Kieran Snyder is the CEO and co-founder of of the Seattle-based award-winning augmented writing company Textio (which, full disclosure, makes her my boss). She has a PhD in linguistics from University of Pennsylvania, and has written about language and culture in Fortune, Re/code, Slate, the Washington Post, and, of course, on the Textio blog. Do not challenge her to Boggle or Scrabble, if you are competitive and not preternaturally skilled at those types of word games (it's nearly a lock she'll sweep the board). She always has such great book recommendations on our company's Slack, that I thought hearing what she's been reading would be a great way to welcome in 2020.
I'd be remiss if I didn't note that Textio is a very unique home for word nerds who want to work on amazing language challenges, at the #1 best place to work in Washington State, according to Seattle Business in 2018. We're hiring, if that sounds intriguing to you.
What are you reading now?
I actually just finished it a couple of hours ago. John Hodgman writes about being a minor celebrity who didn't recognize that his moment of TV stardom was passing until it was done. Funny, compassionate, smart. A good way to start the new year.
What did you read last?
Conversations with Friends, by Sally Rooney.
I read her second book in 2019 (Normal People) and was excited to go back and check out her debut. Coming of age story in contemporary Ireland. This knocked the wind out of me before I even knew I was hit. It is a gentle punch.
What are you reading next?
My brief look makes it feel like a hybrid between a novel and a poem. Women's stories, and especially women of color's stories, in modern London. Jensen [Harris, Textio's co-founder, and Mr. Kieran Snyder] told me I would like it because it was British and looked like it had a lot of adjectives in it. I read a bunch of reviews and can't wait to get started.