Fifty Dangerous Things (You Should Let Your Children Do)

A manifesto for kids and parents alike to reclaim childhood.

Outwitting Squirrels

From spooker poles and Perrier bottles to water bombs and cayenne pepper, Bill Adler, Jr., has tried every conceivable method to rid his backyard of these fluffy gluttonous rodents.

The Urban Homestead

This celebrated, essential handbook shows how to grow and preserve your own food, clean your house without toxins, raise chickens, gain energy independence, and more.

Made by Hand

"This is a must-read book. Mark has lovingly and candidly documented the complex, myriad, intangible and often very tangible rewards of grabbing the world with both of your hands, and learning how it works." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

The Windup Girl

This complex, literate and intensely felt tale, which recalls both William Gibson and Ian McDonald at their very best, will garner Bacigalupi significant critical attention and is clearly one of the finest science fiction novels of the year.

Makers

"One of the most brilliant reimaginings of the near future since cyberpunk wore out its mirror shades" - Publisher's Weekly.

Bitter Seeds

Debut novelist Tregillis breathes new life into alternate military history with this fun take on WWII. In this version of 1939 Germany, the insane Dr. von Westarp has given WWI orphans superpowers, such as fire-starting, intangibility, and invisibility

Zero History

Another smartly scouted roadmap of alternate routes through today's global culture, applauded the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and the other critics agreed.

When Gravity Fails

"You people are cheating yourselves if you don't forego food and rent to pick up on Effinger's work." - Harlan Ellison

The Kobold Wizard's Dildo

An absurd comedy about a group of adventurers (elf, halfling, bard, dwarf, assassin, thief) going through an existential crisis after having discovered that they are really just pre-rolled characters living inside of a classic AD&D role playing game.

Gateways

It isn't easy to get a group of bestselling SF authors to write new stories for an anthology, but that's what Elizabeth Anne Hull has done in this powerhouse book.

Machine of Death

"It just spat out a sliver of paper upon which were printed, in careful block letters, the words DROWNED or CANCER or OLD AGE or CHOKED ON A HANDFUL OF POPCORN. It let people know how they were going to die."

Kill the Dead

James Stark, antihero of 2009's Sandman Slim, returns in this gritty, over-the-top tale of supernatural mayhem.

Zoo City

Zoo City is a fabulous outing from an extremely promising writer... [it] has so much fabulous wordplay, imaginative settings and scenarios, and such a dark and cynical heart that I was totally riveted by it. - Cory

Nonfic

Predictably Irrational

Behavioral economist Dan Ariely explores the hidden forces that shape our decisions, including some of the causes responsible for the current economic crisis.

The Big Short

Description

How to Teach Physics to Your Dog

What do dog treats and chasing squirrels have to do with quantum mechanics? Much more than you might imagine, as Orzel explains in this fun introduction to modern physics based on a series of conversations with his dog Emmy.

If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be OK

Zibners, an emergency room pediatrician who divides her time between London and New York, claims that about 75% of all nighttime Emergency Department visits are unnecessary.

Honey I Wrecked the Kids

More life-saving parenting advice from the bestselling author of Breaking the Good Mom Myth

Fordlandia

Proving that truth can indeed be stranger than fiction, Fordlandia is the story of Henry Ford's ill-advised attempt to transform raw Brazilian rainforest into homespun slices of Americana.

Cognitive Surplus

For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with human potential

Upside of Irrationality

After a youthful accident left him badly scarred and facing grueling physical therapy, Ariely's treatment required him to accept temporary pain for long-term benefit--a trade-off so antithetical to normal human behavior that it sparked the author's fascination with why we consistently fail to act in our own best interest.

Robert A Heinlein, In Dialog With His Century

Given his desire for privacy in the later decades of his life, he was both stranger and more interesting than one could ever have known. This is the first of two volumes of a major American biography.

Invent Your Own Computer Games with Python

Each chapter gives you the complete source code for a new game and teaches the programming concepts from these examples. "Invent with Python" was written to be understandable by kids as young as 10 to 12 years old, although it is great for anyone of any age who has never programmed before.

Bad Science

Bad Science is more than just a debunking expose (though its that): it's a toolkit for critical thinking, a primer on statistics and valid study design, a guide to meta-analysis and other tools for uncovering and understanding truth - Cory

Indie Band Survival Guide

In this indispensable guide for indie musicians, Chertkow and Feehan, lead members of the Chicago band Beatnik Turtle, explain how they have managed successfully to get their music out to the public.

Where Good Ideas Come From

Johnson--writer, Web guru, and bestselling author of Everything Bad Is Good for You--delivers a sweeping look at innovation spanning nearly the whole of human history. What sparks our great ideas?

What Technology Wants

Verbalizing visceral feelings about technology, whether attraction or repulsion, Kelly explores the "technium," his term for the globalized, interconnected stage of technological development.

The Master Switch

The great information empires of the 20th century have followed a clear and distinctive pattern: after the chaos that follows a major technological innovation, a corporate power intervenes and centralizes control of the new medium--the master switch.

2600, Kindle Edition:

The world's foremost journal on computer hacking and technological manipulation and control.

Whoops!

"An excellent book for anyone wondering what the hell is going on. Triple A, as the credit rating agencies might say." - Irish Times

The Peoples' Manifesto

A funny and inspiring alternative election manifesto

Confessions of a Conjuror

Description

Secret London

An indispensable guide for those who thought they knew London well, or who would like to discover the city's hidden face.

Kids

Hand, Hand, Fingers, Thumb

A madcap band of dancing, prancing monekys explain hands, fingers, and thumbsto beginning readers. Full color.

Looking at Paintings

This unique introduction to the techniques and history of painting takes the young reader through more than 15,000 years of art, from cave paintings to Picasso.

Animals at Play

"Read this book, share it with the children in your life, and incorporate its lessons into your classroom, family room or Board room." - Jane Goodall

For the Win

"It's hard to imagine any other author taking on youth and technology with such passion, intelligence, and understanding." - Booklist

Adventures of the Cat-Whiskered Girl

This spin-off of The Yggyssey (2009) features Big Audrey, a 14-year-old girl who, as the titles suggests, uncannily resembles a cat. This is only the start of Audrey's peculiarities, and although she is from another dimensional plane, she resides in Poughkeepsie with a couple who owns a UFO bookstore.

Beautiful Yetta, the Yiddish Chicken

With wry humor, this multilingual picture book tells the story of a brave chicken, Yetta.

Even Monsters Need Haircuts

Just before midnight, on the night of a full moon, a young barber stays out past his bedtime to go to work. Although his customers are mostly regulars, they are anything but normal--after all, even monsters need haircuts.

Popville

"A sweet, slender little pop-up book that illustrates the growth of a town from a single farmhouse to a thriving city in a series of stylized scenes that build, one upon the next, through a window cut out of the center of the page, so that each development literally overlays the ones beneath." - Cory

I Shall Wear Midnight

Chilling drama combines with laughout-loud humor and searing insight as beloved and bestselling author Terry Pratchett tells the high-stakes story of a young witch who stands in the gap between good and evil.

Behemoth

Deryn is a girl posing as a boy in the British Air Service, and Alek is the heir to an empire posing as a commoner. Finally together aboard the airship Leviathan, they hope to bring the war to a halt. But when disaster strikes the Leviathan's peacekeeping mission, they find themselves alone and hunted in enemy territory.

Graphic novels

Unwritten Vol 1

A taut thriller that slyly plays off the real-world mania for imaginary ones like that of Harry Potter, Carey's new series undercuts the mythology of such all-pervasive media-hyped creations while at the same time hinting at a brilliantly imagined one of its own.

Blacksad

Private investigator John Blacksad is up to his feline ears in mystery, digging into the backstories behind murders, child abductions, and nuclear secrets.

Captain Long Ears

Michael is no ordinary eight-year-old boy in a bunny suit. He is Captain Long Ears, Space Ninja, on a mission with his best friend (an imaginary purple gorilla named Jam) to locate the missing Captain Big Nose.

Sword of My Mouth

"If you love tales of the apocalypse but want something smarter and more character- driven...you must read this comic." -- Annalee Newitz, io9

Sweet Tooth

The latest entry in the postapocalyptic survivalist fantasy stakes has a peculiar sentimental streak in it. Gus, an almost parodically naïve young boy with antlers sprouting from his forehead and a taste for chocolate, is one of the few children born after some kind of manmade catastrophe.

To Teach: The Journey in Comics

"Yes, that William Ayers." - Cory

Koko Be Good

When readers dive into Wang's first graphic novel, they may at first believe they have another slacker coming-of-age story on their hands.

Scary Godmother

It's Halloween night and it's up to Scary Godmother to show one little girl just how much fun spooky can be! Meet Hannah Marie, who, with the help of Scary Godmother, stands up to her mean-spirited cousin Jimmy and her fear of monsters on her first Halloween adventure with the big kids.

The Snow Yak Show

"Some of my favorite Ryden paintings ever." -- David

Yoshitomo Nara: Nobody's Fool

Created in partnership with Asia Society Museum in conjunction with a major retrospective, this is the first comprehensive monograph on the work of art superstar Yoshitomo Nara.

Star Trek: The Original Series 365

The definitive, authorized guide to Star Trek, Gene Roddenberry's groundbreaking television program that first aired from 1966 through 1969 and went on to become a cultural phenomenon.

True Crime: An American Anthology

"50 stories that say just as much about America as they do about murder."

Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

"With her wry humor and inextinguishable curiosity, Mary Roach has crafted her own quirky niche in the somewhat staid world of science writing, showing no fear (or shame) in the face of cadavers, ectoplasm, or sex."

Wonders in the Sky: Unexplained Aerial Objects from Antiquity to Modern Times

These accounts often share definite physical features- such as the heat felt and described by witnesses-that have not changed much over the centuries. Indeed, such similarities between ancient and modern sightings are the rule rather than the exception.

Nomad Codes

H.P. Lovecraft, The Technofreak Legacy of Golden Goa; Tantric psychedelia, the Klingon language, UFO Epistemology, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and My Date with a Burmese Tranvestite Spirit Medium.

Mirage Men: An Adventure into Paranoia, Espionage, Psychological Warfare, and UFOs

"Mirage Men turns the baffling world of UFOs and their investigators into a master key for decoding the twentieth century's dreams and nightmares." -- Mike Jay

The Red Book

C. G. Jung's Red Book (Liber Novus) is said to be the most influential unpublished work in the history of psychology.

The Night of the Gun

Carr, now a New York Times columnist, gives both the lowlights of his addiction (the fights, binges and arrests) as well as the painstaking reconstruction of his life.

Short: Walking Tall When You're Not Tall At All

"Looking to dispel the popular myth that shorter people don't do as well in life, that they encounter far more difficulties, earn less money, and aren't as happy romantically as their taller counterparts, the author breaks down related studies and explains the real statistics behind the headlines and hype." - Jody Kopple, Shady Hill School, Cambridge, MA

Cognitive Surplus: Creativity and Generosity in a Connected Age

For decades, technology encouraged people to squander their time and intellect as passive consumers. Today, tech has finally caught up with human potential.

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food

Are you the innovative type, the cook who marches to a different drummer -- used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it's cooking?

Fuck You Heroes

'Friedman's always been crazy' -- Tony Alva

The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution

"Science is an edifice of tested assumptions, and just as physicists must assume the truth of gravity before moving on to quantum mechanics, so do biologists depend on the reality of evolution. It's the theory that makes every other theory possible."

MoonFire: The Epic Journey of Apollo 11

And the Moon came nearer...

Contemporary African Art Since 1980

The first major survey of the work of contemporary African artists from diverse situations, locations, and generations who work either in or outside of Africa, but whose practices engage and occupy the social and cultural complexities of the continent.

Black Tattoo Art

This amazing book is a photographic journey across the globe from Borneo to Belgium, Argentina to Athens, New York to New Zealand and beyond in search of avant-garde tattoo art that pays homage to the ancient roots of tattooing in their contemporary interpretations

Velo: Bicycle Culture and Design

"Who needs cars?" - Spiegel

Glamourpuss: The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs

"Totally new levels of redonkulessness." --CuteOverload.com

Impressive: Printmaking, Letterpress and Graphic Design

Today's graphic designers, illustrators, and typographers are rediscovering old printing techniques and handcrafts.

Fatal System Error: The Hunt for the New Crime Lords Who Are Bringing Down the Internet

This gripping espionage tale penetrates the network of international mobsters and hackers who use the Internet to extort money from businesses, steal from tens of millions of consumers and attack government networks.

What Technology Wants

"...consistently provocative and intriguing." - The Economist

Bicycle Diaries

Byrne's choice was made out of convenience rather than political motivation, but the more cities he saw from his bicycle, the more he became hooked on this mode of transport and the sense of liberation it provided.

Eating Animals

"If this book were packaged like a loaf of bread, its Nutrition Facts box would list high percentages of graphic descriptions of factory farm methods of animal breeding, mass confinement, and assembly-line slaughter" - Publisher's Weekly.

Eat To Live

"When Mehmet Oz or any of New York's leading doctors has a patient whose life depends on losing weight, they call on Joel Fuhrman.

Thrive

The thrive diet is a long-term eating plan to help all athletes (professional or not) develop a lean body, sharp mind, and everlasting energy.

The Secret Life of Cows

"Remember that the greatest scientists have never discovered how to turn grass into milk." -- Michael Pupin

Little Nemo in Slumberland: So Many Splendid Sundays!

"Likely the most spectacular book about comics ever" - LA Times.

Ninja Attack!: True Tales of Assassins, Samurai, and Outlaws

An entire generation has become fascinated with the stealth, ferocity and wisdom of the ninja--the epitome of the Japanese "tough guy."

Sinai Tapestry

A bizarre and wonderful historical fantasy; magic realism with a playful heart. Thomas Disch hated it!

Cleopatra: A Life

A story more exciting than the romantic myth..

Autobiography of Mark Twain, Vol. 1

"The side-excursions are the life of our life-voyage, and should be, also, of its history." .

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest

She's still alive, but for how long?

Life

The leathery one has much to say.

Labyrinths

Borges's stories are redolent with an intelligence, wealth of invention, and a tight, almost mathematically formal style that challenge with mysteries and paradoxes revealed only slowly after several readings.

Written in Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature

Beginning with a recently discovered 47-million-year-old primate fossil, Switek effectively and eloquently demonstrates the exponential increase in fossils that have been found since Darwin first published On the Origin of Species.

Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA

Via several real-life firsthand accounts, public-health journalist McKenna lays bare, often all too graphically, the ravages of a disease with the potential to do grievous international harm because there is virtually no known treatment for it.

Brain Cuttings

The human brain has long been a mystery, but twenty-first century science is beginning to reveal some of its inner workings.

Potato Chip Science

"Holy potato chips! Batman. There's something about the crinkle of a bag of chips that is like a geek siren song." - ThinkGeek.com

The Matchbox That Ate a Forty-Ton Truck

Why can't a broken teacup reassemble itself? How do stars turn hydrogen into iron? This lively, nontechnical look at the physics behind the world around us is rich with entertaining anecdotes and examples of some pretty complex ideas.

Six Degrees: Our Future on a Hotter Planet

Lynas has gathered global-warming information from an array of authoritative scientists: geologists, glaciologists, oceanographers, climate scientists, and paleoclimatologists, as well as "major scientific projections" from computer modelers.

Monkey with a Tool Belt

Chris Monroe's quirky hero and detailed illustrations will absorb readers in an entertaining adventure that shows there is an inventive way out of every problem--if you have the right tools.

The US Army War College Guide to the Battle of Gettysburg

This guide uses first-hand accounts to illustrate how this skirmish, only three days long, turned into one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

Fool on the Hill: A Novel

This exuberant first novel unfolds at Cornell University, the alma mater of its 22-year-old author, who has re-imagined his school as the center of a violent and funny modern-day fairy tale. Stephen Titus George is a young writer longing for true love and a great story to tell.

Declare

This supernatural suspense thriller crosses several genres--espionage, geopolitics, religion, fantasy. But like the chicken crossing the road, it takes quite a while to get to the other side. En route, Tim Powers covers a lot of territory: Turkey, Armenia, the Saudi Arabian desert, Beirut, London, Paris, Berlin, and Moscow.

Visual Display of Quantitative Information

Tufte coined "chartjunk" to refer to bad graphics that obscure information or are otherwise useless. This is the antidote.

The Princess Bride

"Fencing. Fighting. Torture. Poison. True love. Hate. Revenge. Giants. Hunters. Bad men. Good men. Beautifulest ladies. Snakes. Spiders. Beasts of all natures and descriptions. Pain. Death. Brave men. Coward men. Strongest men. Chases. Escapes. Lies. Truths. Passion. Miracles."

History of the Peloponnesian War

Written four hundred years before the birth of Christ, this detailed contemporary account of the struggle between Athens and Sparta stands an excellent chance of fulfilling the author's ambitious claim that the work "was done to last forever."

History of the Kings of Britain

Completed in 1136, "The History of the Kings of Britain" traces the story of the realm from its supposed foundation by Brutus to the coming of the Saxons some two thousand years later

The Great Book of Amber -- Complete Chronicles

Roger Zelazny's books have three things in common: a flawed hero who sometimes fails, endlessly surprising plot twists, and a blend of lyricism, literary allusions, and sly puns that makes the pages fly.

The Negative

Handsomely illustrated with photographs by Adams as well as instructive line drawings, this classic manual can dramatically improve your photography.

How To Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People is just as useful today as it was when it was first published, because Dale Carnegie had an understanding of human nature that will never be outdated.

Machine of Death

MACHINE OF DEATH tells thirty-four different stories about people who know how they will die. Prepare to have your tears jerked, your spine tingled, your funny bone tickled, your mind blown, your pulse quickened, or your heart warmed.

Racing in the Rain

John Horsman is one of the fortunate few who can claim that their racing careers spanned the greatest decades in sports-car competition. His vivid personal account takes you to the world's greates circuits.

 

 

 

17 Responses to “2010 Gift Guide: BOOKS!”

  1. Jason Weisberger says:

    @MonkeyRobo @Pumpkin3point14 Ruff is fantastic. I check Amazon regularly for new books and always mean to follow his blog. Sewer, Gas and Electric was great. Set This House in Order (?) was really a trip — but Fool on the HIll has been read over and over and over. I guess its the got enough sarcasm and feel good to be the distraction I need.

    @zwimox I can’t believe everyone hasn’t already! I think ‘ve been re-reading those Amber books since I was in grade school?

  2. MonkeyRobo says:

    @Pumpkin3point14: Agreed, Matt Ruff is ace, and deserves to be more widely known. Fool on the Hill does have some first-novel flaws in its pacing and structure, but in places it really hits the heights. An exuberant, wonderful book.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Damn you! I stared at that image for like 10 seconds before I realized that it wasn’t a JPEG that was still loading.

    • druse says:

      Haha, same here!

      @Cory: Thanks for that extensive shopping list and also the “description” on Derren Brown’s book ;-)

      Just finished Little Brother btw, very compelling and I love how you (and 2 fellow afterword writers Bunnie & Bruce) help the reader further by recommending other works. Thanks!

    • fjonball says:

      Me too!

  4. The Life Of Bryan says:

    Would it be too crass or pedestrian to recommend Terry Pratchett’s entire body of work in one swell foop? That’s been the main staple of my literary diet for the past year, and the only downside has been the difficulty of convincing my girlfriend that while Harry Potter is for kids, this is valuable social commentary.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Great list! But you should not judge the book “Predictably irrational” by it’s cover, since it’s the wrong one. Of course, I would have expected that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I second the selection of Ian Tregillis’ novel Bitter Seeds. Not only because it is a clever page turner, but also because Ian was a student of mine when he was a physics major at the University of Minnesora (who knew that physicists from the U of M writing about superheroes would become a thing?).

    As his former professor, it is with great pride that I take full credit for Ian’s success! Ian is not the first of my students who responded to the soul-crushing tedium of my lectures by retretaing to a rich fantasy world of the imagination, but he was the first to get a book deal from Tor and publish an exciting and rich novel. So, kudos to me!

    Face Front, Fearless Reader!

    Jim Kakalios

  7. Anonymous says:

    No Seth? Interesting. Good list though.

  8. jtf says:

    I swear you guys are going to bankrupt me. At least I’ll be rich in spirit!

  9. dhuff says:

    I want to win the lottery, buy ALL of these, and hole up for a month or so and just READ…

  10. Pumpkin3point14 says:

    Nice to see Matt Ruff’s Fool on a Hill here. He’s a great, relatively unknown, author. I must say though, my favorite book of his by far is Sewer, Gas, & Electric.

  11. zwimox says:

    Way to go @Jason, more people need to read Roger Zelazny!

  12. morganj says:

    “It isn’t easy to get a group of bestselling SF authors to write new stories for an anthology”

    Really? I’d say the natural state of SF authors is writing stuff for anthologies. Seems like it would be harder to stop them, the anthologising beasties.

    Also, Derryn Brown seems to have magic-ed away the description for his book. Sneaky bugger.

  13. CJ Casey says:

    Good to see you pushing Borges. Pierre Menard, autor del Quijote, is still the best satire of literary post-modernism I’ve ever read.

  14. karnie says:

    I can’t believe neither of the Hasslein Books’ reference publications, “Timeline of the Planet of the Apes” and “Lexicon of the Planet of the Apes” made anyone’s list! Especially with Rise of the Apes hitting theaters next year, I had hoped interest in the franchise would start booming!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I love these reccomendations!

    I’ve been meaning to read the Princess Bride for a very long time, and this reminded me about that!

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