Get a free audiobook

CDN$ 14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

A galvanizing critique of the forces vying for our attention - and our personal information - that redefines what we think of as productivity, reconnects us with the environment, and reveals all that we've been too distracted to see about ourselves and our world

Nothing is harder to do these days than nothing. But in a world where our value is determined by our 24/7 data productivity . . . doing nothing may be our most important form of resistance. 

So argues artist and critic Jenny Odell in this field guide to doing nothing (at least as capitalism defines it). Odell sees our attention as the most precious - and overdrawn - resource we have. 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 hear 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 is a four-course meal in the age of Soylent.

©2019 Jenny Odell (P)2019 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about How to Do Nothing

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    19
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    3
  • 1 Stars
    1
Performance
  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    10
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    3
Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    16
  • 4 Stars
    5
  • 3 Stars
    5
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

ROBOT VOICE narration is UNLISTENABLE!

I am 100% sure that it's not a real person reading this book. "Rebecca Gibel" is a computer algorithm. I don't know about you but I can't listen to the answering machine lady for 10 minutes, let alone 8 hours! I am flabbergasted that they are allowed to sell this. I love Jenny Odell and have watched all of her TED talks and presentations available on youtube. I'm sure this book is as wonderful as they are. I am incredibly disappointed.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

The book is fine. The reading? I dunno...

Couldn't listen to that reading voice any more. So I just read it without. Love the book and all it has to say.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • JMS
  • 2020-04-05

Not a fan of narrator; content is great

Podcast of my review available on Apply podcasts and Anchor under Audiobook reviews in 5 minutes: Apple podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewPodcast?id=1500773777 Anchor: https://anchor.fm/audiobookreviews/episodes/Review-of-How-to-Do-Nothing-Resisting-the-Attention-Economy-by-Jenny-Odell-ec42po Much of Odell’s discussion examines the opportunities and pitfalls of our obsession with productivity, and what she describes as essentialism, which broadly describes a tendency to categorize and simplify how we order and understand the world. Another powerful idea Odell discusses is context collapse; think about how you might share your travel experience details with different groups, such as family members, colleagues, or close friends, vs how you’d share those details on social media. For myself, this helped me understand why, although I’m a communications professional, I tend toward the visual and sharing images on social media like Instagram, which contain their own context in a more satisfying way (in my opinion) than text-dominant platforms like Twitter.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing!

what a fascinating listen. I loved all the themes Odell threaded through the narrative: bioregionalism, public space, activism and community engagement. this will merit several more listens, as it's packed with ideas. I'm very pleased I didn't let the negative reviews on the narrator keep me from buying this. I found her to be just fine - she has a "radio" style rather than that of a fiction narrator, but it is very much in keeping with the tone of the book. absolutely worth listening to!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

narrator ruins it for me

That's all I wanted to say - the ideas are great, the narration sounds like a Hallmark movie..... ruined it.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-08-24

great book, voiceover is brutal

it’s difficult to listen to this book about resisting technology when the narrators voice sounds computer generated. unfortunate because this is a wonderful book with meaningful insight about navigating today’s world — it’s just plain hard to listen to. in practice of the book, read the print version instead!!!

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-09-16

the narration is shockingly bad

The voiceover really does a disservice to the work. It's almost hard to comment on the work itself because I'm still trying to figure out how to listen to what feels like Alexa talking at me for 8 hours.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Joan Q Public
  • 2019-09-10

just cant listen

I wanted to listen to this book, but the narration was too mechanical and irritating.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Rob
  • 2019-11-19

Unlistenable

I know that narration is harder than it seems, but this narrator can’t even complete a sentence. She ends a phrase with a level tone (not up, like a question, nor down like a period). It’s just silence and you think it’s a pause but it was the end of a sentence or paragraph. I’ll check this out on kindle.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Kate Woodbury
  • 2020-03-05

worst narrator ever

i thought i could handle the narrator after listening to the sample but it starts to get impossible to listen to by chapter 3. it's too bad because i think i would have gotten a lot from this book had the narration been well-done. i listen to a LOT of audiobooks, 15 in the last two months, and this is the worst narration i've ever heard.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Alexey Badalov
  • 2019-09-05

Not convinced narration is not computer-generated

I find it admirable that the author discovered curiosity about the natural world, but it was hard to listen to the book narrated in this detached voice with a consistently panicked expression, often as if on the verge of tears.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Eddie
  • 2019-08-29

Long Essay Not A Novel

I love the topic and really enjoy the concept. You need to deliberately refuse certain parts of the attention economy if you're going to live a balanced life. Simply deleting social media apps and running away isn't sustainable. However, the way in which it was delivered felt like listening to a really long essay in which each chapter proves one point, and feels like one long paragraph. I found myself skipping to the next chapter halfway through once I understood the point of it. It is also obviously read by a robot. Sounds like the book is read by Siri. It didn't bother me at first, but once I noticed I could no longer pay attention without the voice distracting me.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Josh S Weissburg
  • 2019-10-04

Fresh, interesting ideas - awful narration/voice

I will have to finish this very interesting book - full of new and provocative ideas about how we allocate and employ our attention in the digital age - on paper or kindle. The vocal performance sounds like a robot, absolutely awful.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Anonymous User
  • 2020-03-03

Robotic voice

For a book on rediscovering our humanity this reader sounds like a robocall. Actually questioned if the voice was a real person. Could not finish, will just get the physical book to read.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Em
  • 2020-02-26

Narrator voice was distracting

The book is good. The narration sounds like a robotic text to voice app. It’s sort of hard to believe it’s a real live person. Made it hard to pay attention

2 people found this helpful