Gizmodo Reading Room: HistoryS

Googled: The End of the World as We Know It

by Ken Auletta
Publisher's Weekly described Ken Auletta's book as a "savvy profile of the Internet search octopus," and they're not very far off. If there was ever anything you wanted to know about the way the company on whose services we depend oh-so-very much, then this is the book to spend an evening with. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble; Nook]

Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles: Memorabilia and Stories from a Galaxy Far, Far Away

by Stephen Sansweet
We consider Star Wars: 1,000 Collectibles to be "one of the best Star Wars coffee-table books in recent memory... Written and compiled by Stephen J. Sansweet—who, as head of fan relations for Lucasfilm and curator of Rancho Obi-Wan, has two of the awesomest jobs in our galaxy—the book covers a million different things Lucasfilm has licensed over the years, and a handful of very impressive efforts by fans as well. People love to make fun of the over-licensing of Star Wars, but a certain genius is revealed when you see all of it, all at once." [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]

The Simpsons: An Uncensored, Unauthorized History

by John Ortved
I recall reading a New York Times review of John Ortved's unauthorized history of The Simpsons which described the book as a "300-page combination of juicy entertainment gossip, rich television history and notes from a disenchanted lover." That description, along with Adam Frucci's recommendation, make this sound like a great read for anyone who's ever watched and loved The Simpsons. [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]

Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By

by Anna Jane Grossman
Anna Jane Grossman, an occasional contributor to Gizmodo, is practically the authority on all the old things we use and love. Her book Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By is a fantastic collection of essays and tidbits about all those things and about the many nearly forgotten objects and experiences, some we can recall fondly, others we rejoice for having escaped. [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]

Return to the Little Kingdom: Steve Jobs and the Creation of Apple

by Michael Moritz
Return to the Little Kingdom is a revisit of Michael Moritz's The Little Kingdom: The Private Story of Apple Computer, a book which was often named as one of the best written about Apple. With all the expansions and additions made in this new volume though, it could be called the definitive guide on all things Apple past and present. [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]

The Professor and the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity, and the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary

by Simon Winchester
Simon Winchester's book is about the making of the Oxford English Dictionary, but even if you're not an etymology lover like me, it's an incredible read. It's full of paranoia, murder, lunacy and all the things which one man went through in order to end up being one of the key contributors to one of the most popular reference texts today. [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble; Nook]

TechGnosis: Myth, Magic & Mysticism in the Age of Information

by Erik Davis
Our dear Joel Take Back Take Off Johnson, makes Erik Davis' book sound like an incredible read: "A decade past its original publication, I still know of no other single book that can draw a thread from the alphabet—the first technology—to the internet, with dozens of fascinating cultural and anthropological stops in between. I don't even think I believe in magic, but then I read TechGnosis again and have a hard time distinguishing between magic and technology that's sufficiently advanced beyond language." [Amazon; Barnes and Noble]

The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception

by H. Keith Melton and Robert Wallace
When we took a look at some illustrations from The Official CIA Manual of Trickery and Deception, we described the book as being part magic book, party history of the CIA's "double top-secret and sometimes sinister MKULTRA division. MKULTRA was supposed to have been erased from history in 1973, but—in true spy fashion—the few shreds of paperwork that remained ended up telling its whole story." [Amazon; Kindle; Barnes and Noble]

Back to Gizmodo Reading Room