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‘books’ Archives

Steven “Jumper” Gould’s new novel 7th SIGMA: Genre-busting science fiction/western kicks ass

Steven “Jumper” Gould’s new novel 7th SIGMA: Genre-busting science fiction/western kicks ass

Steven Gould's latest novel 7th Sigma is his best since Jumper, and while it shares Jumper's excellent pace and likable characters, it is otherwise as totally unlike Jumper as it could be, except in the field of overall awesomeness, which it has in spades. In 7th Sigma, the American southwest has experienced a unique apocalypse: out of [...]

Dirty, Drunk, and Punk: the untold history of Toronto’s BUNCHOFFUCKINGGOOFS

Dirty, Drunk, and Punk: the untold history of Toronto’s BUNCHOFFUCKINGGOOFS

Jennifer Morton's Dirty, Drunk, and Punk: The Twisted Crazy Story of the Bunchofuckingoofs is an impossible and glorious history of Toronto's legendary punk band/bike gang/social phenomenon Bunchofuckingoofs, who maintained a series of club houses/speakeasys/music venues/communes in Kensington Market called Fort Goof, stuffed full of vicious [...]

An Optimist’s Tour of the Future: Inspiring and funny look at the evidence for a bright future

An Optimist’s Tour of the Future: Inspiring and funny look at the evidence for a bright future

Mark Stevenson's An Optimist's Tour of the Future is a hilarious and inspiring romp through some of the most promising directions in technology -- from permaculture success stories in Australia who are beating the drought and sequestering carbon to nanotechnology boosters who are showing off successful prototypes for effective energy [...]

Lockdown High: how schools put the emphasis on crime, security and violence instead of freedom and education

Lockdown High: how schools put the emphasis on crime, security and violence instead of freedom and education

The Guardian's John Harris reviews Annette Fuentes's Lockdown High: When the Schoolhouse Becomes a Jailhouse, an investigative book on how "zero tolerance" policies have produced high-schools that "reflect a society that has become fixated on crime, security and violence." Harris points out that the insanity isn't a mere American phenomenon, [...]

Psychologists found out why we “choke” under pressure… and how to avoid it.

Psychologists found out why we “choke” under pressure… and how to avoid it.

Beilock's research is the basis of her new book, Choke: What the Secrets of the Brain Reveal About Getting it Right When You Have To, published Sept. 21 by Simon and Schuster, Free Press. Thinking too much about what you are doing, because you are worried about losing the lead (as in Norman's case) or worrying about failing in general, can lead [...]

Mind Reading: The Researchers Who Analyzed All the Porn on the Internet

Mind Reading: The Researchers Who Analyzed All the Porn on the Internet

"We looked at individual search histories for half a million people using an AOL data set..." This line rendered the entire research project as suspect for me. Good read none-the-less... Searching all the porn on the Internet might not seem like the most scientifically productive activity, but computational neuroscientists Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam [...]

What Will Come After: The sweet melancholy of the zombie apocalypse

What Will Come After: The sweet melancholy of the zombie apocalypse

Scott Edelman's short story collection What Will Come After collects the extraordinary zombie stories he's been writing since the mid-1990s, along with one new tale, the eponymous "What Will Come After." Edelman's zombie stories aren't quite what you've come to expect from the recent upsurge in zombie fiction and movies; he's not so much [...]

The Filter Bubble: How personalization changes society

The Filter Bubble: How personalization changes society

MoveOn co-founder Eli Pariser's new book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You is a thoughtful, often alarming look at the dark side of Internet personalization. Pariser is concerned that invisible "smart" customization of your Internet experience can make you parochial, exploiting your cognitive blind-spots to make you [...]

MacroWikinomics: Nonthreatening web theory primer for business

MacroWikinomics: Nonthreatening web theory primer for business

Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams's Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World is a funny kind of chimera. It's a business book -- a book to help enterprises reform themselves around collaborative principles made possible by the Internet (it also talks about how education, government and NGOs can use the same principles). The [...]

Piracy sends “Go the Fuck to Sleep” to #1 on Amazon

Piracy sends “Go the Fuck to Sleep” to #1 on Amazon

I read a review of a funny parody of a kid's picture book called Go the Fuck to Sleep late last month, and it's since gone to be the number one bestseller on Amazon. Except, it hasn't been published yet. It's reached the number one slot on the strength of pre-orders. How did this remarkable thing occur? Piracy. In an age of e-books, piracy [...]

Troubletwisters: Garth Nix and Sean Williams’ action-packed new kids’ fantasy

Troubletwisters: Garth Nix and Sean Williams’ action-packed new kids’ fantasy

Troubletwisters is the first volume in a collaborative series from Australian YA superstars Garth Nix and Sean Williams, and it's as marvellous as its pedigree suggests. The titular troubletwisters are a pair of adolescent twins who find themselves moving from their family home the city to the remote town of Portland, where they are to live [...]

All Your Base are Belong to Us: How 50 years of videogames conquered pop culture

All Your Base are Belong to Us: How 50 years of videogames conquered pop culture

In All Your Base Are Belong to Us, Harold Goldberg's comprehensive, new history of videogames, the author details the humble origins of what would become a multibillion dollar company, Blizzard Studios. Just after graduating college, Allen Adham, Mike Morhaime and Frank Pearce got together to make games their way. They eventually hired Chris [...]

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency: Micah Sifry explores the history, successes and failures of online transparency

WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency: Micah Sifry explores the history, successes and failures of online transparency

Micah Sifry's WikiLeaks and the Age of Transparency is a thoughtful and thought-provoking look at the promise and limits of Internet-based transparency efforts. Sifry looks at everything from digital sunshine laws to the Iranian election to Cablegate, and examines what has worked to make the world's governments and corporations more [...]

“How I got a blank book to the top of the Amazon charts”

“How I got a blank book to the top of the Amazon charts”

Four points: He already had a successful career selling novelty items. This book is a novelty item. He was able to order 1,000 copies. He could afford to hire a (pretty famous) PR firm. Now, most authors would delight at this news, and of course I most certainly was thrilled, but in my case, the book in question was a little bit [...]

Deathless: Cat Valente’s beautiful fantasy of Stalinist Russia and the Siege of Leningrad

Deathless: Cat Valente’s beautiful fantasy of Stalinist Russia and the Siege of Leningrad

Catherynne M Valente's Deathless is a beautiful Russian fairy-tale set in the Stalinist era, brilliantly conceived and executed. Masha is the youngest of four sisters in Petrograd and, over the years, she has watched the birds come for her sisters. They thump against the windows and fall to the ground and spring up as soldiers and thump again [...]

Matt Ridley’s talk at Long Now: “The story of history is of more for less”

Matt Ridley’s talk at Long Now: “The story of history is of more for less”

Here's Stewart Brand's recap of science author Matt Ridley's (The Rational Optimist, Genome, The Red Queen) talk at the Long Now's Seminar About Long-term Thinking in San Francisco on Tuesday. Hominids had upright walking, stone tools, fire, even language but still remained in profound stasis. What led to humanity's global takeoff, Ridley [...]

New Shel Silverstein book scheduled for September

New Shel Silverstein book scheduled for September

A new Shel Silverstein book, Everything On It is coming this September; it's the first new Silverstein book since the posthumous publication of Runny Babbit in 2005. Not much info yet, but the publisher says, "With more than one hundred and thirty never-before-seen poems and drawings completed by the cherished American artist and selected by his [...]

Lively and insightful technical history of the Internet

Lively and insightful technical history of the Internet

Ars Technica is syndicating a series of excerpts from Johnny Ryan's new book A History of the Internet and the Digital Future, an engrossing, well-written account of the Internet's founding and the backstory of the underlying protocols and plumbing, which draws on that rich history to make predictions about the net's future. Today's [...]

The Monster: the fraud and depraved indifference that caused the subprime meltdown

The Monster: the fraud and depraved indifference that caused the subprime meltdown

Michael W Hudson's book-length investigative journalism piece on the subprime meltdown, The Monster, is both a brilliant example of skeptical business journalism done right, and a brilliant example of the storyteller's art. Hudson combines his meticulous, exhaustively documented research with a novelistic approach to telling the story that [...]

The Happiness Project (the updated paperback edition)

The Happiness Project (the updated paperback edition)

One of my favorite books from last year was Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project, in which Gretchen tried out a bunch of different old and new techniques for becoming happier and reported on the results. The book was a huge hit, and her web site based on the book has taken on a life of its own. Today, the paperback edition of The Happiness [...]

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