Review: NutriBullet 12-Piece High-Speed Blender/Mixer System

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I love this $80 device and use it daily. The problem it solved for me: get produce in my mouth.

Austin Grossman's CROOKED: the awful, cthulhoid truth about Richard Nixon

Austin Grossman's first-person secret memoir of Richard Nixon sounds like a Lovecraftian gag, but Crooked is a brooding, bitter Cold War novel that gets deep into the psyche of "the funniest president that ever lived."

Exclusive preview: Jeff Lemire's Descender Volume 1: Tin Stars

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Jeff Lemire -- creator of the epic apocalyptic graphic novel Sweet Tooth and the dreamy, Twilight-Zonish Underwater Welder -- returns with a new graphic novel, Descender, with Dustin Nguyen -- we're proud to present the entire first issue below!

Chuck Wendig's Zeroes: a hacker technothriller in the War Games lineage

Chuck Wendig's new technothriller Zeroes is a hacker misfit tale in the lineage of War Games and Sneakers, true to the spirit (and often, the minutae) of security work, and exciting as hell to boot.

Felicia Day's "You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)"

Felicia Day's memoir You're Never Weird on the Internet (Almost) starts off as a cute, snarky story about how a quirky upbringing turned Day into a nerd superhero; by the end, it's become an illuminating, frank look at the commercial realities, injustices and insecurities that everyone trying to earn a living online must confront.

The best 'budget' barbecue grill I've found: Char-Broil Performance TRU Infrared 480

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I don't expect a $200 grill to last a lifetime. But it has to cook meats and veggies evenly, with good temperature control. And I found a pretty affordable grill that does that reliably.

The Princess and the Pony, from Kate "Hark a Vagrant" Beaton

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It was a safe bet that Kate "Hark! A Vagrant! Beaton's first kids' picture book would be amazing, but The Princess and the Pony is incredible.

Princess Pinecone is a the smallest warrior in a kingdom of warriors, and she lives for battle. But every year on her birthday, her parents give her a cuddly sweater. What she really wants is a mighty charger, from whose back she might smite other warriors.

This year, Princess Pinecone put her foot down. She let it be known that nothing less than a huge, imposing horse would do.

Unfortunately, what she got was a cuddly, funny-looking pony whose eyes point in opposite directions. It refuses to be trained for warhorse duties. She rides it into battle anyway. When Otto the Awful spies her on the sidelines and charges her, the pony just stands there, while Princess Pinecone digs for her spitballs. Then it happens: Otto the Awful screeches to a halt, unable to believe how TOTALLY CUTE the pony is.

The mighty battle stops. The warriors crowd around the pony. They get in touch with their cuddly sides. So Princess Pinecone shares her supply of excess cuddly sweaters. And they all live happily ever after!

Beaton is one of the sharpest, funniest comics creators in the business. Her witty, take-no-prisoners feminism is absolutely on display here, but she doesn't go for an easy girl-power resolution: instead, she lets everyone be both a badass and a sentimentalist.

The spreads in this are amazing: the giant fight scene and the warriors in their sweaters? Read the rest

Robert Charles Wilson's The Affinities: when science changes everything

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Amara's Law states, "We tend to overestimate the effect of a technology in the short run and underestimate the effect in the long run" -- Robert Charles Wilson's gripping conspiracy novel The Affinities brings the experience of that process to life.

You're inflating your tires wrong. Here's how to do it right, and save up to $500 a year.

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Your tires? I want to PUMP! THEM UP!

The best affordable fan for cooling your home this hot summer: Vornado 660

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And this fan isn't even marketed as a fan, but an “air circulator.” Whatever. It works.

Book review: Neal Stephenson's “Seveneves” has too little humanity in the characters

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Stephenson’s new novel doesn’t generate the kind of excitement for the future that we’ve come to expect from the author of Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, and Anathem.

Sandman Slim: Killing Pretty

James Stark's returned to LA from hell's gladiator pits and has been tearing things up ever since -- but what do you get for the monster who has everything? Killing Pretty has the answer. Read the rest

Fantasy Sports: dungeon crawl ends in epic, eldritch basketball game

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In Fantasy Sports No. 1, a berzerker adventurer and his spellslinging, underappreciated apprentice go on a dungeon crawl that takes them into an eldritch game of basketball -- for the highest stakes imaginable.

Shadowshaper: outstanding supernatural YA contemporary fantasy

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Daniel José Older's debut novel Shadowshaper is a thrilling supernatural YA novel with a diverse, likable cast of characters whose peril can only be averted through acceptance, true friendship and an embrace of their identity.

Last Man 2: epic French manga gets even better

In March 2015, Firstsecond books published its English translation of the first volume of Lastman, the spectacularly successful French martial arts comic; they're bringing out the rest of the books on an aggressive schedule, with Book 2: The Royal Cup coming out today.

The Girl With the Parrot on Her Head

Daisy Hirst's picture book about friendship, loneliness and self-reliance is shot through with delightful absurdity and illustrated with enormous wit. Read the rest

Library at Mount Char: urban fantasy that has the magic

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Scott Hawkins's debut horror novel, The Library at Mount Char, is a sprawling, epic contemporary fantasy about cruelty and the end of the world, compulsively readable, with the deep, resonant magic of a world where reality is up for grabs.

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