January 31, 2006

Reading

Finally managed to finish a couple of books:

Ambient Findability is a very concise introduction to the world of Information Architecture, and more specifically, an examination of the ways in which information can be organized, sought and presented.

I'm not sure how useful this book would be to folks who have already done much in the way of IA coursework, but I found it easy to read quickly and pretty helpful. Plus, Morville quotes my friend Mike Pusateri.

More importantly, I finally finished the Baroque Cycle.

Weighing in at over 3000 pages, it's taken me over two years to finally find enough time to read Quicksilver, The Confusion and The System of the World. I know many folk who have struggled to read these books (compared to Cryponomicon, which was infinitedly more user-friendly), but it really does start to kick into overdrive around 200 pages into the first book.

The main thing is that Stephenson writes novels of ideas and you have to be willing to go along for the ride. Long digressions on sewage, goldsmithing, the machinations of the Nobility and the Mobility, the architecture of the Towwer of London and sundry sex acts. And of course, the history of science, told from inside. Which means that science is viewed in the context of religion, politics, art, piracy and finance.

Ultimately, it's a pretty stunning accomplishment. Having written a couple of novels myself, I frankly have a hard time imagining the amount of dedication it takes to simply get this all down on paper. But then I'm a lazy sod.

Posted by krudman at January 31, 2006 11:53 PM | TrackBack
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