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I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It: Stories from an Online Life

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I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is tech analyst Jess Kimball Leslie's hilarious, frank homage to the technology that contributed so significantly to the person she is today. From accounts of the lawless chat rooms of early AOL to the perpetual high school reunions that are modern-day Facebook and Instagram, her essays paint a clear picture: That all of us I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is tech analyst Jess Kimball Leslie's hilarious, frank homage to the technology that contributed so significantly to the person she is today. From accounts of the lawless chat rooms of early AOL to the perpetual high school reunions that are modern-day Facebook and Instagram, her essays paint a clear picture: That all of us have a much more twisted, meaningful, emotional relationship with the online world than we realize or let on. Coming of age in suburban Connecticut in the late '80s and early '90s, Jess looked to the nascent Internet to find the tribes she couldn't find IRL: fellow Bette Midler fans; women who seemed impossibly sure of their sexuality; people who worked with computers every day as part of their actual jobs without being ridiculed as nerds. It's in large part because of her embrace of an online life that Jess is where she is now, happily married, with a wife, son, and dog, and making a living of analyzing Internet trends and forecasting the future of tech. She bets most people would credit technology for many of their successes, too, if they could only shed the notion that it's as a mind-numbing drug on which we're all overdosing.


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I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is tech analyst Jess Kimball Leslie's hilarious, frank homage to the technology that contributed so significantly to the person she is today. From accounts of the lawless chat rooms of early AOL to the perpetual high school reunions that are modern-day Facebook and Instagram, her essays paint a clear picture: That all of us I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is tech analyst Jess Kimball Leslie's hilarious, frank homage to the technology that contributed so significantly to the person she is today. From accounts of the lawless chat rooms of early AOL to the perpetual high school reunions that are modern-day Facebook and Instagram, her essays paint a clear picture: That all of us have a much more twisted, meaningful, emotional relationship with the online world than we realize or let on. Coming of age in suburban Connecticut in the late '80s and early '90s, Jess looked to the nascent Internet to find the tribes she couldn't find IRL: fellow Bette Midler fans; women who seemed impossibly sure of their sexuality; people who worked with computers every day as part of their actual jobs without being ridiculed as nerds. It's in large part because of her embrace of an online life that Jess is where she is now, happily married, with a wife, son, and dog, and making a living of analyzing Internet trends and forecasting the future of tech. She bets most people would credit technology for many of their successes, too, if they could only shed the notion that it's as a mind-numbing drug on which we're all overdosing.

30 review for I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It: Stories from an Online Life

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell

    Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Are you a 90s kid? Do you remember what the internet looked like it its early days? Did you have an awkward Myspace? I LOVE MY COMPUTER grabbed my attention because of that bright pink cover and that amazing title. "I love my computer because my friends live in it." Preach it, my fellow internet-aficionado! Anyone with an active social media presence these days can totally relate to having a friend circle that extends far, far away - espe Instagram || Twitter || Facebook || Amazon || Pinterest Are you a 90s kid? Do you remember what the internet looked like it its early days? Did you have an awkward Myspace? I LOVE MY COMPUTER grabbed my attention because of that bright pink cover and that amazing title. "I love my computer because my friends live in it." Preach it, my fellow internet-aficionado! Anyone with an active social media presence these days can totally relate to having a friend circle that extends far, far away - especially if they're a teeny bit awkward and quirky. This memoir is separated into several portions. The 1980s-90s describes the author's childhood, her frustration at copying things to floppy disks, the lengthy download time of Windows 95, and her internet escapades on the early chat rooms of the 90s. Watch her explore the Bette Midler forums with other obsessed fans. 2000-2005 talks about the author's adolescence and her experience with many popular websites in their early days. Oh, and by the way, she includes pictures that will have you smiling with nostalgia, remembering your own self-imposed frenzy at who to place in your top 8 and how to play songs on Winamp. She also talks about her years working as a Devil Wears Prada-esque personal assistant for a publishing firm & her years of living like a socialite on the dollar of some wealthy friends she met online. Remember the Blackberry? Oh yeah, you remember. 2005-2010 takes place in the author's later life, and talks about how she met her wife on match.com and how she adopted a puppy that makes sounds like a microwave from petfinder. This is a cute section. Her puppy-related shenanigans are pretty hilarious (and again - there's pics! yaaass), and I also liked how she wrote about adjusting to the stepmom life, too. It cracked me up how she ran to Facebook every time there was an issue and begged others for advice/support. 2015+ is kind of a retrospective, where the author makes closing statements and manages to get in a few digs at startup culture. She also talks about how weird it is that technology allows you to stalk the people you knew when you were young and find out uncomfortable amounts of information. I agree with that. It's shocking sometimes, what people are perfectly willing to share with strangers. I LOVE MY COMPUTER is definitely written for that gap of people that fall within Gen Y and Millennial. People who were too young to fully experience the 90s as a preteen or teenager, but who are old enough that they're often befuddled at some of the behaviors of their younger peers (like anything Instagram or Snapchat related, for example). This is the song of your generation! It actually kind of reminds me of Felicia Day's memoir in some ways, because both are written by geeky women with unusual interests who took advantage of the internet before it hit mainstream and watched it grow and evolve along with pop culture. I felt really nostalgic while reading about Windows 95 & seeing some of the screenshots she included of websites in their early days. I kept laughing and smiling, because her observations are either totally left field or totally on point. Either way, it's pretty darn endearing! Thanks to Netgalley/the publisher for the free copy! 4.5 stars!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kathleen

    The first half of this book was a five star read. The nostalgia of remembering early Internet paired with the author's personal memoirs of growing up Bette-Midler-obsessed in a family of geniuses is sharp, witty, and extremely relatable. Such as life, I suppose, the storytelling begins to sound cynical when the author moves to New York to work in publishing and social media. The nostalgia and early memoir are delightful. The closer the book comes to modern day, the more it feels like mockery of The first half of this book was a five star read. The nostalgia of remembering early Internet paired with the author's personal memoirs of growing up Bette-Midler-obsessed in a family of geniuses is sharp, witty, and extremely relatable. Such as life, I suppose, the storytelling begins to sound cynical when the author moves to New York to work in publishing and social media. The nostalgia and early memoir are delightful. The closer the book comes to modern day, the more it feels like mockery of selfies and Facebook and Twitter. While I agree wholeheartedly that the way social media is often employed is head-shaking at best, this delightful memoir begins to turn into more of a social commentary as the timeline of the text transitions from the 90s into the more recent 2000s. Overall, I enjoyed the book and would recommend it. However, I would have liked to read more of the reminiscing about discovering chat rooms and the fascination of new technology that was so slow and inefficient that it wouldn't even be tolerated today, but was like magic at the time. Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for providing an advance copy for review.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Suzanne

    I picked this up because the title made me laugh, and much of the rest of the book did too. I especially liked the first part, which described the beginnings of the internet and everyone's initial attempts to connect online. The exploration of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was fun too, and I learned some things. I agreed with the author's kind of snarky take on things like hashtagging everything, Facebook stalking, etc., and her sense of humor made me enjoy the book a l I picked this up because the title made me laugh, and much of the rest of the book did too. I especially liked the first part, which described the beginnings of the internet and everyone's initial attempts to connect online. The exploration of social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram was fun too, and I learned some things. I agreed with the author's kind of snarky take on things like hashtagging everything, Facebook stalking, etc., and her sense of humor made me enjoy the book a lot.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kim

    This was a pretty enjoyable, nostalgic read. The author explores the early days of the internet and computers and continues on through things such as facebook and online dating. I absolutely adored the early chapters as it stirred up so many memories (especially old games like myst, commander keen, Carmen Sandiego). Reminders of how long it would take to load a page and how long it would take to install an old operating system (i.e. windows 95). I felt the end of the book lost a bit of steam for This was a pretty enjoyable, nostalgic read. The author explores the early days of the internet and computers and continues on through things such as facebook and online dating. I absolutely adored the early chapters as it stirred up so many memories (especially old games like myst, commander keen, Carmen Sandiego). Reminders of how long it would take to load a page and how long it would take to install an old operating system (i.e. windows 95). I felt the end of the book lost a bit of steam for me as it was about things that I didn't have as much of a personal connection with such as friends working for internet startups or parenting groups. If you were a teen in the 1990s, I think you would especially enjoy this. Anyone who remembers the old wild west of the internet will find that it's a fun trip down memory lane. I received this from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Krysten

    Got about halfway through and said meh. It became apparent early on that this book wasn't going to be as ~relatable~ as I hoped in my heart of hearts. But I guess she wouldn't have gotten a book deal if all the internet gave her was a quiet set of friends that did not have any celebrity connections or even live in New York. There is more history and summarizing various social media apps than there is, like, embarrassing '90s chatroom shit. I came here for the embarrassing '90s chatroom shit. Siri, Got about halfway through and said meh. It became apparent early on that this book wasn't going to be as ~relatable~ as I hoped in my heart of hearts. But I guess she wouldn't have gotten a book deal if all the internet gave her was a quiet set of friends that did not have any celebrity connections or even live in New York. There is more history and summarizing various social media apps than there is, like, embarrassing '90s chatroom shit. I came here for the embarrassing '90s chatroom shit. Siri, add to my 'books with titles that are infinitely better than their content' shelf.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Jana

    I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I requested this book mostly because of the title - and because the description gave me the same vibe the title did: I was expecting a sort of hommage to social media and the internet and the ways you can make new friends and maintain online friendships. However, I was really disappointed with the book, as to me it seemed that a large portion of it was just the author complaining about the various popula I received a free copy from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. I requested this book mostly because of the title - and because the description gave me the same vibe the title did: I was expecting a sort of hommage to social media and the internet and the ways you can make new friends and maintain online friendships. However, I was really disappointed with the book, as to me it seemed that a large portion of it was just the author complaining about the various popular social media sites and the people on there. Online friendships were barely addressed at all I felt, and the parts that weren't complaining about social media were not connected to internet stuff at all really. However, I don't think the book is bad - I'm sure it is a fun memoir in general, but since it did not live up to my expectations and wasn't what I expected based on the synopsis I was disappointed. My rating of it is mostly emotional. This book comes out April 4.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Emi Bevacqua

    This book is so highly intoxicatingly relatable and hilarious I could not put it down! Jess Kimball Leslie is funnier than "a monkey in a business suit falling down an entire flight of stairs," and I loved everything about her book - growing up in Connecticut in the 90's and her early forays into the wilds of AOL, her nascent career in celebrity assistanthood and subsequent sendup of the world of tech journalism. Whether it was her thorough debunking of the stereotypical VC-backed startup fantas This book is so highly intoxicatingly relatable and hilarious I could not put it down! Jess Kimball Leslie is funnier than "a monkey in a business suit falling down an entire flight of stairs," and I loved everything about her book - growing up in Connecticut in the 90's and her early forays into the wilds of AOL, her nascent career in celebrity assistanthood and subsequent sendup of the world of tech journalism. Whether it was her thorough debunking of the stereotypical VC-backed startup fantasy, or a seemingly impromptu rant about IKEA or a morning at the dogpark, Jess Kimball Leslie entertains with self-effacing and intelligent wit, and tremendous insight. My only complaints are Kindle-formatting related ones: the lack of photos, and interrupted first word in each essay-chapter.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Melanie Johnson

    I enjoyed going back in time and remembering the days of MySpace and when computer monitors were big enough to give you brain damage if they fell on your head. The only thing I didn't like is that my advanced copy didn't include the pictures, which probably would have made this book much funnier. A quick read - thanks to NetGalley for the ARC! I enjoyed going back in time and remembering the days of MySpace and when computer monitors were big enough to give you brain damage if they fell on your head. The only thing I didn't like is that my advanced copy didn't include the pictures, which probably would have made this book much funnier. A quick read - thanks to NetGalley for the ARC!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Alyssa Nelson

    *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.* Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 For those of us who are part of the generation that remembers the internet suddenly being a thing in their pre-teen/teen years and embracing it wholeheartedly, I’m sure we can all relate to what Jess Kimball Leslie’s thoughts and feelings about growing up in a sudden digital age. When I saw this title, I had to read it, because I am definitely a computer geek an *I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review through NetGalley.* Overall Rating: 3.5 out of 5 For those of us who are part of the generation that remembers the internet suddenly being a thing in their pre-teen/teen years and embracing it wholeheartedly, I’m sure we can all relate to what Jess Kimball Leslie’s thoughts and feelings about growing up in a sudden digital age. When I saw this title, I had to read it, because I am definitely a computer geek and very proud of it. This is a collection of essays that details Leslie’s personal experiences around how her social life has been shaped by the internet while also giving some brief historical details about how the internet was back in its early days. Let’s start with the good stuff. Leslie gives a humorous and witty outlook on various internet related things: AOL, very specific chatrooms, Myspace vs. Facebook, Blackberries, etc. I especially related to her stories about how she found friendship online in a way that just wasn’t available “IRL.” For example, she was a huge Bette Midler fan, and she found “her people” in a Bette Midler themed chatroom and made friendships with them. As a kid, I loved Nancy Drew and joined forums where I could talk about those books to my heart’s content for HOURS and HOURS and there was always someone listening. Now, as a book blogger, I can relate. I don’t have many friends who go out of their way to read as much as possible and review books, but here we are, all gathered together on the interweb, pointing out to each other where the good books are. I love it! So, this in particular was very relatable. What I didn’t like was the organization/setup of the essays. They were each their own little pieces, with very little reference to what came before or after it, so the personal stories were a little hard to follow for me, because I couldn’t follow the progression of the timeline. It didn’t feel cohesive, and I think having the essays relate to each other just a little bit could have brought it together to improve the overall flow and feel of it. Aside from that, I genuinely enjoyed reading this book. I think that for people who are in the same boat as Leslie and remember a time pre- and post- internet, and were there when all the social media was developing (Myspace! Facebook! Twitter!), this will be a nice nostalgia trip. I’m not sure if younger people will enjoy it as much, but it could be interesting to read how the this stuff was developed and used before it was what it is today. Also posted on Purple People Readers.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Morgan

    I'm between 3 and 4 stars, so I'll split the difference with 3.5. I fell completely in love with this book in its early chapters, describing a kid who sounded suspiciously like me nagivating the early new waters of that thing called the Internet. It was equal parts squeamish nostalgia and hilarity and I only wish the entire book stayed in that setting, but technology progress is told through the author's life experience in New York. This is the point where my love took a sharp nose dive and by t I'm between 3 and 4 stars, so I'll split the difference with 3.5. I fell completely in love with this book in its early chapters, describing a kid who sounded suspiciously like me nagivating the early new waters of that thing called the Internet. It was equal parts squeamish nostalgia and hilarity and I only wish the entire book stayed in that setting, but technology progress is told through the author's life experience in New York. This is the point where my love took a sharp nose dive and by the time it came to the Internet start ups and step-parenting, I was finding it a challenge to finish chapters without falling asleep (not helped by the fact that I read in bed). What began as relatable quickly deteriorated into more of that New York/Brooklyn-air of privilege and no longer the fun jaunt down memory lane. Quick side note though on the subtitle--Stories from an Online Life. It feels like the chapters should be stand alone little stories, a la David Sedaris or Dave Barry, but that isn't really the case. The "online life" is really just a stream of consciousness progression from childhood through adulthood with the Internet as a tenuous connecting thread. It would have made more sense to be "a story" singular. All said, I do hope to read more from Jess Kimball Leslie; she has a distinct "voice" I can relate to when she's tying into the collective experience. ARC provided by NetGalley

  11. 4 out of 5

    Angie

    I completely forgot to write a review for this. The first thirty percent of this was great. It was a nice walk through memories of what it was like when the internet was “new” and exciting. As someone approximately the same age as the author, I identified a lot with the first third. The memories! The nostalgia! So many things I forgot about! Then it took a turn. What started off as a book that seemed like a little love letter to online friendships and connection ended up turning into “Here Is Wh I completely forgot to write a review for this. The first thirty percent of this was great. It was a nice walk through memories of what it was like when the internet was “new” and exciting. As someone approximately the same age as the author, I identified a lot with the first third. The memories! The nostalgia! So many things I forgot about! Then it took a turn. What started off as a book that seemed like a little love letter to online friendships and connection ended up turning into “Here Is What I Have Hated on the Internet.” It had such promise! As soon as the author came to work in social media, everything that made this an enjoyable read just stopped. The closer we got to current times, the more bitter and jaded the author came across. Once we got around to start-ups, it was heavy, slow-moving mud. Overall, the author has a easy-to-read writing style and is able to inject humor and wit into many familiar situations. That’s what made the first part of the book so enjoyable. The rest…. Sigh. No. It wasn’t even complaints with witty banter, it was just complaints. And that’s too bad. Required disclaimer: I received an advanced digital copy from the publisher and Netgalley for review.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Kimberlee

    I liked the beginning of this book and the author can be legitimately funny, but the second half just made her seem as condescending and horrible as the people she was describing. It's like she thought her readers were in on the joke, but I definitely was not. Also, this book is only tangentially aware of the effects of technology in her life. Sure she was one of the first user's but she just experiences social media and such like the rest of us did when it was emerging. Basically life happened I liked the beginning of this book and the author can be legitimately funny, but the second half just made her seem as condescending and horrible as the people she was describing. It's like she thought her readers were in on the joke, but I definitely was not. Also, this book is only tangentially aware of the effects of technology in her life. Sure she was one of the first user's but she just experiences social media and such like the rest of us did when it was emerging. Basically life happened and she's going to attribute all things meaningful to technology in some way. I'm part of the generation she's speaking too, so I thought it would be a bit more of a nostalgic read. Instead this was more of someone trying to be the cheeky geek girl who coincidentally wrote a memoir. Felicia Day definitely did it better. 3/5 Stars. I liked the author's humor, but I don't think the book as a whole worked for me.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Brian Gatwood

    I have no idea who Jess Kimball Leslie is. I got this book on the strength of the title and the cover typography. But after reading it I can safely say, I don’t really want to know who is Jess Kimball Leslie. Maybe it’s the classic tale of expectations vs. reality, but I thought I’m going to get a bunch of interesting essays about the intersection of technology and personal life. Instead, I got a bunch of not very interesting personal essays about. . . something, I guess? Her voice is mediocre a I have no idea who Jess Kimball Leslie is. I got this book on the strength of the title and the cover typography. But after reading it I can safely say, I don’t really want to know who is Jess Kimball Leslie. Maybe it’s the classic tale of expectations vs. reality, but I thought I’m going to get a bunch of interesting essays about the intersection of technology and personal life. Instead, I got a bunch of not very interesting personal essays about. . . something, I guess? Her voice is mediocre and indistinguishable from any random blogger on any random blog. Most of the time the focus is way off, there’s just too much tangential rambling going on. I lost my interest completely in the middle of the Gawker piece, but I’m stupid so I read on. Good news? It did not get any worse than that. I know, because I kept reading. Don’t ask. (source: netgalley)

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cat L

    Jess is snarky, sarcastic and lovable all in the span of a single chapter. It is almost scary to think of what her life would have been like had she not hit that "sweet spot" when the dawn of the internet for everyone was just being born. Her family stories and life experiences (while foreign to me) are conveyed with affection and terror. It is amazing to know that there are other people in this world that literally just stumbled into their lives by happy accident and somehow made it work. And as Jess is snarky, sarcastic and lovable all in the span of a single chapter. It is almost scary to think of what her life would have been like had she not hit that "sweet spot" when the dawn of the internet for everyone was just being born. Her family stories and life experiences (while foreign to me) are conveyed with affection and terror. It is amazing to know that there are other people in this world that literally just stumbled into their lives by happy accident and somehow made it work. And as a side note I now know what nascent means. Looking forward to reading more from Jess. Thank you to Netgalley and Perseus Books Group for the ARC of this book

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is the rare book that actually lives up to the title. From the first page, Jess Kimball Leslie does a wonderful job of making you laugh out loud with every story she tells. Anyone who is old enough to remember AOL chat rooms will appreciate this book's nostalgia, and those too young to remember those days should be required to read this book to learn how far it has all come! My only complaint is that it was too short-I could have read Leslie's sto I Love My Computer Because My Friends Live in It is the rare book that actually lives up to the title. From the first page, Jess Kimball Leslie does a wonderful job of making you laugh out loud with every story she tells. Anyone who is old enough to remember AOL chat rooms will appreciate this book's nostalgia, and those too young to remember those days should be required to read this book to learn how far it has all come! My only complaint is that it was too short-I could have read Leslie's stories forever! I received an ARC of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased opinion.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stella

    Can Jess be my new best friend? She'd totally be in my 'top 8.' A short, hilarious collection of essays, documenting a life with the internet. From the early days of AOL chat rooms, to her first blackberry and the nightmare that follows, to Twitter to Facebook groups, Jess Kimball Leslie is a child of the internet age. There is something very familiar to her stories, maybe you too met your best friends on the internet, or you suffer at a startup. This is the world we live in, growing with with g Can Jess be my new best friend? She'd totally be in my 'top 8.' A short, hilarious collection of essays, documenting a life with the internet. From the early days of AOL chat rooms, to her first blackberry and the nightmare that follows, to Twitter to Facebook groups, Jess Kimball Leslie is a child of the internet age. There is something very familiar to her stories, maybe you too met your best friends on the internet, or you suffer at a startup. This is the world we live in, growing with with giant Compaq monitors and weird educational games, now carrying our entire lives in pocket sized devices. I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for this review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    I had the privilege of reading this for Netgalley, and it was basically a 90s kids dream. Jess Kimball-Leslie is funny and relatable. The book is broken into good-sized pieces and her anecdotes are hilarious. Heaps of interesting insight that I'll be able to use in my Media classroom. I had the privilege of reading this for Netgalley, and it was basically a 90s kids dream. Jess Kimball-Leslie is funny and relatable. The book is broken into good-sized pieces and her anecdotes are hilarious. Heaps of interesting insight that I'll be able to use in my Media classroom.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kyleigh

    I LOVED this book. It was so real and relatable to me. So many times I laughed out loud in this and the people sitting next to me waiting for class looked at me like I was the lunatic. I am literally preordering a hard copy for this book right now because I need it in my life ASAP

  19. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten is tired

    A lovely look at the Internet from someone who spent their formative years in it, like me! I enjoyed a lot of the stories, although it veers away from the Internet by the end. Thanks to Netgalley for the read.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ilana

    Once upon a time it was the first Internet address - mine was hotmail - and the chat rooms, and the MySpace and the Mozilla, and so many wanders hard to describe to someone that grew up with. Besides the technological novelty, the Internet brought a tremendous change in the realm of human relationships, creating that easiness of talking with strangers and in many cases, encouraging people to be themselves, at least while online. Although I have no therapist background at all, I am sure that for Once upon a time it was the first Internet address - mine was hotmail - and the chat rooms, and the MySpace and the Mozilla, and so many wanders hard to describe to someone that grew up with. Besides the technological novelty, the Internet brought a tremendous change in the realm of human relationships, creating that easiness of talking with strangers and in many cases, encouraging people to be themselves, at least while online. Although I have no therapist background at all, I am sure that for many, it helps a lot to create that strength of coming up in the real life too. In a this funny collection of short stories from the very first time of the Internet - which were not so old times at all, by the way, Jess Kimball Leslie is sharing her own experience of life, identity and love stories. The angle outlining how the birth of the Internet contributed to empower her identity and help her be in touch with people sharing the same interests adds relevance to her story itself. It shows the impact of the late decades of technological development on human behavior and the ways in which Internet and its communication tools helped create better stories. Obviously, there are so many downsides and dangers and unpleasant and even tragical occurences that took place under the anonymous cover of the Internet, but in the case of 'I Love my computer because my friends live in it', there is a positive vibe which make you think that there could be good Internet-related news too, and not only short-lived chat room romances. This collection of stories by Jess Kimball Leslie is that kind of book that you can read easily but not without leaving you with some deep thoughts about how the Internet changed - with its good, bad and ugly - your life. I loved the (self)ironic style and the authentic strong voice of the author. She is a good storyteller and would love to read more from her. Disclaimer: Book offered by the publisher in exchange for an honest review

  21. 4 out of 5

    Paula

    I finished this only because I cannot stand DNF'ing things when I'm more than halfway through a novel. I completed this memoir for the Read Harder challenge. Which I abandoned during the reading of this book. The first half of this book is funny and compelling. It makes older millennials nostalgic for debut of technology during their childhoods. I'd forgotten how computers and the internet were considered to be only for "hobbists". I forgot how people never saw things really taking off until it I finished this only because I cannot stand DNF'ing things when I'm more than halfway through a novel. I completed this memoir for the Read Harder challenge. Which I abandoned during the reading of this book. The first half of this book is funny and compelling. It makes older millennials nostalgic for debut of technology during their childhoods. I'd forgotten how computers and the internet were considered to be only for "hobbists". I forgot how people never saw things really taking off until it was too late. The advancement of technology and the influence that it has had on our lives has picked failed to lose momentum. It was nice to have a walk down memory lane. Somewhere during the middle, the train jumped the tracks. The memoir became a train wreck. It went from being organized and centered around technology with personal vignettes sprinkled in to rants about the influence that technology had upon the author's personal life. Her rants went from being funny and relatable to bitter and jaded. This personal reflection went from being a nice chat about yester-years to a uncomfortable diatribe about the past coworkers and old flames. Somewhere around the last 30 pages the author tries to get things back on track. She tries to lay on the charm that got the reader from page 1 to 100. Then the formula no longer works. The author goes from being happy to depressed to angry to awkward. She grasps at straws during the last 30 pages to try to get the reader's attentions but actually makes Leslie seem awkward and desperate. I really wanted to like this book but in the end, it was a miss. The first half of this book was a 4 star read for me, and it dropped to a 1 star by the memoir's end. I give this book about a 2 star. It was funny at first but it became excruciatingly painful by the end.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shaun

    I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I remember the old days of waiting for AOL to connect through my telephone line and hearing (hopefully) that chime "You've Got Mail!". I'm a few years older than the author, so was looking forward to reminiscing about those early days. The first part of this book helped me do that. The humor was self-deprecating, witty and funny. It took a turn as the author grew up and the essays turned into commentary on the way o I received a copy of this book for free through a Goodreads First Reads Giveaway. I remember the old days of waiting for AOL to connect through my telephone line and hearing (hopefully) that chime "You've Got Mail!". I'm a few years older than the author, so was looking forward to reminiscing about those early days. The first part of this book helped me do that. The humor was self-deprecating, witty and funny. It took a turn as the author grew up and the essays turned into commentary on the way others use the internet and why that way should be looked down upon and mocked. I agree, for the most part, with the author's stance on social media. I find it just as pointless and recognize the negatives more than the positives within it. However, how others choose to use social media doesn't bother me and really doesn't have an impact on how I live my life. The same, it seems, can not be said for Leslie. The humor in this second part of the book turns to sarcastic and snarky humor. This begins to come off as bitterness and a touch of arrogance on the part of the author. The final essay, is by far the best though. The author discusses meeting her wife and adopting their dog. When Leslie talks about her family, the snark and bitterness washes away and it seems she appreciates where she is in life and what she has at this point. Maybe that's the point of the overall arc of the book...that with all the cynicism and sarcasm in the world online, you can still find that those closest to you center you and bring you back to yourself. Or maybe I'm over-analyzing it. In any case, if you enjoy snarky, sarcastic humor with a touch of bitterness while judging others, this is the book for you. I love sarcasm, but it didn't really work for me in this book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    Summary: Jess shares anecdotes over 20+ years, from the late 1980s through present day. She details moments when her life was influenced by or intersected with emerging and popular technologies. Thoughts: I rated this book three stars for its topic and humor. The writing itself is a bit clunky at times, but the book is very readable and mostly enjoyable. There were a few times the narrative wandered off into random areas, closer to The Devil Wears Prada, but overall, it was a light, confectionery r Summary: Jess shares anecdotes over 20+ years, from the late 1980s through present day. She details moments when her life was influenced by or intersected with emerging and popular technologies. Thoughts: I rated this book three stars for its topic and humor. The writing itself is a bit clunky at times, but the book is very readable and mostly enjoyable. There were a few times the narrative wandered off into random areas, closer to The Devil Wears Prada, but overall, it was a light, confectionery read. I recently read You're Never Weird on the Internet by Felicia Day (which I adored, go read!), and I Love My Computer passes for a cute follow-on in the same genre. I'm about five years older than Jess, and we seem to have have experienced similar moments with technologies mentioned. From AOL and beyond, it was a virtual trip down memory lane, and I found quite a few of her stories relatable.  Some gems included her early experiences of meeting online friends in real life, as well as her observations regarding Twitter and Facebook: We said nothing meaningful to each other during high school, and we judged each other to be different. Now, on the Internet, we say nothing meaningful to each other again, and we realize we're all the same. Full review available at: http://sandinthepages.com/i-love-my-c...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    I wanted to like this book. It started out sort of funny and highlighted some of the easily forgotten parts of the days of the early internet. Then it started to skip around and devolve. Some of the "facts" about the popularity and origins of things like Twitter and blogging were more opinions than actual fact. Her side stories into her friendship with wealthy, famous people were interesting but not fleshed out. I wish she had written a straight up memoir without trying to shoehorn the history o I wanted to like this book. It started out sort of funny and highlighted some of the easily forgotten parts of the days of the early internet. Then it started to skip around and devolve. Some of the "facts" about the popularity and origins of things like Twitter and blogging were more opinions than actual fact. Her side stories into her friendship with wealthy, famous people were interesting but not fleshed out. I wish she had written a straight up memoir without trying to shoehorn the history of the internet into it. It came across very choppy. It would have been easy to blend the internet stuff into a regular memoir; there was no reason for chapters and sections to be based around what website was popular at the time. It came across as forced and artificial. It also kept her from delving into anything personal too deeply. The author should have either written a memoir or written a social history of the internet not try to cover both in one book. As a result, she failed at both. Thanks Netgalley for allowing me to read this book.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Desmond

    Got ARC from Net Galley. Sadly the title was better than the actual book. I guess I was expecting something else. I found this book incredibly boring. She was taking a journey down memory lane with how the internet evolved but I just wasn't interested in what she was saying. I thought this would be a funny book about how the internet started and where it ended up but I couldn't get past thirty percent of the way in. I just had to put it down. I'm sure the book is better with the pictures but I don Got ARC from Net Galley. Sadly the title was better than the actual book. I guess I was expecting something else. I found this book incredibly boring. She was taking a journey down memory lane with how the internet evolved but I just wasn't interested in what she was saying. I thought this would be a funny book about how the internet started and where it ended up but I couldn't get past thirty percent of the way in. I just had to put it down. I'm sure the book is better with the pictures but I don't think that would help me get through this book. I just wasn't interested in anything and I have to wonder if she really met Tom Hanks. Did she really meet him? Do I really care? The answer to that would be no. It was just very disappointing that I didn't get what I was expecting. Going by the title I thought it would be funny moments of the evolution of the internet but the writing just didn't mesh with me. http://www.ficgal.com/book-club/i-lov...

  26. 4 out of 5

    Evie

    A full review is to come, but this book heavily focuses on internet evolution and technology and how those new bits of tech in our lives have affected how we connect with others and view ourselves. This is intermingled with an LGBT coming of age in New York story, the author becoming a stepmom, and trying to find a way to locate community as someone a bit introverted in a city which requires you to truly get out there. It's a reflection that I couldn't put down even though I don't have a ton in A full review is to come, but this book heavily focuses on internet evolution and technology and how those new bits of tech in our lives have affected how we connect with others and view ourselves. This is intermingled with an LGBT coming of age in New York story, the author becoming a stepmom, and trying to find a way to locate community as someone a bit introverted in a city which requires you to truly get out there. It's a reflection that I couldn't put down even though I don't have a ton in common with the author. I just have my own collection of odd quirks with which I can deeply relate. If you're looking for a book that's just going to show the chronological development of the internet and modern technology, you're going to be left wanting. But if you want something that brings in that technology timeline in a book filled with humor and heart oh, this is absolutely something you should pick up.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Patrycja

    This is funny memoir with stories from online life, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. But there is one little thing, that made me take away half of the star. I love the title, but it is misleading. There is actually not that much of online friendship and making friends through online chatrooms. But still, I do think that this is a great read. Especially if you are geek / nerd like me. The stories Jess told are funny, sometimes sarcastic, and I was laughing out loud a lot. Jess writes about her adv This is funny memoir with stories from online life, and I enjoyed reading it a lot. But there is one little thing, that made me take away half of the star. I love the title, but it is misleading. There is actually not that much of online friendship and making friends through online chatrooms. But still, I do think that this is a great read. Especially if you are geek / nerd like me. The stories Jess told are funny, sometimes sarcastic, and I was laughing out loud a lot. Jess writes about her adventures with computer and internet starting in 1990s. She talks also about social media, and her personal life as an adult. It is a nostalgic tribute to early technology and internet. It is light and interesting read. Jess's style is witty and enjoyable. Hey Jess, I would like to add you to top 8 of my friends.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    There were a lot of really funny and entertaining moments in this book. For me, the disconnect that made it hard to read was the fact that I have no first hand experience with the beginnings of the internet with chat rooms and dial-up. Yes, I was alive during that time, but I didn't get a computer with the internet until college in 2009. I feel that by missing out on that part of the early internet experience, I couldn't relate to the story, and ended up confused by some of the situations. For t There were a lot of really funny and entertaining moments in this book. For me, the disconnect that made it hard to read was the fact that I have no first hand experience with the beginnings of the internet with chat rooms and dial-up. Yes, I was alive during that time, but I didn't get a computer with the internet until college in 2009. I feel that by missing out on that part of the early internet experience, I couldn't relate to the story, and ended up confused by some of the situations. For those that do remember what it was like to navigate the internet when everything was new, this is a book that will bring back memories, whether good or bad I can't say. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Author: Jess Kimball Leslie Publisher: Running Press Adult Publication Date: 25 Apr 2017

  29. 4 out of 5

    Books In Brogan

    I thought this would be an interesting read and was disappointed.  If you aren't from the Northeast area and have a very active online life you won't find most of the book very good and while there were parts that were funny, I unfortunately didn't find the book very readable as a whole.This review was originally posted on Books In Brogan I thought this would be an interesting read and was disappointed.  If you aren't from the Northeast area and have a very active online life you won't find most of the book very good and while there were parts that were funny, I unfortunately didn't find the book very readable as a whole.This review was originally posted on Books In Brogan

  30. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    This book is a memoir of sorts with essays about various trends in technology from the 1980s to the present that impacted the life of the author and helped her develop into the person that she is. I enjoyed the first half of the book because it was a sort of nostalgic look at the technology of my own childhood. The book got much less interesting for me as we moved into the technology and social media of the present day. It wasn't nearly as interesting to me without that nostalgic tinge on it. This book is a memoir of sorts with essays about various trends in technology from the 1980s to the present that impacted the life of the author and helped her develop into the person that she is. I enjoyed the first half of the book because it was a sort of nostalgic look at the technology of my own childhood. The book got much less interesting for me as we moved into the technology and social media of the present day. It wasn't nearly as interesting to me without that nostalgic tinge on it.

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