Adafruit Holiday Gift Guide 2012 – Books

What will we do with that lovely quote from Cicero with the arrival of eBooks, eReaders, and the decline of “dead tree” publishing: “A room without books is like a body without a soul.” If you are like me, a bibliophile AND a technophile, then you line the walls of your home with bookshelves and stack eReaders everywhere at hand. Get books on every device, and take your room, with lots of soul, everywhere you go in the world! Here are some excellent books for the makers in your life — some books we stock at Adafruit as well as a bunch we don’t. Thanks to a number of folks from the Adafruit community for sending in their recommendations!

Books from Adafruit


Coloring book – “Ladyada’s E is for electronics”: Ladyada’s E is for Electronics is a coloring book adventure with electronic components and their inventors. Makers of all ages can learn, color, and share common parts and historical figures throughout history. Explore the world of electronics with Ladyada as your guide! Coloring book dimensions: 8.5in x 5.5in (read more)


Makers: The New Industrial Revolution by Chris Anderson: In Makers, Wired editor and bestselling author Chris Anderson reveals that a new industrial revolution is under way. Today’s entrepreneurs, using open-source design and 3-D printing, are employing micro-manufacturing techniques to create a tsunami of products in small batches, often customized for specific customers at higher margins. Every country, to remain economically strong, must make physical products if it doesn’t want to become a nation of burger flippers and checkout clerks. Yet in America and Europe, it has become harder and harder to sustain manufacturing as entire industries, from clothing to electronics, have shifted their factories to Asia and other low-cost regions. In the United States, manufacturing employment as a percentage of total working population is at a century-long low. (read more)


Encyclopedia of Electronic Components Volume 1 by Charles Platt: Want to know how to use an electronic component? This first book of a three-volume set includes key information on electronics parts for your projects—complete with photographs, schematics, and diagrams. You’ll learn what each one does, how it works, why it’s useful, and what variants exist. No matter how much you know about electronics, you’ll find fascinating details you’ve never come across before. (read more)


Getting Started with Arduino By Massimo Banzi – 2nd Edition: A maker classic, this valuable little book offers a thorough introduction to the open-source electronics prototyping platform that’s taking the design and hobbyist world by storm. Getting Started with Arduino gives you lots of ideas for Arduino projects and helps you get going on them right away. From getting organized to putting the final touches on your prototype, all the information you need is right in the book. (read more)


Programming the Raspberry Pi: Getting Started with Python: This is the book I’m currently reading. (And enjoying.) Program your own Raspberry Pi projects! Create innovative programs and fun games on your tiny yet powerful Raspberry Pi. In this book, electronics guru Simon Monk explains the basics of Raspberry Pi application development, while providing hands-on examples and ready-to-use scripts. See how to set up hardware and software, write and debug applications, create user-friendly interfaces, and control external electronics. Do-it-yourself projects include a hangman game, an LED clock, and a software-controlled roving robot. (Read me.)

Nonfiction Books from Other Places


The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick: A fascinating and engaging investigation into the stuff at the heart of our contemporary world: information, communication, and information theory. Recommended by Kate Milford. (read more)


Distrust That Particular Flavor by William Gibson: While certainly best known for his fiction — from the “invention” (or at least crystallization of “cyberpunk”) Neuromancer (1984) to his excellent near future tales such as Pattern Recognition (2003) and Zero History (2010) — the heartbeat throbbing under his work has always been his canny observation of the world we live in — and his ability to trace trajectories for where technology and culture will tangle together in the future. This collection of essays from publications ranging from WIRED to New York Times demonstrate Gibson’s strength addressing the contemporary world. As he has said before: “The future is already here — it’s just not very evenly distributed.” (read more)


Quadrivium: The Four Classical Liberal Arts of Number, Geometry, Music, & Cosmology (Wooden Books) & Sciencia: Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry, Biology, and Astronomy for All (Wooden Books): Dive into a study of the fundamentals of math and science in these two books that collect a heaping helping of short fascinating texts from Renaissance versions of the “classical canon” and beyond. This is nothing like a textbook, as we known them from the modern era! From the book jacket: “The quadrivium—the classical curriculum—comprises the four liberal arts of number, geometry, music, and cosmology. It was studied from antiquity to the Renaissance as a way of glimpsing the nature of reality. Geometry is number in space; music is number in time; and comology expresses number in space and time. Number, music, and geometry are metaphysical truths: life across the universe investigates them; they foreshadow the physical sciences.” Recommended by Kate Milford. (read more)


Six Books of Euclid by Werner Oechslin: And if you are hungry for more studies of geometry, this gorgeous 19th Century illustrated primer tells geometry the way is should be told — through images that clearly declare the relationships of elements and measures to each other. Recommended by Kate Milford. (read more)


Cabinets of Wonder by Christine Davenne (writer), Christine Fleurent (photographer): Fascinating tabletop book highlighting the return to fashion of the “curiosity cabinet.” Recommended by Kate Milford. (read more)

Fiction Books from Other Places


The Rapture of the Nerds by Cory Doctorow and Charles Stross: Science Fiction heavyweights join together to tackle the “techological singularity” with a co-authored novel. From the review from Paul di Fillippo: “In this milestone novel, Stross and Doctorow have risen to the perpetual SF challenge of portraying a world utterly estranged from our present, yet still somehow our must-be-acknowledged illegitimate bad seed spawn. They’ve raised the bar for all who follow in their footsteps.” (read more)


The Broken Lands by Kate Milford: A Coney Island-based prequel to the excellent The Boneshaker (2010) clockwork-Americana fantasy novel that Cory Doctorow described as a magic, latter-day Bradburian novel for young adults, The Broken Lands again demonstrates Milford’s incredible dexterity rendering her world. Not limiting herself to the “stuff” of historical fiction — clothing, activities and architecture of 19th Century Coney Island and New York City — she draws directly from the technology, culture, ideas, and mythology of the time to truly transport the reader into a different world, the past. Recommended by me! (read more)


Daemon and its sequel Freedom™ might be fast-paced action technothrillers, but there is a reason many of the people recommending this book to me are those who spend their lives working on the code and infrastructure of the Internet. There are great ideas here: webdevs, coders, network hackers, and security exploit hobbyists tend to passionately love this series. As did I! Recommended by Whosawhatsis. (read more)

Not Books As Much As Ways to Find Them!


Singularity & Co: Science fiction, fantasy, and vintage pulp, rescued from the ash bin of publishing through the creation of new eBooks and seeking to compensate the authors and estates rather than the publishers that let them fall off their backlists. An interesting project — grab a subscription for a friend to offer them the fascinating grab bag of what they are saving each month! (read more)

Small Demons: Taking a very different approach to how to socially link people to the books that they might enjoy, Small Demons traffics in tracing out the real world as it appears in books — and creating tools for you to immediately see links to, say, an audio tape from American Psycho or the brand of cigarettes in a thriller. From their “About” page: “Small Demons is a Los Angeles based company that believes powerful and interesting things can happen when you connect all the details of books.” Here’s an awesome place to start — 248 books mentioning LEGOs, including Gibson’s Spook Country, Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, and Jennifer Egan’s A Visit from the Goon Squad. (read more)


Here are your 2012 shipping deadlines for ordering from Adafruit. Please review our shipping section if you have specific questions on how and where we ship worldwide for this holiday season.

UPS ground (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

UPS 3-day (USA orders): Place orders by Wednesday 11am ET – December 19, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.

UPS 2-day (USA orders): Place orders by Thursday 11am ET – December 20, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.

UPS overnight (USA orders): Place orders by Friday 11am ET – December 21, 2012 – Arrive on 12/24/2012.

UPS International: Place orders by Monday 11am ET – December 17, 2012. Can take up extra time due to worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

Please note: We do not offer Saturday service for UPS.
Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2012, Christmas, no UPS pickup or delivery service.
Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013, New Year’s Day, no UPS pickup or delivery service.

United States Postal Service, First Class and Priority (USA orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012 – Arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

USPS First class mail international (International orders): Place orders by Friday – November 23, 2012. Can take up to 30 days ore more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner, but not a trackable service cannot be guaranteed to arrive by 12/24/12.

USPS Express mail international(International orders): Place orders by Friday – December 14, 2012. Can take up to 15 days or more with worldwide delays and customs. Should arrive by 12/24/2012 or sooner.

Gift Certificates are always available at any time.

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