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Recommendations: Stuff to Read

Book of the Week: When They Were 22: 100 Famous People at the Turning Point in Their Lives by Brad Dunn. This Andrews McMeel book is interesting, in that I think what it’s supposed to do is be something you can hand to young people to make them feel better about being young and stupid. Now what it’s supposed to do for someone like me, in his early thirties, is up for speculation. Personally I’d prefer a book that talks about folks whose turning point came later, since I’m still waiting for mine. Or maybe we passed each other on the freeway. No idea. Regardless, if you want to turn somebody in their twenties onto the idea that their life is still ahead of them, go for it. The rest of us will probably just get depressed. Or…more depressed. (Buy it)

Thriller Book of the Week: The Serial Killers Club by Jeff Povey. Imagine Neil Gaiman’s “Cereal Convention” except you find yourself having killed one of the attendees…and you’ve taken his con badge. A simplistic comparison, but that’s the gist behind this, in which our “hero” finds himself among a private organization of serial killers. Circumstances force him to do something he was proven to enjoy anyway: killing the killers. This dark but amusing tome hits from Warner Books. (Buy it)
High Weirdness Book of the Week: An Unlikely Prophet: A Metaphysical Memoir by the Legendary Writer of Superman and Batman by Alvin Schwartz. Well, if you’re looking for some extended reading about spandex after watching the latest Superman movie, then this might not be up your alley. Instead, it’s a story of how Superman is really a creation of our thoughts and we willed him into being, essentially. Sound crazy? Well that’s why we call it the High Weird: we eat this stuff up. This Destiny Books release is perfect for the fan of both Fortean whizbang and spandex. (Buy it)

Biography Book of the Week: The Monsters: Mary Shelley and the Curse of Frankenstein by Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler. The life of Mary Shelley wasn’t a happy one. And I don’t mean that because Marvel Comics got a hold of her famous character. It was a life filled with tragedy, love and betrayal, and was filled with characters like Percy Shelley, Lord Byron and many others. This Little Brown release is perfect for anyone who wants to see behind the scenes of a literary masterpiece. (Buy it)

Gaming Book of the Week: Retro Gaming Hacks by Chris Kohler. No, actually, this O’Reilly release isn’t going to teach you how to find a secret level on Ms. Pac-Man or crack open that Atari 2600 in your closet to do unnatural things with it. No, what it is going to do is hook you up with how to play your favorite games on the machines you have available to you today. Not only does he cover emulation, but you also get info on how to make your own games. A lot of the gamers I know already have a lot of this, but if you’re staring blankly at the screen, dreaming of the games of yesteryear, this might be worth your time. (Buy it)

Nature Book of the Week: Oceans: An Illustrated Reference by Dorrik Stow. This University of Chicago Press release gives you the best of both worlds: a sweet coffee table tome of great photography, plus a nice overview of the subject matter. Educational and pretty to look at: wunderbar. It takes you through the history and origins of the oceans as well as the makeup of its many denizens. Will appeal to both the person who’s only starting to get interested plus those that already have a few books on the shelf plus Blue Planet. (Buy it)