User Reviews

Reviews by joecollier_resigned
getting started with steampunk
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If you love science fiction and/or fantasy, and also the Victorian era, then it’s a bit surprising that you haven’t already discovered the wonderful world of steampunk. But perhaps you’ve heard of it? Steampunk—getting more popular every day—is a genre that, while established almost 30 years ago, has in the past several years grown almost exponentially in popularity. Movies like Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock Holmes or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, or books like The Golden Compass are good examples of this retro-techno mashed-up genre where Victorian technology meets space travel.  


For those readers already familiar or those new to the genre and just curious, Steampunk : An Illustrated History Of Fantastical Fiction, Fanciful Film And Other Victorian Visions by Brian J. Robb is an excellent place to either brush up or get a start in exploring this wonderfully inventive style. A grand, illustrated history of the counterculture movement in a book fittingly designed to reflect the genre aesthetic in package and artwork. This comprehensive work covers the genre’s history from the fastest dirigible and steam-powered ray guns to fashionistas Lady Gaga and Alexander McQueen, with loads of amazing and informative pictures and illustrations. Fire up the gaslight and read well past your bedtime!  

the real deal
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Permanent Record is tight, compelling, heartwarming, funny, and credibly set in Chicago’s Rogers Park neighborhood. Teens will flip for this book. It truly speaks their language, but not through an overuse of slang or idiotic text-speak--it speaks their emotional language. Stella somehow successfully channels the cross-cultural voice of an Iranian-American teenage boy, and the peek inside his head is sure to resonate tremendously with teens (and adults, who were once teens themselves) everywhere. This book unflinchingly takes on some of the heaviest aspects of growing up--feeling like an outsider, struggling to figure out one's place in the world, wrestling with new emotions and maturing relationships, the nature of respect--and deftly presents them with honesty, and even a little hope.

I love collections of letters, and this one joins the ranks of the best. Fascinating glimpses of this articulate and witty curmudgeon that could only be experienced through his correspondence.

Cannot recommend this book highly enough! A fascinating portrait of what life was like in Iran after the Islamic revolution from the perspective of a young girl. Satrapi's illustrative style is clean and expressive, and her tale reveals the shocking incongruence of what life was like for women before and after Islam came to power.

This one really resonated with me. I got rid of my car a few years ago, but I've had periods of commuting that correspond unfortunately too well with Kaczynski's vision. I'm a cynic who loves graphic novels and architecture, and often worry about the apparent downward spiral of society centered around consumerism and selfishness--so you can see how this book, for me, has particular appeal. But I think lots of different people should read it, because he makes accessible some pretty heavy ideas that may provoke some changes in folks' way of engaging with each other and the environment around them.