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Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »

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Customer Comments

Brooklyn Joe has commented on (2) products.

The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation by Jon Gertner
The Idea Factory: Bell Labs and the Great Age of American Innovation

Brooklyn Joe, January 1, 2013

The Idea Factory was the best nonfiction book I read in 2012 and will appeal to geeks and non-geeks alike. Jon Gertner has a rare ability to dramatize complex scientific and technological concepts to a general audience. He combines this with an analysis of the unique organizational culture of Bell Labs made up of a cast of brilliant and complex characters that almost seem fictional. The Idea Factory is a mix of several engaging stories. In part, this is a history of some of the most important technological developments of the 20th century (the development of the transistor, lasers, lasers, satellites, critical developments that later lead to the development of cell phones). The Idea Factory is also an exploration of the leadership and organizational culture of Bell Labs (and to some extent the economic context) that created a unique space for these many decades of innovations to occur.
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Await Your Reply by Dan Chaon
Await Your Reply

Brooklyn Joe, January 28, 2012

I grabbed a copy of this and read it as soon as it was released after being surprised by how much I loved Chaon's short story collection, "Among the Missing". Chaon is a writer I often recommend to others and find that he's not as widely known as he deserves to be (at least amongst the people I know). As the parallel story lines of "Await Your Reply" unravel and the novel's world gets increasingly murky, I was increasingly anxious to find out how Chaon was going to bring it all to a satisfying conclusion but he does and does it quite skillfully.
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