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‘books’ Archives

Nicole Krauss: On Doubt

Nicole Krauss: On Doubt

Nicole Krauss is the author of the international bestseller The History of Love, Man Walks Into a Room, and, most recently, Great House, published this week. In 2007, she was selected as one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists, and in 2010 The New Yorker named her one of the 20 best writers under 40. I begin my novels without ideas. [...]

Rise Again: would you rather be killed by zombies or Blackwater mercs?

Rise Again: would you rather be killed by zombies or Blackwater mercs?

Ben Tripp's debut novel, Rise Again, is a flawed, but often brilliant zombie story that brings a new twist to the genre. Rise Again's protagonist, Sheriff Danielle "Danny" Adelman, is a small-town cop who struggles with mental and physical scars from serving with the US Army in Iraq. One day, a large number of people drop dead and then rise [...]

Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: multidisciplinary hymn to diversity, openness and creativity

Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From: multidisciplinary hymn to diversity, openness and creativity

Science writer Steven Johnson's latest book, Where Good Ideas Come From: The Natural History of Innovation is, in some ways, a classic Johnson book: drawing from diverse sources across many disciplines, Johnson recounts historical scientific breakthroughs and draws from them parallels to modern technology, particularly networked computers and [...]

I Am Plastic, Too: The Next Generation of Designer Toys

I Am Plastic, Too: The Next Generation of Designer Toys

Checkout the beautiful new art book, I Am Plastic, Too: The Next Generation of Designer Toys, by Paul Budnitz. Published by Abrams. The designer toy explosion continues in Kidrobot's second book, I Am Plastic, Too, which features a worldwide survey of the newest, rarest, and most sought-after toys. By offering designers, comic book artists, [...]

Hacking Work, a new book by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein

Hacking Work, a new book by Bill Jensen and Josh Klein

Josh Klein -- the fellow who trained crows to collect quarters and wrote an article for MAKE on how to toilet train your cat... and Bill Jensen wrote a new book called Hacking Work -- an "instruction manual for getting your work done faster, more efficiently, and with more fun no matter what your company manual says." It came out last week [...]

SUPERDAD: Moving and infuriating memoir of fatherhood and crack

SUPERDAD: Moving and infuriating memoir of fatherhood and crack

Christopher Shulgan's Superdad: A Memoir of Rebellion, Drugs and Fatherhood is an infuriating, moving, and terrifying memoir of self-destructive hypermasculinty and a journey to a kind of uneasy truce between the idea of "father" and "real man." Shulgan, an accomplished Toronto magazine writer, was raised in a small Ontario town, and [...]

How becoming a Stoic can make you happy

How becoming a Stoic can make you happy

I just read a terrific book called A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy, by William B. Irvine. Irvine, a professor of philosophy at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio, writes that Stoicism was one of many competing philosophies (such as the Cynics and the Epicureans) that ran schools to teach a "philosophy of life" to [...]

10 Years Ago: The Anarchist Cookbook

10 Years Ago: The Anarchist Cookbook

Ten years ago I read about how the author of The Anarchist Cookbook renounced his book on Amazon.com The Anarchist Cookbook was written during 1968 and part of 1969 soon after I graduated from high school. At the time, I was 19 years old and the Vietnam War and the so-called "counter culture movement" were at their height. I was involved in [...]

The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships

The Man Who Lied to His Laptop: What Machines Teach Us About Human Relationships

For the first century of the automobile's use, passengers were always people or pets. However, in the past decades, automobiles have begun to carry a new "passenger": a voice-based computer agent used to give directions, warn of problems (e.g., "your oil is low"), control entertainment (e.g., "you are now listening to KQED"), and make [...]

Gibson’s ZERO HISTORY: exciting adventure that wakes you to the present-day’s futurism

Gibson’s ZERO HISTORY: exciting adventure that wakes you to the present-day’s futurism

William Gibson's latest novel, Zero History, is his best yet, a triumph of science fiction as social criticism and adventure. Continuing on from 2007's Spook Country, Zero History features a reformed, dried out version of Milgrim, the junkie anti-hero from Spook Country. He's been rehabilitated at the expense of Hubertus Bigend, the shadowy [...]

Brian McCarty’s book of art toy photos

Brian McCarty’s book of art toy photos

We've featured Brian McCarty's terrific toy photography many times here. He's a master at setting a perfect scene and using just the right perspective to trick me into thinking that the strange vinyl characters on my shelf come alive when I'm not looking. Brian's photos are now collected in a wonderful hardcover book appropriately titled [...]

Lynd Ward’s wordless, Depression-era woodcut novels

Lynd Ward’s wordless, Depression-era woodcut novels

Library of America has announced a slipcased two-volume set collecting Lynd Ward's gorgeous, Depression-era woodcut "novels" - wordless, book-length stories told in stark imagery. The set is edited by Art Spiegelman, and LoA has a short interview (.PDF) with Spiegelman on Ward's work. (more…)

Tonoharu: Excellent graphic novel about an English teacher in Japan

Tonoharu: Excellent graphic novel about an English teacher in Japan

It took me a long time to get around to reading Tonoharu: Part One, Lars Martinson's graphic novel about a young American who gets a job as an English teaching assistant in a small Japanese town. I'm so glad I did, though, because its incredibly good. It reads like an autobiography. Martinson actually did work in Japan as an English teacher, [...]

Defend Yourself Against High-Pressure Persuaders

Defend Yourself Against High-Pressure Persuaders

Over at credit.com, Mark Frauenfelder reviewed one of my favorite books, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini. How is it that door-to-door salespeople, marketers, car dealers, politicians, strangers, con artists, and cult leaders are able to persuade people to do things that they wouldn't ordinarily do? That's the [...]

A wonderful Where’s Waldo-ish biodiversity book for little ones

A wonderful Where’s Waldo-ish biodiversity book for little ones

I have to say that I'm really quite enamored by Delphine Chedru's book, Spot It! Find the Hidden Creatures. The art is pretty mesmerizing, especially with the hide and seek factor involved (the book has 14 hidden animals and one farm girl). As well, a lot of it, I reckon would look pretty good on fabric, on walls, on my computer desktop. See [...]

Bozo the Clown’s last flight

Bozo the Clown’s last flight

For decades, Larry "Bozo the Clown" Harmon entertained generations of kids across the globe. The Man Behind the Nose: Assassins, Astronauts, Cannibals, and Other Stupendous Tales is his just-released autobiography, written just before his death in 2008 and co-authored by Thomas Scott McKenzie. An excerpt: When I was five years old, my [...]

Heinlein memoir LEARNING CURVE: The secret history of science fiction

Heinlein memoir LEARNING CURVE: The secret history of science fiction

The first volume of William H Patterson's enormous Robert A. Heinlein: In Dialogue with His Century is out. It's the first authorized biography of the sf writer who popularized at least three important motifs of the 20st century (polyamory, private space travel and libertarianism) and redefined the field of science fiction with a series of [...]

Unwritten 2: A pulse-pounding graphic novel that shows the grim and selfish ways that people use stories

Unwritten 2: A pulse-pounding graphic novel that shows the grim and selfish ways that people use stories

One of the strongest graphic novel debuts I read in 2010 was the first collection of The Unwritten, a story that peeks into the secret life of narrative and the blood and teeth lurking beneath our fantasies and fairy tales. Now, The Unwritten Vol. 2: Inside Man, author Mike Carey and illustrator Peter Gross continue to work their magic, in [...]

Criterion Collection reissues R. Crumb documentary with special features

Criterion Collection reissues R. Crumb documentary with special features

I can't wait to get the newly re-issued Crumb from the Criterion collection. This is my favorite documentary, and I'm looking forward to the special features: New, restored high-definition digital transfer 2010 audio commentary with Zwigoff 2006 with Zwigoff and critic Roger Ebert Outtakes and deleted scenes Stills gallery A [...]

The Last Musketeer: whimsical, dreamlike, and delightful comic

The Last Musketeer: whimsical, dreamlike, and delightful comic

Norwegian cartoonist Jason's book The Last Musketeer is the kind of whimsy that's easy to do wrong and nearly impossible to get right, but Jason gets it very right indeed. Athos is an unemployed, destitute musketeer in contemporary Paris, reduced to begging for money to buy booze, when Martians begin bombarding France with a laser cannon. [...]

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