Dataclysm – Christian Rudder

If you’ve been searching for a popular social science book that actually uses hard data, look no further: Dataclysm by Christian Rudder will meet your needs and more. Graphs are printed both in glorious black and vivid red, bringing attention to data like a popular science book never has before. The book itself is a breezy conversation between Rudder and the reader, without an agenda being pushed at all. If you were sitting at a bar and […] Read More

Armada – Ernest Cline

Long-time readers of Ephemeral Pursuits may recall Ernest Cline’s debut novel Ready Player One that I reviewed a few years back. I’m happy to report back that I’ve got his follow-up effort, Armada in my grubby little paws. There’s always a fear that a first-time novelist won’t have a strong follow-up effort (or even an effort in the first place). With as much pop-culture zeitgeist stuffed into Ready Player One as there was, I wasn’t sure that Cline would be up […] Read More

The Book of Strange New Things – Michael Faber

The Book of Strange New Things by Michael Faber is a mammoth 500-page novel that deals with science fiction and religion in one neat little package. It also manages to be quite the dystopian novel without actually dealing with the dystopia itself. The premise is short – a Christian missionary travels to another planet and ministers to the native population, while being separated from his wife. The plot revolves around these two topics: the topic of […] Read More

Gutenberg’s Apprentice – Alix Christie

Gutenberg’s Apprentice is Alix Christie’s first novel and an auspicious start to her fiction career. Christie apprenticed to different master printers (Lester Lloyd, the longtime foreman of the Mackenzie & Harris type foundry of San Francisco, which Arion Press now owns, and James & Carolyn Robertson at the Yolla Bolly Press). The book is dedicated to them and other master printers. Of course it would take a printer to understand and appreciate the story of Gutenberg […] Read More

Looking for Calvin & Hobbes – Nevin Martell

Bill Watterson created one of the most indelible parts of literature and pop culture in the late 20th century, the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. Begun in 1985 and ending its run in 1995, Calvin and Hobbes took its readers onto a magical journey – one that nobody wanted to end. Adding to the intrigue – Bill Watterson has become Salinger-like in his isolation. Interview requests are routinely declined, very few photographs exist of Watterson, and he has […] Read More

The Tower – Simon Toyne

The final installment in the Sanctus trilogy, The Tower (Sanctus and The Key being the other two) brings the trilogy to an unsatisfying end. After keeping pace with the exploits of Liv and Gabriel, we’re brought back to the world of Ruin in an unconventional way. The Hubble Space Telescope has been sabotaged and of course, an ancient religious order turns out to be responsible for the act. If you’ve read the first part of […] Read More

Melissa Explains It All – Melissa Joan Hart

Melissa Joan Hart has been better known as “Clarissa”, “Sabrina”, and even “Mel Burke”. But the role that introduced most of us to the singular talent that is Melissa Joan Hart would be her first breakout role as Clarissa in Clarissa Explains It All on Nickelodeon. Now considered a cult nostalgic television show, it was merely popular back then. Running from 1991-1994, for a total of 65 episodes, it’s beloved by many of the children that grew […] Read More

Away – Teri Hall

The sequel to the previously reviewed The Line (and part of The Line Trilogy), we’re reintroduced to the world of The Line and Rachel herself. After crossing The Line, Rachel finds herself ‘Away’. She’s welcomed into the world of The Others and the boy called Pathik. Searching for her missing father, Rachel tries to adapt to the curious and unknown world of beyond The Line. Adapting to her new circumstances is essential, even though the residents of […] Read More