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Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities Paperback – 3 Jun 2014

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Product details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: Cool Tools (3 Jun. 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1940689007
  • ISBN-13: 978-1940689005
  • Product Dimensions: 27.9 x 1.5 x 35.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,692 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

Praise for Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities: "There is something magical in the book's juxtaposition of stuff, folklore and product reviews ..." - New York Times "This may well be the greatest catalog of all-time..." - Engadget "The result is something more than just a paper-bound list of awesome objects. It's a tool itself." - Wired "This wonderful book is so much more than hardware and electronics however, this is 472 pages of inspired genius." - Time Out "It's 460+ full-color pages of ear-to-ear grinning, hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing, and years of repetitive page-turning." - GeekDad "It is like sitting with the old Sunday funnies, slowly poring over the colorful illustrations and finding surprises on every page." - The Joiner's Apprentice "A real geek's geek-guide to tools." - American Design and Master-Craft Initiative "Guaranteed you will want 4,000 things from this huge catalogue." - The Coast "What a knockout! Book of the year!" - Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons "When this fabulous, amazing, unputdownable book arrived at my studio I immediately spent two and a half hours in it, and then the next morning passed another three-hour stint of 'Wow - look at this! I could do that!' This book is more exciting - in both what it actually offers and what kind of life it suggests - than anything I've read for a very long time. It's an outstanding achievement in every sense - content, design, and quality. - Brian Eno, musician, artist "Flipping through Cool Tools is a completely different experience from reading the same material online. Long live dead trees!" - David Pescovitz, Boing Boing "If this doesn't solve some large part of your Christmas shopping challenges, you need a different set of people to whom you give Christmas presents. The book itself (a real print 463-page glossy-stock oversizer) is great either for young people starting a home, or geezers who are in touch with their youth who might want to be shocked and reminded why so much of their take-control-of-your-own-life life is the way it is, or somebody who just could use a striking coffee-table conversation-starter/stopper. And then there are the hundreds and hundreds of amazing things - "tools" defined extremely widely and deeply as stuff that really works reviewed by people who've actually used them - to give you more gift ideas." - Joel Garreau, The Washington Post, author of Edge City and Radical Evolution "I don't know an adjective large enough to do it justice." - Michael Litchfield, Fine Homebuilding "I love it. A worthy successor to the Whole Earth Catalog." - Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs: The Exclusive Biography "This is a roundup of over 1500 tool reviews with incredibly useful tips and how-tos covering just about everything you can imagine. On one page there will be a recommendation for a great truck (Toyota pickup) on another they'll be tips on learning how to swim properly (it's all about the stroke length). This is, without a doubt, my favorite book to come out in 2013." - Sal Cangeloso, Geek.com "The Cool Tools book was sitting on the counter of the bar when an old boatbuilding friend stopped by and immediately became immersed in it. His exact words: "I GET this! There's no buttons to press!" - George Dyson, author of Turing's Cathedral "Best coffee table books = size of coffee table. Kudos for the beautiful Cool Tools collection." - Scott McCloud, cartoonist "Right now, do not pass Go, do not collect $200 ... just grab a copy of Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities. It's 460+ full-color pages of ear-to-ear grinning, hours of ooh-ing and aah-ing, and years of repetitive page-turning. After it arrived at my door, I lost almost two full hours in its pages before realizing just how much time had elapsed ... and this was me just skimming the various sections and randomly jumping from item to item. Since then, I've lost a few more hours as I've started to methodically tackle specific sections that are relevant to a few special projects that interest me (right now)." - James Floyd Kelly, GeekDad "Most catalogs are short stories. This one is a catalog novel." - Mark Pauline, Survival Research roboticist "Covering topics from hand tools to adhesives, organizational oddments, bicycles that double as chainsaws, beer brewing, mushroom growing, milling and fabricating, and so much more, it's enough to make your brain hurt with all the ideas for projects." - Michael Una, Inventables "Bravo for this mega catalog. Back to the future!" - Steven Leveen, CEO founder of Levenger's "I find myself not only flabbergasted at the size and extent of this achievement but happily awash in the feeling I used to get from the Whole Earth Catalogs; that all may not be right with the world, but that it could be." - Jim Woodring, illustrator and cartoonist "The glorious Cool Tools is like my dream update of the Whole Earth Catalog." - Steve Silberman, NeuroTribes "Multiple head asplosions on every page. Amazing!" - Mark Laidlaw, science fiction author "Love you, Wirecutter, but we're breaking up while I work through this tome." - Luke Pebler, actor "Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities reminds me of the engineering catalogues I read at my grandfather's house." - Steve Remington, Chronicinfoholic.com

About the Author

Kevin Kelly is Senior Maverick at Wired magazine. He co-founded Wired in 1993, and served as its Executive Editor from its inception until 1999. He is editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984--1990 Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He co-founded the ongoing Hackers' Conference, and was involved with the launch of the WELL, a pioneering online service started in 1985. His last book, What Technology Wants (Viking/Penguin October 18, 2010), asserted that technology as a whole is not just a jumble of wires and metal but a living, evolving organism that has its own unconscious needs and tendencies. He also authored the best-selling New Rules for the New Economy and the classic book on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control. Kevin Kelly's website is kk.org.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Denis Vukosav on 16 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback
“Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities” by Kevin Kelly is an incredibly funny book to read on which hours can be easily “lost” while reader is going through all the innovative reflections, ideas and suggestions that can be found on its pages.

The book contents are result of ten year user reviews experience published on website Cool Tools and contain countless reviews of things related to music, software, hardware, cooking, crafts and other, explaining their characteristics and advantages.

Like authors said on their site “…A cool tool can be any book, gadget, software, video, map, hardware, material, or website that is tried and true. All reviews on this site are written by readers who have actually used the tool and others like it… We only post things we like and ignore the rest…”

Of course, given the amount of information, it was impossible to put all or even most of things that can be found on website, but the authors carefully chosen the best ones, sorted them in categories and presented them in an oversized format together with QR codes which take reader to the product pages.

So if you have a lot of free time or you think you don’t, but will notice it's been a few hours since you took it in your hands, this book can be strongly recommended, because that amount of good information in one place is almost too dangerous.
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By Charles TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 31 Mar. 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To best describe what this book is we need to understand the book that inspired it, the Whole Earth Catalog.
In 1968 Stewart Brand traveled around American hippie communes selling from his truck store. He put together a catalog of his recommendations of the best tools to show to customers "Here's a tool that will make drilling a well, or grinding flour easier", people liked the catalog so much it became his most popular product. The catalog had a massive effect on hippie culture as people used it to discover how to do things like raise bees or build their own homes.

When the internet came along the Whole Earth Catalog faded from view as you could get the same information off the net.
But Kevin Kelly (editor of book) kept the idea alive with a website and we now the modern successor in the form of Cool Tools.

The book itself is 472 pages and a massive 11 x 14 inches in size. It covers a huge range of subjects with over 1,500 recommendations e.g book to learn tracking animals, best chainsaw, best rice cooker, making a low budget movie, world travel on a shoestring budget, build an underground home, ergonomic keyboard, websites with free eBooks, improve your memory, grow edible mushrooms, raise chickens, publish a eBook, wilderness survival, start a business, draw comics, make your own chair, best bike light, make books, solar panels and wind turbines, bread making, home brewing and far too many other things for me to list them all.

If I was to criticised this book I would say I don't agree with some of the choices, some recommendations will be outdated in a few years and to state the obvious it is just a catalog e.
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By Dow on 28 April 2015
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Utterly engrossing.
What I really valued: having someone so sentinent as editor to curate the mountains of information on the web, which brings just what is needed so that I can easily access what I need.
Although it appears counter-cultural, it was delightful being able to read a paper book rather than attempt to browse a website.
I've now bought 3 further copies for friends.
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Like a modern Whole Earth catalogue. Yes it's a catalogue but it's full of fascinating things and informative reviews. If you like this type of thing you will have weeks of fun! It is a HUGE book!
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By D. J. C. Cuffe on 22 April 2014
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This is a great resource, although US biased. Also a website for updates/ongoing. I love it! Keep going back to it, even for stuff I'll never want or buy.
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