Archive for the "Books" Category

31.Dec.2013 Lego Space: Building the Future by Peter Reid (No Starch Press)

When I was a kid, two of my favourite things were my Space Lego and a book by Stewart Crowley, Spacecraft 2000 to 2100AD. Crowley’s book was notable mainly for its assortment of amazing early 1970s science fiction book cover illustrations that were repurposed/licensed to accompany Crowley’s history of the Terran Trade Authority and its […]

28.Apr.2013 Albertus Seba – Cabinet of Natural Curiosities (Tashchen)

It is probably the height of aspirational middle class parenting to buy your five year old a Taschen hardcover tome but hear me out. Albertus Seba was an pharmacist and collector of specimens from around the globe in the early 1700s. Based in Amsterdam he amassed such an incredible collection both in breadth and depth, […]

12.Feb.2013 David Macaulay – Motel of the Mysteries

Macaulay is probably best known for his The Way Things Work, an illustrated guide to how everyday tools and machines work that came out in the late 1980s and then was remade as a CDROM (remember them?!). Big in North America, I hadn’t come across his books until Michael Edson brought a copy of Pyramid […]

05.Nov.2012 Short glimpses of the future

New York City has flooded. Already discussions (New York Times) are rising as to how to deal with increased flood activity and build resilent but malleable infrastructure to inhabit the lowlands in the future. “New York became divided between wealthy, glittering Uptown and the struggling poor who remained in drowning Downtown because they had nowhere […]

06.May.2012 The Element Encyclopaedia of Magical Creatures by John & Caitlin Matthews (Sterling)

When I was growing up I used to dip in and out of Funk & Wagnall’s Dictionary of Folklore, Myth and Legends. A hefty tome bereft of images, it used to sit on the shelf beside the other dictionaries and encyclopaedias. And I always thought Funk was a cool surname, even when one of my […]

10.Jan.2012 Kid Koala – Space Cadet (UNI Books)

Eric San/Kid Koala’s Space Cadet is his second illustrated book – and, like the first, Nufonia Must Fall, comes accompanied by a soundtrack CD – that is meant to be played whilst the book is read. The story of a guardian robot and a young girl who grows up and becomes an ‘extraterrestrial botanist’, Space […]

15.Nov.2011 The Adventures of Doctor Duffer by John Marshall

As you may now know, I’m in the midst of moving to New York. And with this has come the necessary cleaning out of books. Many from my own childhood have gone to new homes where they’ll be appreciated by children other than my own. But I have kept a select stash of my own […]

19.Feb.2011 At The Mountains of Madness: A Graphic Novel – HP Lovecraft & INJ Culbard (Self Made Hero Press)

I was in lower secondary school when I came across HP Lovecraft and I remember raiding the local public library for several months, trying to read every possible story and associated work. They weren’t popular titles at the library and I got onto other writers like Ambrose Bierce and August Derleth as I went on. […]

18.Jan.2011 The Spy’s Guidebook (Usborne)

Yesterday I was invited to give a public talk about one of the books that inspired me from the distant past. I had to decline the offer because of the timing but it got me thinking about what that book might be. Rummaging around my old children’s books I managed to find the one. Usborne’s […]

12.Dec.2010 Yokai Attack! The Japanese Monster Survival Guide by Hiroko Yoda & Matt Alt (Kodansha)

Last time I wrote I was heading off to Japan for the school holidays. We survived that trip with the help of this handy and fun little guide. We even managed to spot some of the monsters contained within along the way! Yokai Attack! is the kind of book that as a 9 or 10 […]