Tag Archives: Joe Ide

Blog Round Up, First Quarter 2020

This quarter has seen the whole world shelter in place.  This enforced isolation up ends decades of advocacy for more human contact.

In recent years,  I have written a lot (a whole book) about Coworking as “a respite from our isolation”  (Klaas, 2014) [1].

This is still true, but coworking is out for now–don’t do it.  Stay home, no matter how unpleasant, until it is safe to meet again.  Community will be back.

Lot’s of other people’s wisdom has to be put on hold for the duration as well.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” (unknown, attr. to Edmund Burke)

must now be:

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of COVID-19 is for good men and women to not do nothing.”

The Art of Gathering” (Parker, 2018)  must now be the art of NOT gathering.  We’re all still trying to figure how to be artful about it.

How to do Nothing”  (Odell, 2019)  All the more important, while we must all find the strength to do very little.

“Alone Together” (Turkle, 2011) [2]  We have to be alone.  Let’s try to be together about it.

The Usual Blog Fodder Interesting Topics

I seem to never get tired of some things.

Blockchain mania, the melting cryosphere, robots, dinosaurs, solar energy.

Some Ideas for Band Names

…torn from the pages of real scientific papers

Wing Heart
Scent Pads
Failed Squid Meal

Prey Seizure

Books Reviewed

As ususal, weekly book reviews.  12 fiction, 7 non-fiction.


Shadow Captain by Alastair Reynolds
The Night Watchman by Louise Erdrich
Trace Elements by Donna Leon
Processed Cheese by Stephen Wright
Interior Chinatown by Charles Yu
Highfire by Eoin Colfer
The Feral Detective by Jonathan Letham
Hi Five by Joe Ide
Agency by William Gibson
Zed by Joanna Kavenna
Naked Came The Florida Man by Tim Dorsey
A Small Town by Thomas Perry
Trust Exercise by Susan Choi

Non Fiction

The Shadow of Vesuvius by Daisy Dunn
Leonardo Da Vinci by Walter Isaacson
Imagined Life by James Trefil and Michael Summers
Uncanny Valley by Anna Wiener
The Great Pretender by Susannah Cahalan
Island People by Joshua Jelly-Schapiro
The Accursed Tower by Roger Crowley

  1. Zachary R. Klaas, Coworking & Connectivity in Berlin. University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, 2014. https://www.academia.edu/11486279/Coworking_Connectivity
  2. Sherry Turkle, Alone Together, New York, BAsic Books, 2011.


Book Review: “Hi Five” by Joe Ide

Hi Five by Joe Ide

IQ is back!

IQ is still solving mysteries and fixing things in the hood. He’s made enemies, but made more friends and a reputation.  He’s got a lovely girlfriend (though he certainly hasn’t forgotten Grace).

The problem with having a reputation is that people expect things from you.  IQ is called in by a gangster who wants IQ to clear his daughter from a murder charge.  This is not someone IQ would deal with, but it’s a deal he can’t refuse.

It’s also an unsolvable case.

There are gangs and white nationalists and professional killers.  It’s a dangerous, no win, mess.  As per usual.

And, naturally, life goes on. Dodson wants back in, TK has a problem, Grace (and Ruffin) comes back to town.  Yet more kinds of problems for IQ to try to solve.

Lot’s of fast-paced action.  (Mercifully, Ide has throttled back on the graphic violence.  There’s plenty of violence, but it isn’t described in sickening detail.)

LA is getting too hot to handle.  How can IQ help people, defeat the wicked,  protect the innocent, and keep his loved ones safe?

  1. Joe Ide, Hi Five, New York, Mulholland Books, 2020.


Sunday Book Reviews

Blog Roundup 2018: Books Reviewed

A regular feature of this blog is the Sunday Book Reviews, short reviews of books I read this year.  Most of the books were new or recently published.

This year I reviews 58 fiction and 18 non-fiction books. (This doesn’t count the many articles and reports I comment on throughout the year.)

This years reading included lots of favorites including Thomas Perry, Charles Stross, Joe Ide, Donna Leon, A. Lee Martinez.

There are also some new favorites I discovered this year, including Nnedi Okorafor, Edgar Cantero, Theodora Goss, Vivan Shaw.

Some highly recommended* books:

(*This is a highly unsystematic selection—these are all definitely worth your time, though there may be others in my list below that are even better.)

Non fiction

Stamped From The Beginning  (2016)  by Ibram X. Kendi
The Fighters by C. J. Chivers
Ada’s Algorithm (2014) by James Essinger
Crash Test Girl by Kari Byron


The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter (2017) by Theodora Goss
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw
Circe by Madeline Miller

The Whole List

A list of all the book reviews (in no particular order…)


A Horse Walks into a Bar by David Grossman
Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk
Akata Warrior by Nnedi Okorafor
Amberlough by Lara Elena Donnelly
An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green
Armistice by Lara Elena Donnelly
Blackfish City by Sam J. Miller
Bonfire by Krysten Ritter
Celestial Mechanics by William Least Heat-Moon
Circe by Madeline Miller
Constance Verity Saves The World by A. Lee Martinez
Dark State by Charles Stross
Dreadful Company by Vivian Shaw
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid
French Exit by Patrick DeWitt
Good Guys by Steven Brust
Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer
How Long ‘Til Black Future Month? By N. K Jemisin
I Find Your Lack of Faith Disturbing by A. D. Jameson
I Only Killed Him Once by Adam Christopher
Kill the Farm Boy by Delilah S. Dawson and Kevin Hearne
Kismet by Luke Tredget
Koko Uncaged by Kieran Shea
Kudos by Rachel Cusk
Make a Nerdy Living by Alex Langley
Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Noir by Christopher Moore
Only To Sleep by Lawrence Osborne
Open Me by Lisa Locascio
Quillifer by Walter Jon Williams
Red Waters Rising by Laura Ann Gilman
Robots Vs Fairies edited by Dominick Parisien Navah Wolfe
Sophia of Silicon Valley by Anna Yen
Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw
Street Freaks by Terry Brooks
Tell The Machine Goodnight by Katie Williams
The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker
The Bomb Maker by Thomas Perry
The Book of Phoenix (2015) by Nnedi Okorafor
The Cackle of Cthulhu edited by Alex Shvartsman
The City of Lost Fortunes by Bryan Camp
The Clockmaker’s Daughter by Kate Morton
The Final Frontier edited by Neil Clarke
The Judge Hunter by Christopher Buckley
The Labyrinth Index by Charles Stross
The Man From The Diogenes Club by Kim Newman
The Perfect Nanny by Leila Slimani
The Pope of Palm Beach by Tim Dorsey
The Song of Achilles (2102) by Madeline Miller
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter by Theodora Goss
The Tangled Lands by Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias S. Buckell
The Temptation of Forgiveness by Donna Leon
There, There by Tommy Orange
This Body’s Not Big Enough For Both Of Us by Edgar Cantero
Versailles by Yannick Hill
Who Fears Death (2011) by Nnedi Okorafor
Wrecked by Joe Ide

Non Fiction

Ada’s Algorithm (2014) by James Essinger
Adults in the Room by Yanis Varoufakis
Bad Blood by John Carreyrou
City of Demons by Paul French
Crash Test Girl by Kari Byron
Darwin Comes To Town by Menno Schilthuizen
Failure is an Option by H. Jon Benjamin
How To Plan A Crusade by Christopher Tyerman
Nothing edited by Jeremy Webb
Ours To Hack And To Own edited by Trebor Scholz and Nathan Schneider
Stamped From The Beginning (2016) by Ibram X. Kendi
The Art of Gathering by Priya Parker
The Earth is Weeping (2016) by Peter Cozzens
The Fighters by C. J. Chivers
The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs by Steve Brusatte
The Tangled Tree by David Quammen
The Wordy Shipmates (2018) by Sarah Vowell
Totally Random by Tanya Bub and Jeffrey Bub
When Women Ruled the World by Kara Cooney

Sunday Book Reviews

Book Review: “Wrecked” by Joe Ide

Wrecked by Joe Ide

Like many people (including the worker at the bookstore), I’ve been waiting to read more about IQ, the young amateur detective in the LA hood..   For the most part, Ide delivers what we hoped for.

We hoped we’d see more of Grace and we do—but it’s hardly the love story we hoped for. She becomes a client, and it’s a very dangerous case, It doesn’t make things easier that IQ is smitten, and she is attracted to him, too. Never mix young love with sleuthing

In this case, IQ departs from the noir tradition.  He may be the last honest man,  and a twenty first century knight, but he’s a young man and he ain’t seen it all, nor has he had many dames.

Actually, neither IQ nor Grace of them really know what they are doing, and we just want to yell at them to kiss him, kiss her, you fools!

In his short life and career, IQ has made and continues to make a lot of good friends. But he also has made and continues to make some dangerous enemies.  Violent, savage, enemies.

In this story, IQ and his friends become involved in a very dangerous search for a missing woman.  At the same time, old enemies are still gunning for him, and new enemies target them.  At times, it’s hard to keep track of all the insane killers coming at them.

There is some serious violence and torture in this story, and Ide gets pretty explicit.  The danger isn’t just said or implied, he describes it in horrifying detail.  It’s not easy to read.  And personally, I don’t think it is necessary, nor does it add much to the story.

I have to say this is definitely a “don’t try this at home” tale. IQ is brave and resourceful, but the stuff he does is crazy dangerous. Try to be honest and brave like IQ, but really, don’t get involved in trying to outsmart violent, heavily resourced criminals, unless you really have to.

(Maybe the explicit descriptions are meant to scare people enough so they don’t foolishly emulate IQ’s exploits.)

I must say that parts of this novel seemed rushed and confusing.  There is at least one howler (around page 243), and several places where I was lost among the multiple story lines.  The bad guys are cartoonish, i.e., simple, stupid, and exaggerated.  For that matter, the resolution of several cases is cartoonish, too, i.e., simple, violent, and exaggerated.

I know we demanded more IQ as soon as possible (see the jacket blurbs), but maybe another editorial pass might have been wise.

I’m sure we will hear more of IQ in the future.  But please don’t rush it.

  1. Joe Ide, Wrecked, New York, Mulholland Books, 2018.


Sunday Book Reviews

2017 Roundup and list of Books Reviewed

This year I continued daily posts, which I have done for just under four years now.  Overall, traffic to the blog was up about 18% over 2016.

As always, the coverage is mainly review and commentary on topics of interest to me, including “the new way of work”, robots, dinosaurs, cryptocurrency/blockchain, quantum cryptography, internet of too Many things, computer software in general, and so on.

This year I continued weekly posts noting and commenting on books I have read.  Most of the books were recently published, with a few older ones.   (Listed below.)

Throughout the year, I offered a number of “great names for a band”, in tribute to Dave Barry who pioneered the genre.  Most of these are “sciency”, inspired by technical articles I read and commented on.

Banded tail
Dinosaur bandit mask
Beryllium hydride
Biomimetic Robotic Zebrafish
Chicxulub    [Note:  pronounced ( /ˈtʃiːkʃʊluːb/; Mayan: [tʃʼikʃuluɓ])]
The Chicxulub Event
We Are Children of Chicxulub
Thanks to Chicxulub
Brought to You By Chicxulub
Service Office Industry
Comfortable edgy fit outs
As Greenland Darkens
Recent Mass Loss
Larsen C
My Raptor Posse
A Rip of Raptors
Personal Raptor
The Robot Raptor Revue
Final Five Orbits
Kuiper Belt & Braces
A Belt of Kuiper
The Grand Finale Toolkit
Fog World Congress
Penguin Guano

Adelie Census
Fog Orchestra
Shape Changing Fog Screen
The Fog and the Eye
First Ringplane Crossing
Grand Finale Dive #2
The Grand Finale Toolkit
Last View of Earth
Final – and Fateful – Titan Flyby
Robots On Europa
Gay Robots on Europa

Books Reviewed in 2017

Overall I posted 79 book reviews, 58 fiction and 21 non-fiction.

In fiction, these include old favorites (Donna Leon, Charles Stross, Thomas Perry, Tim Dorsey, Ian McDonald, Gregory Maguire, Tom Holt).

Some new favorites include Richard Kadrey,  Viet Thanh Nguyen, Emma Straub.

I really liked Robin Sloan’s Sourdough, and Touch by Courtney Maum, but my best reads for the year have to be

Joe Ide,  IQ and Righteious.  <<links>> Righteous by Joe Ide

In non-fiction, I liked Weird Dinosaurs by John Pickrell and Eugenia Chengs Beyond InfinityHow America Lost Its Secrets by Edward Jay Epstein is both good and important.


But at the top, I’d probably pick

The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone

List of Books Reviewed



First Person Singularities by Robert Silverberg
The Adventurist by J. Bradford Hipps
Artemis by Andy Weir
Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire
Willful Behavior by Donna Leon
A Selfie As Big As The Ritz by Lara Williams
Righteous by Joe Ide
Shylock is My Name by Howard Jacobson
The Gap of Time by Jeanette Winterson
Border Child by Michel Stone
Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn
A Spool of Blue Thread by Anne Tyler
The Muse by Jessie Burton
Sourdough by Robin Sloan


Napoleon in Egypt by Paul Strathern
After Piketty edited by Heather Boushey, J. Bradford DeLong, and Marshall Steinbaum

Books Reviewed In Q3 2017


Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan
The Answers by Catherine Lacey
Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki
The Management Style of Supreme Beings by Tom Holt
The Delirium Brief by Charles Stross
Shiver Hitch by Linda Greenlaw
Dichronauts by Greg Egan
Killing is My Business by Adam Christopher
The Painted Queen by Elizabeth Peters and Joan Hess
Standard Hollywood Depravity by Adam Christopher
Seven Wonders by Adam Christopher
Will Save Galaxy For Food by Yahtzee Croshaw
Reincarnation Blues by Michael Poore
Arlington Park by Rachael Cusk
Transition by Rachael Cusk
Death at La Fenece by Donna Leon
A Sea of Troubles by Donna Leon

Non Fiction

Giant of the Senate by Al Franken
Weird Dinosaurs by John Pickrell
Made With Creative Commons by Paul Stacey and Sarah Hinchli Pearson
How Not To Be Wrong by Jordan Ellenberg
Beyond Infinity by Eugenia Cheng

Books Reviewed Second Quarter


New Boy by Tracy Chevalier
The Refrigerator Monologues by Catherynne M. Valente
Touch by Courtney Maum
Mother Land by Paul Theroux
Walkaway by Cory Doctorow
Startup by Doree Shafrir
Off Rock by Kieran Shea
The Wrong Dead Guy by Richard Kadrey
Earthly Remains by Donna Leon
The Underwriting by Michelle Miller
Luna: Wolf Moon by Ian McDonald
Huck Out West by Robert Coover


Half-Earth by Edward O. Wilson
The Book of Joy by Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu with Douglas Abrams
Solve For Happy by Mo Gawdat
The Totally Unscientific Study of the Search for Human Happiness by Paula Poundstone
Lenin on the Train by Catherine Merridale
The Spider Network by David Enright
Churchill’s Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare by Giles Milton

Books Reviewed Q1 2017


Revenger by Alistair Reynolds
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Girls by Emma Cline
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The People’s Police by Norman Spinrad
IQ by Joe Ide
Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Empire Games by Charles Stross
The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
The Golden Gate by Robert Buettner
The Old Man by Thomas Perry
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Non Fiction

The Caliphate by Hugh Kennedy
The New Better Off or Reinventing the American Dream by Courtney E. Martin
How America Lost Its Secrets by Edward Jay Epstein
Valley of the Gods by Alexandra Wolfe
Wonderland by Steven Johnson
Measure for Measure by Thomas Levenson

That’s all for 2017!  Happy New Year!


Book Review: “Righteous” by Joe Ide

Righteous by Joe Ide

Yay! I’ve been waiting to hear more from Joe Ide about this young latter-day Holmes, IQ, who is one of my favorite new characters from 2016.

Righteous picks up where IQ left off. IQ is still serving his ‘hood as a low-cost private investigator in the hood, helping folks and righting wrongs. He very smart, but has not really recovered from the loss of his brother. In his twenties, he hasn’t really grown up, has few friends and fewer plans.

In this story, IQ is called upon to help a friend’s sister who is in serious trouble in Las Vegas. This leads into deep and dangerous trouble, confronting Chinese human trafficking gangs and home-grown loan sharks.

At the same time, IQ becomes convinced that the hit and run that killed his brother was murder rather than accident. If so, who did it, and why? Unraveling this mystery puts him in yet more dangerous conflict with local criminals and gangs.

And, if this weren’t enough, IQ is growing up, working through friendship with Dodson and the possibility of romance.

We’re worried about you, kid. You’re smart and good-hearted, but so, so young for the responsibilities you take on.

This is a great novel, with real life settings, but also some larger than life characters. And, like all good stories, it’s deeply human and humane. These are beautiful people, trying to be good and do good.

Who can read this without wanting to emulate IQ?

It is clear that we’ve not heard the last of IQ. I, for one, am ready for the next installment of this remarkable guy.

  1. Joe Ide, Righteous, New York, Little, Brown and Company, 2017.


Sunday Book Reviews

Housekeeping: Books Reviewed Q1 2017

As I generally do, I have collected all the books I reviewed in the first quarter of 2017, in no particular order.

The week of February 20 was “book week”, with a book review every day, including longer reviews of five non-fiction books (starred).


Revenger by Alistair Reynolds
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Refugees by Viet Thanh Nguyen
The Girls by Emma Cline
Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman
The People’s Police by Norman Spinrad
IQ by Joe Ide
Clownfish Blues by Tim Dorsey
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Empire Games by Charles Stross
The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman
Modern Lovers by Emma Straub
The Golden Gate by Robert Buettner
The Old Man by Thomas Perry
Last Year by Robert Charles Wilson

Non Fiction

The Caliphate by Hugh Kennedy
* The New Better Off or Reinventing the American Dream by Courtney E. Martin
* How America Lost Its Secrets by Edward Jay Epstein
* Valley of the Gods by Alexandra Wolfe
* Wonderland by Steven Johnson
* Measure for Measure by Thomas Levenson


Book Reviews