It's time for something new.
I've been reviewing the New York Times Book Review every weekend for more than five years now, and even though I recently said I was planning to keep it going, some recent turns have caused me to reconsider. First, I had to skip the review twice in the last three weeks, and just found (somewhat to my surprise) that I didn't miss it very much. Also, I predicted four weeks ago that the Book Review would soon feature an affectionate cover piece on Christopher Hitchens's Hitch-22; not only have I hit that nail on the head, but I also find myself with no desire whatsoever to read the piece. My weekly blogging experiment is getting predictable, and that means it's run its course. I'll keep reading the New York Times Book Review -- I'm a captive fan for life -- but I'm going to start using this weekend spot to do something different, and hopefully more exciting and innovative, instead.
I'll reveal more next weekend when I begin, but what I have in mind addresses my longtime wish to write more about philosophy, ethics and practical debate on this site. These topics absolutely fascinate me, but structured arguments take a lot of time and attention, and putting aside the Book Review review will give me more free time to spend on this.
My decision to put these philosophy-blogging plans into fast-forward was partly inspired by the recent arrival of three new books I want to write about on this site: God Is Not One by Stephen Prothero, Fate, Time and Language: An Essay on Free Will by David Foster Wallace (his college thesis, published posthumously) and J. M. Coetzee and Ethics: Philosophical Perspectives on Literature by Anton Leist and Peter Singer.
All three of these books are "literary" works of academic or popular philosophy, and I'm excited about devoting one weekly corner of Literary Kicks, starting next weekend, to books, articles and ideas that fall into this category. I haven't thought up a name for the new series yet, but we'll come up with something. See you here next week! And I hope somebody out there (HTML Giant, maybe? I don't know) will continue writing about the New York Times Book Review. Because I'm off the case.