My most popular book-reviews: Part III (Winter 2013)

This is the third part in a four part series: Part I covered Autumn of 2012; Part II covered Winter of 2012.

This week, I'm revisiting my most popular book reviews of the past year, getting a hit of the visceral joy that comes from helping other people discover my favorite paper-pals. Here's part III, Winter of 2013:


Minimalist Parenting: Getting Things Done meets childrearing: A simple, short, entirely sensible guide to escaping social expectations and personal childrearing anxiety. It's a book about figuring out the parenting choices that'll make you and your family the happiest, and to clearing your life of all the stuff that's been foisted on you as a must-do for modern parenting.

[Buy it]


A Rule is to Break: A Child's Guide to Anarchy: A perfectly wonderful picture book about the spirit of anarchism and its utterly fitting dovetail with the joy of childhood.

[Buy it]


Sleights of Mind: the secrets of neuromagic: Macknick and Martinez-Conde are working scientists who had a key insight: the way that magicians manipulate our blind spots, our attention, our awareness, our intuitions and our assumptions reveal an awful lot about our neurological functions. Indeed, conjurers, pickpockets, ventriloquists and other performers are essentially practicing applied neuroscience, working out ways to systematically fool our perceptions and make seemingly impossible things happen before our eyes.

[Buy it]


Constellation Games: debut sf novel floored me with its brilliance: I just finished Leonard's debut novel, Constellation Games and I'm literally trembling with excitement. Because Constellation Games IS AN AMAZING BOOK. Here's the plot: Ariel Blum is an Austin-based game-developer with a crappy job making Pony franchise collectible content games for the ten-year-old Brazilian girl market. Then aliens invade the Earth.

[Buy it]


Homeland, the sequel to Little Brother: "Outstanding for its target audience, and even those outside Doctorow’s traditional reach may find themselves moved by its call to action." -Kirkus

[Buy it]


Big Data: A Revolution That Will Transform How We Live, Work, and Think: A business-oriented book about "Big Data," a computational approach to business, regulation, science and entertainment that uses data-mining applied to massive, Internet-connected data-sets to learn things that previous generations weren't able to see because their data was too thin and diffuse.

[Buy it]


Super Scratch Programming Adventure! an excellent way to get started in Scratch: A graphic novel that walks readers through a series of extremely well-designed game-design projects, each of which introduces a new concept or two to young programmers, providing a gentle learning curve for mastering Scratch's many powerful features.

[Buy it]


Akata Witch: young adult hero's journey of a Nigerian witch: A beautifully wrought hero's journey story about Sunny, a young girl with albinism born to Nigerian parents in America, and then returned to Nigeria, where she discovers that she is a Leopard Person -- a born sorcerer.

[Buy it]