on Earth and Outer Space, Inner Lands—Le Guin leaves it to the reader to decide which of these is real and which unreal.

Witches, Midwives & Nurses

Barbara Ehrenreich & Deirdre English

First published in 1973, this pamphlet outlines the ways in which the medical establishment created generations of women ignorant of the workings of their bodies and disempowered from their own care.

Beowulf

Maria Dahvana Headley

“Bro!” begins Headley’s delightful new translation of Beowulf, and from there unravels a tale of heroism and machismo and masculinity that honors the origins of the epic poem while also carrying it forward.

A Stranger in Olondria

Sofia Samatar

As he travels to Olondria to sell the family harvest, Jevick meets a young woman on the verge of death.

A Memory Called Empire

Arkady Martine

Mahit Dzmare is abruptly ordered to report for duty as the new ambassador to the Teixcalaan empire—with no word as to what might have happened to her predecessor.

When young Jonathan Strange sets it upon himself to become a magician, he ends up as Mr. Norrell’s only pupil—but it’s a dry sort of magic Norrell preaches, absent any of the mystery or terror of the old days.