Lately I've been reading a lot of nonfiction. Which is good because I'm learning a ton of facts about stuff I probably will never use in Real Life. But it's also a bit unfortunate in that I often don't have a lot of "review" to write here.
Why? Well, sure I can review whether the book was well-written, as opposed to being rife with grammatical or spelling errors or a despicable lack of Style. But unless it's a book on a nonfiction thing I understand well--writing, for instance, or history or cooking--I don't tend to have an opinion formulated on the actual subject, and without an opinion I can't really critique the author's.
Take, for instance, one of my current nonfiction conquests, Just My Type: A Book About Fonts by Simon Garfield.* Now, I don't know much about typography. This is the first book about fonts I have read (although it has made me want to read more). However, like most people, I hold many deep convictions about fonts and font choice. Most people might not realize that they have a preference for things like that, because it's such a subconscious thing. Words are words, right? Wrong. You may take something more seriously if it's written in Courier than Comic Sans, for instance.
That's what this book is about. The history, psychology, and "personality" of fonts. How certain fonts have invaded every aspect of life *cough*Helvetica*cough.* How some fonts are copies of other fonts. And how some fonts are inextricably connected to certain things, like Papyrus is to maps of Egypt or TV Victorian-adventure movies.** Just My Type is also a nonfiction book that recognizes its place in our multimedia culture, referencing music, art, and even this online video from College Humor: