Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson. A collection of essays culled from various zine articles, talks and book intros over two decades by the Canadian-American novelist, who is credited with coining the term “cyberspace.” Gibson offers cultural insights on the global technostream, such as his view that television, the internet and other technological wonders of our age render the human race a vast cybernetic communal organism. Fascinating sci-fi-ish explorations, complete with side jaunts into wristwatch collecting, George Orwell and spherical Japanese sink stoppers.
The Third Gate by Lincoln Child. A secret Egyptian tomb cursed by an ancient ruler, treasure hunters and psychic phenomena blend reasonably well in the latest high-tech-with-a-dark-underbelly thriller from the perennially bestselling writer. A bit predictable at times but nevertheless a fast-fun read.
Duchamp by Calvin Tomkins. The life and times of the French-born artist Marcel Duchamp, whose early 20th century works challenged the status quo. His interactive notions of artistic creation – making the spectator part of the creative act – in some ways foreshadowed by half a century avant-garde artists like Andy Warhol. Despite a hundred years of critical intellectualization brought to bear on his art, Duchamp remains in some ways an iconoclastic enigma, a man who in his later years gave up art to pursue a passion for chess.
Peter Jennings: A Reporter’s Life by Kate Darnton, Kayce Freed Jennings and Lynn Sherr. A longtime ABC anchor, Jennings rose to prominence before the 24-hour news cycle went into hyperdrive, an era when the big three networks dominated the business of news reporting. A collection of memories from family, colleagues and interviewees showcase a remarkable intelligence, a man whose goal was to present the news with clarity, accuracy and fairness. Jenning’s life stands in contrast to the more dismal elements of contemporary media, where the cybernetic organism known as news is awash in partisan voices who seem unaware that high-volume braggadocio is not the same as a passionate search for truth.