The weekend before a book comes out is always a big time for reviews: newspapers like to get their reviews out before the book appears (it's not news if the book is already on the shelves), and publishers like the reviews to be fresh in prospective readers' minds.

So it was good to see three pretty high-profile reviews this weekend, to join the many others that have been trickling out over the last couple months. First up, the Washington Post, where novelist Lisa Zeidner calls it

amusing and edifying… a thoughtful examination of the perils of our computing overdose and a historical overview of how technological advances change consciousness…. [Pang's] book brings us back to the cavemen and their first tools to make the point that adapting to technological advances has never been easy or automatic….

Somewhat less scintillating are Pang’s solutions for kicking the Internet habit.

Fair enough: it's hard work. And believe me, if I'd found some sexier ways of remaking your extended mind, I'd have written about them. But the truth is, this stuff is hard. If it were easy, this book wouldn't exist. (Zeidner compares the challenge to weight loss, which I think is apt, having written about that, too.)

Meanwhile at Tech Crunch, Klint Finley does what every author hopes someone will do with their book: use it as a spring-board for thinking something new.

Pang’s notion of mindful, or contemplative, computing is useful, but ultimately it’s just a way of coping with a world of applications designed without our best interests at heart. Just as meditation, prayer and weekend retreats can help us cope with the harsh realities of the modern world, so too can it help us cope with flame wars, feral inboxes and the non-stop rush of social media. But just as citizens can demand safer cities, more humane governments and even economic reform, we can demand a new class of technologies.

Last but not least, Gregg Zachary reviews the book for the San Francisco Chronicle:

In a perceptive new study of how best to cope with the relentless interruptions presented by digital life, and its costly effects on our ability to stay focused, Alex Soojung-Kim Pang persuasively and carefully constructs a remedy he calls 'contemplative computing.'

Conceding that "there's no perfect technological fix" to our distraction addiction, Pang embraces the very large irony that we digital addicts must rely for solutions on the very computing tools that shatter our attention in the first place.

While celebrating the digital experience – and conceding computers and the Web improve lives in manifold ways – Pang favors a regular "digital sabbath." He's optimistic that waging a lonely battle against distraction will reap rewards even in the face of emerging technologies – driverless cars, and Google Glass, for instance – that promise to increase them, perhaps even dramatically.

He takes issue with some of the more techno-libertarian elements of the book, and I hope we can argue over this at greater length. Anyway, go read the reviews. They're worth your time.