I find Neal Stephenson to be a bit condescending, perhaps even patronizing. Reading Seveneves (and Stephenson in general) is a little like being cornered by a socially awkward geek who just has to tell you about this amazing cool new technology thing that they’ve been researching or working on or whatever. This is not a serious problem since he really does have some amazing things to tell you about. Continue reading

This book is special. There’s nothing particularly novel about the story. It is a very old story (or perhaps several old stories if you prefer). There’s a wizard in a tower in a valley with a dark, scary forest. The wizard takes young girls from the village to serve in his tower, and blah blah blah, it’s practically a cliche, or several cliches, really. But it is the telling that counts, and Novik tells with remarkable care and detail. She takes classic fairy-tale material and makes it real for a modern reader. Continue reading

The current trends in web design include several abominations. That is not to say that there have been no positive trends; quite the opposite. Today’s websites are tremendously better than their ancestors. However, with change comes mistakes, and there is one mistake that I wish to call attention to today, the infinite scroll. Continue reading

David Mitchell writes excellent characters. They aren’t necessarily remarkable people; rather they simply have incredibly distinct voices. From teenage runaways to middle-aged writers to sociopaths, everyone stands out so clearly. This gives Mitchell’s stories a very personal feeling. The compulsion to know what happens next becomes the compulsion to know what the characters do next. Continue reading

Book Cover

In case you hadn’t heard (it’s been quite popular of late), Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty is a book on economics. Why would a book on economics be popular? That is a good question. The simple reason is because, unlike most books that are assigned to an academic subject rather than to a genre, it is written for everyone. The other reason is that this book is thorough in an unusual way. Continue reading