ONE DIGITAL DAY

THE MICROCHIP IS CHANGING OUR WORLD

The ubiquitous microchip is celebrated in soma 200 color photographs, taken in the course of one day (July 11, 1997) by approximately 100 photojournalists scattered around the globe. While we may take it for granted that the microprocessor has infiltrated and altered almost every element of life having to do with technology, it’s still startling to see how pervasive its influence is. A portrait of Thai monks gathered ‘round a computer to study the teachings of the Buddha, of a Chinese sailor steering his junk and blithely chatting on a cellular telephone, or of a group of rural South African pensioners lining up at a computer that will identify them by their fingerprints before issuing a monthly check are likely to surprise even a jaded technophile. Much of the book, however, focuses on the specific ways in which the microchip is expanding life’s possibilities, with a heavy stress on how microchip-driven technology is helping to cure disease and enhance the lives of those with a variety of disabilities. The upbeat message throughout is hardly surprising, given that the project was sponsored by the Intel Corporation. Still, as a primer on cutting edge work in health, the environment, And other sciences, and as a vivid tour of the world’s obsession with all things technological, One Digital Day is breezily effective. (First serial to Fortune; $300,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: June 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-8129-3031-2

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Times/Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 1998

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...

THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE

50TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION

Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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