Tuesday, January 18, 2011

What I've Been Reading

I have spent the past few days in Key Biscayne with my family, temporarily avoiding the dreary winter weather of Boston. My vacation read was The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer by Jane Smiley. 

The book is not perfect.  The prose is wooden at times (which is surprising, as Smiley is an accomplished novelist), and the description of some of the technical stuff is a bit hard to follow, but the story told is interesting and new (to me, as least).  I gather, however, that Smiley's take on the history is controversial, and I am certainly in no position to judge whether or not she gives Atanasoff more credit than he is due.