Paul Gravett,Manga: sixty years of Japanese Comics, Laurence King

Rich with ilustrations, this large format paperback documents the interesting history of Japanese Comics. As is pointed out in the book, this isn't only about sci-fi and fantasy. It's about every subject there is including some famously challenging ones for Western tastes.

In Japan, this sort of thing is not looked at as a mere comic but as a traditional form of expression -- something important enough to make it into schoolrooms. In the book we get the full sweep of this, from ukiyo-e to akira, and on.

Mike Clark, Pragmatic Project Automation: How to Build, Deploy and Monitor Java Applications, Pragmatic Bookshelf

This book tackles a code factory situation where there's lots of code and programmers, and where it really does make sense to have automatic builds at appropriate times that then notify people if the build has been successful or not. It takes you through the reasons why an auto-build can be a Good Thing and tells you about freely available tools that will get the job done. The explanations are straightforward and there's a nice light humor throughout.

Wil Wheaton, Just a Geek, O'Reilly

If Dancing Barefoot was a short lunch with Wil, then Just a Geek is going to stay for the weekend. If you're a Trekkie there's a lot more behind the scenes stuff, especially regarding Wil's career. If you want to be an actor then this book might be a useful guide to the some of the one celled organisms that partially populate that world. If you're not either of these things then it could be a bit much.

Why? Did his honesty and nice way of stating his adventures grow stale in the space of a few months? No, they didn't. What did happen was that a small amount of description of self examination has turned into quite a large amount, and as a result, some people are going to say "get over it!". In Wil's defence you'd have to say "He has -- that was all a while ago". But still, that's what this book is mostly about.

Joli Ballew, Degunking your Mac, Paraglyph Press

It just so happens that not very far away from this review is a very full, very gunked up Mac. What we're seeking here is The Secret.

And of course, there is no The Secret. Sadly. What this book is, is a reminder of all the obvious things with a few other things thrown in that you might not have known of.

The idea of the book is to make you look through things with an eye towards deletion -- unused programs, bags of spam mail sitting undeleted, five million fonts you don't need. As such it can be kind of inspirational and even fun. It's written for the GUI user rather than the Unix user and so the clues are based around that usage.

Now I wish I could remember that command for finding files over a certain size. Ah yes, "man find".

Sarah Milstein, Rael Dornfest, Google, The missing manual, Pogue Press

It looks like people can't get enough of books about Google. Pretty soon we'll have a new crop with titles like Google, the IPO and Why Wall Street Hates Google. This one is part of the Missing Manual series and so I imagine it will have a fairly specific sort of audience.

The book starts out with a section on Google's technology and goes onto basic text searches, some cool tricks, and then into the advanced search area. It's all nicely laid out with scattered relevant asides. There's even a section on wireless google and if you haven't got around to understanding how all this goes together yet, you will after you read this. Aside: will get you to the wap site.

In addition to looking at groups and images, there's also a webmaster's section which looks at the like of pagerank and adsense.

It's a good guide to Google for the ordinary but ambitious user.

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