I finished my latest– and for a while, my last– book review, a piece on Tom Misa’s forthcoming Leonardo to the Internet. It turned out to be one of those reviews that talks about lots of ideas, and occasionally about the book.
In other words, it’s the kind of review that I like to write, but which I suspect drives some authors batty.
I knew Tom very vaguely in college– he was finishing his Ph.D. when I was a freshman– and remember him as a pretty balanced sort. So I suspect he’ll be cool. Plus, this is his fifth book, so he should have seen all kinds of reviews by now.
The piece is going to run in American Scholar, which has been going through book review editors the way Spinal Tap went through drummers: this is my third or fourth in six years, and I’m working with my third editor. However, they’ve all been good, so I can’t complain. Of course, this one is so overdue they’re not likely to call again….
Now I can return my evening and weekend attention to my Red Herring blog, which is a big enough enterprise to make me give up book reviewing (unless TLS calls, which is not likely). I’ve now got access to Red Herring’s Movable Type system, so I’m going to be able to write these pieces the way I’ve wanted to: not first in Word, but straight online. We’re now up to a set of pieces on pervasive computing; today’s installment is about the origins of the physical-digital divide. It’s a subject I’ve thought a lot about, and now feel like I’m starting to understand. I suspect it’s a subject I’m going to be working on for years.
[To the tune of Thomas Dolby, “I Love You Goodbye,” from the album The Best Of Thomas Dolby – Retrospectacle.]