Countdown to Zero Day by Kim Zetter

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Stuxnet – the world’s first digital weapon has gotten a magisterial treatment courtesy of Kim Zetter’s newest book, Countdown to Zero Day. If you’ve already forgotten about the Stuxnet worm, it was developed as a weapon against Iran’s nuclear program and discovered in fall 2010. Zetter recounts the historical importance of this malicious software and its place in history. If you’re unfamiliar with… Read more »

Dataclysm by Christian Rudder

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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,… Read more »

Armada by Ernest Cline

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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… Read more »

The Book of Strange New Things by 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… Read more »

[FOOD] Down South by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe

Down South by Donald Link and Paula Disbrowe is a celebration of Southern food and heritage, although this “South” is more of the Cajun-Mississippi region, rather than the Carolinas-Georgia area that I traditionally associate with the term. A great variety of dishes are presented in this book from watermelon gazpacho with crabmeat to sweet & sour spring onions. The photography… Read more »

Gutenberg’s Apprentice by Alix Christie

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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… Read more »

[FOOD] North by Gunnar Gíslason and Jody Eddy

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North by Gunnar and Jody is simply a breathtakingly beautiful book, from the dust jacket to the innards. First and foremost, it’s a cookbook that tells a tale about Icelandic food and provides details from producers to recipes. Of course some of the recipes / items that are featured in this cookbook cannot be replicated exactly by American cooks, but… Read more »

[FOOD] The Homesick Texan’s Family Table by Lisa Fain

It’s not “officially” autumn yet, but I consider the period of time starting immediately after Labor Day to be the actual start of “fall” – at least where I live. As such, I start turning to cookbooks to start planning comfort food meals for the fall & winter, along with taking advantage of the farmer’s market bounties that involve seasonal… Read more »

[FOOD] My Paris Kitchen by David Lebovitz

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While it may not be readily apparent – I absolutely love cookbooks and books about food. My tastes are very narrow though – I only enjoy either food writing in the vein of MFK Fisher such as Provence, 1970 by Luke Barr or absolutely brilliant cookbooks that tell a story, are well designed, and move beyond simply being a collection… Read more »