Fresh as a Daisy - Book Edition?
August 18, 2021 9:15 AM   Subscribe

I find it refreshing when books reference texting, instagram, bluetooth, and other generally "current" daily living activities in the course of the story. So many seem to omit these details, I guess to avoid seeming dated in a few years. Any recommendations? An example I loooooved from a few years ago was Neal Stephenson's Reamde, but I like all genres other than politics. I listen by audiobook, if that affects your recommendation.
posted by bluesky78987 to Media & Arts (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Just finished Yolk by Mary HK Choi and it definitely talks a lot about social media and texting. As a content warning though, the protagonist does discuss her eating disorder a lot.
posted by obfuscation at 9:48 AM on August 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I don't know if 30 year old tech is of any interest, but I really enjoy the low-bandwidth usenet equivalent in Vernor Vinge's A Fire Upon the Deep. (The same author's Rainbows End has interesting VR gaming tech that doesn't actually quite exist yet. True Names is even older, but interesting as a history of people thinking about using similar technology.)
posted by eotvos at 10:14 AM on August 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There are some romance novels told through emails, texts and messages. Some are discussed in this SBTB post about epistolary novels.
posted by paduasoy at 10:23 AM on August 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not so much referencing modern tech as consisting of it: The Appeal, by Janice Hallett, is a crime novel told in the form of emails, texts and instant messages. In the printed form of the book you see screenshots and printouts; in audio form, I imagine it comes across rather like a radio play. It's very good!

... on preview, I see I'm not the only person thinking along these lines.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 10:26 AM on August 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Kiley Reed's "Such a Fun Age" has a plotline tied to being an Instagram influencer, with lots of references to current social media and texting. It actually startled me, because you're right - few books reference current tech by name and function.
posted by writermcwriterson at 10:35 AM on August 18, 2021 [4 favorites]

Best answer: Neal Stephenson's "Fall" has a storyline that picks up on the same characters in Reamde, a few years later.
posted by juggler at 11:06 AM on August 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Not sure if Lauren Oyler's Fake Accounts is what you have in mind, but it's getting a lot of buzz for being zeitgeisty.

And this might be so eleven years ago, but Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad famously has a 70-page PowerPoint presentation in it. I mean it's in the printed book; I don't have the slightest notion how they handled this in the audiobook.
posted by scratch at 12:45 PM on August 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Best answer: Published in 2018, Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton, will be right up your alley -- it's a 21st-century homage to The Talented Mr. Ripley, and its plot hinges on the protagonist's access to Instagram. And the author's use of language is luscious.
posted by virago at 9:05 PM on August 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Another one: Keep Him Close by Emily Koch is a crime novel that makes quite a lot of use of social media (Facebook in particular) and modern technology.
posted by ManyLeggedCreature at 5:46 AM on August 29, 2021

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