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‘books’ Archives

Order of Odd-Fish, a funny, mannered, hilariously weird epic romp

Order of Odd-Fish, a funny, mannered, hilariously weird epic romp

James Kennedy's debut young adult novel The Order of Odd-Fish is an extraordinary and delightfully weird romp that's one part China Mieville, one part Lemony Snicket, with trace amounts of Madeline L'Engle and Roald Dahl. Young Jo Larouche lives in a flyspeck town with her "aunt," a golden-age film star named Lily Larouche who disappeared [...]

What Watson might do after crushing humankind on Jeopardy

What Watson might do after crushing humankind on Jeopardy

Now that Watson has predictably used his inhuman buzzer skills to romp on non-inhumankind, what does the big lug do for a follow-up? Stephen Baker, who has written a whole book and this blog about Watson, explains: Consider Watson as a research assistant on a medical diagnostic team. A patient comes in with a puzzling set of symptoms. Watson [...]

Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art

Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art

Our pals from the Billboard Liberation Front will make a rare public appearance at San Francisco's historic City Lights bookstore tomorrow, Thursday 2/17, at 7pm to celebrate the release of Trespass: A History Of Uncommissioned Urban Art from Taschen Books. Various other members of the prankster elite will be lurking in the shadows too! From [...]

The Man In The White Suit

The Man In The White Suit

Ben Collins divulges how he came to be Top Gear's iconic driver, as well as what it's like to thrash an Aston Martin DBS, train for the Army, face the terror of Jeremy Clarkson's underwear, and much more. When The Black Stig disappeared off the end of an aircraft carrier in 2003, audiences were introduced to The White Stig—faster, stranger, [...]

Free excerpt from Jo Walton’s brilliant Among Others

Free excerpt from Jo Walton’s brilliant Among Others

Tor.com is hosting a long excerpt from Jo Walton's extraordinary Among Others, one of the best books I've read in years. From my original review: Now, let me tell you what this is all about. Among Others is the diary of Morwenna Phelps, a Welsh teenager whom we really meet just after her twin sister, Morganna, has died in an unspecified but [...]

Morozov’s Net Delusion: A skeptical take on net-freedom marred by straw-men

Morozov’s Net Delusion: A skeptical take on net-freedom marred by straw-men

My latest Guardian column, "We need a serious critique of net activism," is a long, detailed review of Evgeny Morozov's new book The Net Delusion, a book that seeks to debunk "cyber-utopianism" and the idea that the Internet can be used as a force for freedom. I agree with much of what Morozov has to say, but his portrait of "cyber-utopians" [...]

Among Others: Extraordinary, magic story of science fiction as a toolkit for taking apart the world

Among Others: Extraordinary, magic story of science fiction as a toolkit for taking apart the world

I've been wandering around for a week reading Jo Walton's Among Others, trying to think of how I'd describe it once I finished, and now I've just finished and I'm still stumped. So let me start with some adjectives. "Indescribable" for a starter. But more like "indescribably wonderful." And also "compassionate" and "sweet" and "magical." [...]

The Price of Everything

The Price of Everything

"According to Eduardo Porter of The New York Times editorial board, prices are more interesting than most of us realize. And the prices that never appear on a price tag are the most fascinating of all. In his new book The Price of Everything: Solving the Mystery of Why We Pay What We Do (2010, Portfolio), Porter explores the surprising ways [...]

The Tree Nobody Wanted: perfect tree-side holiday reading

The Tree Nobody Wanted: perfect tree-side holiday reading

Tom McCann's delightful, sweet little book The Tree Nobody Wanted is a remembrance of a working-class Brooklyn Christmas in 1946. It's a perfect holiday read -- something to curl up and read aloud in front of a fire or after a big dinner and reflect on the way that family, love and friendship can overcome so much. Also highly recommended: [...]

Paolo Bacigalupi’s SHIP BREAKER: An adventure story in a post-peak-oil world

Paolo Bacigalupi’s SHIP BREAKER: An adventure story in a post-peak-oil world

Paolo Bacigalupi's remarkable debut novel The Windup Girl won the Nebula Award and tied for the Hugo award, so of course, I knew that his first young adult novel, Ship Breaker, would be great. And it was. But what I wasn't prepared for was how different Bacigalupi's young adult fiction would be from his adult work. Ship Breaker is set in a [...]

2600 Magazine as DRM-free Kindle, PDF ebooks

2600 Magazine as DRM-free Kindle, PDF ebooks

2600 Magazine's Emmanuel Goldstein writes, We thought long and hard over the best way to jump into the whole digital publishing realm after releasing our first issue on the Kindle and Nook last month. We decided to stand up to the DRM proponents and create something that has no restrictions whatsoever - and see if we could sustain that solely [...]

Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck: Wonders In The Sky

Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck: Wonders In The Sky

In 1969, Boing Boing contributor Jacques Vallee published Passport To Magonia, a timeless cultural history of UFO sightings, the first study of how modern UFO sightings are just the latest interpretation of weird "visitation" experiences people have had throughout history in different forms: angels, demons, fairies, devils, Our Lady of Fatima, and [...]

Phone books: Facebook 0.01

Phone books: Facebook 0.01

From Reason.com, a review of Ammon Shea's The Phone Book: The Curious History of the Book That Everyone Uses But No One Reads, which explores some of the remarkable technologies that were prefigured by the idea of publishing a whole city's contact information in one universally available directory. The phone itself was a pretty big deal, of [...]

The Master Switch: Tim “Net Neutrality” Wu explains what’s at stake in the battle for net freedom

The Master Switch: Tim “Net Neutrality” Wu explains what’s at stake in the battle for net freedom

Tim Wu's The Master Switch: The Rise and Fall of Information Empires is as fascinating, wide-ranging, and, ultimately, inspiring book about communications policy and the information industries as you could hope to find. This is, of course, no surprise: Wu is one of America's great information policy scholars and communicators, probably best [...]

Twenty-First Century Stoic – From Zen to Zeno: How I Became a Stoic

Twenty-First Century Stoic – From Zen to Zeno: How I Became a Stoic

This is the first in a series of three essays, written by a Stoic, about what it means to practice an ancient philosophy in the modern world. William B. Irvine is author of A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy (Oxford University Press: 2009). I never intended to become a Stoic. Who, after all, were the Stoics? They were [...]

HOWTO: Use Google AdWords to prototype and test a book title

HOWTO: Use Google AdWords to prototype and test a book title

Here's a fascinating case-study on how Timothy Ferriss, author of The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, prototyped and tested various titles and covers for his book, by buying various Google AdWords (for the title), and sneaking dust-jackets onto various business-books at the local Palo Alto Borders and [...]

Scary Godmother: Delightful, spooky graphic storybook for kids

Scary Godmother: Delightful, spooky graphic storybook for kids

Jill Thompson's beloved Scary Godmother stories are collected in a new delightful volume from Dark Horse. They relate the adventures of little Hannah Marie, a big-eyed, adorable moppet, and her friends from the "other side" -- the Scary Godmother, and all the monsters, skeletons and vampires and such she keeps company with. Hannah Marie meets [...]

Koja’s UNDER THE POPPY: Dark, epic, and erotic novel of war and intrigue

Koja’s UNDER THE POPPY: Dark, epic, and erotic novel of war and intrigue

Kathe Koja's Under the Poppy is a novel unlike any other -- even unlike any other of Kathe Koja's books, which are a marvellous genre unto themselves. In some ways, Poppy marks a return to the early-period Koja, the purveyor of dark, erotic poesie, horror novels that dripped blood and fluids and explored the way that art and love and eros [...]

Mitt Romney got a bestseller by demanding bulk-purchases of his books in exchange for lectures

Mitt Romney got a bestseller by demanding bulk-purchases of his books in exchange for lectures

Former GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney got his book No Apology: The Case for American Greatness onto the bestseller lists by taking his $25K-$50K speaking fees in the form of discount orders for his book, according to a report in Politico: The hosts ranged from Claremont McKenna College to the Restaurant Leadership Conference, many of whom [...]

Kevin Kelly’s WHAT TECHNOLOGY WANTS: how technology changes us and vice-versa

Kevin Kelly’s WHAT TECHNOLOGY WANTS: how technology changes us and vice-versa

Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants is an inspiring, provocative and sweeping account of how our world works and where it's going. Kelly is one of the great technology thinkers, an old Whole Earth editor and co-founder of Wired, an extraordinary photographer, a technology refusenik, and a truly great writer. Kelly's central thesis is [...]

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