Spend the winter reading novels of our online brains


Left, No One Is Talking About This by Patrica Lockwood. Right, Fake Accounts by Lauren Oyler. | Left, Riverhead. Right, Catapult.

The Vox Book Club is reading Patricia Lockwood’s No One Is Talking About This and Lauren Oyler’s Fake Accounts.

The Vox Book Club is linking to Bookshop.org to support local and independent booksellers.

This winter, the Vox Book Club is going to spend some time thinking about the place where we all seem to live half our lives these days: the internet.

How does living on the internet change our brains? How does it change our books? And how do we write about something so bizarre and abstract in ways that are actually interesting to read?

The two books we’ll be reading in December and January propose answers to these questions, with tricky, funny, weird results. In December, we’ll tackle Lauren Oyler’s wry and cynical Fake Accounts, about a woman who finds out that her normal-seeming boyfriend has a second life as an Instagram conspiracy theorist. Then, in January, we’ll turn to Patricia Lockwood’s amusing, tender No One Is Talking About This, a sort of stream of communal consciousness novel in which the consciousness is Twitter.

Oyler is a literary critic and Lockwood is a poet, so they are both highly interested in the way language and novels respond to a shifting world. These books are profoundly concerned with how social media has changed the ways we think about ourselves, the ways we imagine our identities, the very patterns of our thoughts. What’s more, they are shining examples of what the novel can look like in the era of being Extremely Online.

At the end of January, we’ll meet up with both Oyler and Lockwood live on Zoom to talk about the internet, the internet novel, and what’s happening to our minds when we spend time online. You can RSVP here, and reader questions are encouraged. In the meantime, subscribe to the Vox Book Club newsletter to make sure you don’t miss anything.

The full Vox Book Club schedule for December 2021 and January 2022

Friday, December 17: Discussion post on Fake Accounts published to Vox.com

Friday, January 7: Discussion post on No One Is Talking About This published to Vox.com

Thursday, January 20, noon ET: Virtual live event with authors Lauren Oyler and Patricia Lockwood. You can RSVP here. Reader questions are encouraged!