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click to enlarge Stitch 'n Bitch Nation   - by Debbie Stoller   - (Workman: New York)  $13.95/paperback.  -  - Knitters unite! Debbie Stoller, editor and co-founder of - the fabulous BUST magazine, has spawned - something great: a book of knitting patterns that - appeals to younger knitters, tossing the fuddy-duddy - out the proverbial window in favor of funky fresh style. - Stoller expounds about the joys of starting your knitting - group, and lo, Stitch 'n Bitch-esque clubs are - springing up all over the country. -  - Stitch 'n Bitch Nation is written in an easygoing - conversational manner, providing knitting tips, sneaky - cheats and easy-to-follow instructions. Other knitting - books are hard to decipher unless you have a fair - amount of prior knitting experience. Stoller, bless her - heart, explains things so well that my friend Beth was - able to teach herself to knit -- just from the copy of - Stoller's first book, Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's - Handbook that I gave her. -  - Patterns include everything from easy-as-pie scarves - to - rock 'n' roll sweaters, pillows and fuzzy monster - slippers. - There's even a pattern for a Joey Ramone doll! Baby - patterns are here as well, including my favorite "Baby's - First Tattoo" sweater, with your choice of wee skulls - and - crossbones or nautical stars for the sleeves. -  - -- Kara Luger
  • Stitch 'n Bitch Nation
    by Debbie Stoller
    (Workman: New York) $13.95/paperback.

    Knitters unite! Debbie Stoller, editor and co-founder of the fabulous BUST magazine, has spawned something great: a book of knitting patterns that appeals to younger knitters, tossing the fuddy-duddy out the proverbial window in favor of funky fresh style. Stoller expounds about the joys of starting your knitting group, and lo, Stitch 'n Bitch-esque clubs are springing up all over the country.

    Stitch 'n Bitch Nation is written in an easygoing conversational manner, providing knitting tips, sneaky cheats and easy-to-follow instructions. Other knitting books are hard to decipher unless you have a fair amount of prior knitting experience. Stoller, bless her heart, explains things so well that my friend Beth was able to teach herself to knit -- just from the copy of Stoller's first book, Stitch 'n Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook that I gave her.

    Patterns include everything from easy-as-pie scarves to rock 'n' roll sweaters, pillows and fuzzy monster slippers. There's even a pattern for a Joey Ramone doll! Baby patterns are here as well, including my favorite "Baby's First Tattoo" sweater, with your choice of wee skulls and crossbones or nautical stars for the sleeves.

    -- Kara Luger

click to enlarge On Intelligence: How A New - Understanding Of The Brain Will Lead To The - Creation Of - Truly Intelligent Machines   - by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee   - (Henry Holt: New York)  $25/hardcover -  -  - The inventor of the PalmPilot, Jeff Hawkins, - has written the brain book he always wanted to read: - On Intelligence. With Sandra Blakeslee, a - science/medicine writer for the New York Times, Hawkins has created a meaty mental meal for - readers. Tough but toothsome, the book succeeds in - its - main purpose: proposing a comprehensive theory of - how - our minds work. -  - On Intelligence explains the inherent failures of - AI, or artificial intelligence. It ambitiously incorporates - brief histories of computers, psychology and neurology - in an eight-section repackaging of ideas that includes - Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis, which proposes that - the - mind is only a creation of the cells of our brains. - "Packaging and interpretation can make a world of - difference, the difference between a mass of details - and - a satisfying theory," writes Hawkins. That statement - covers both the commercial appeal of the book and - sums up his whole Theory of Memory-Prediction - Framework, which postulates that intelligence is - all association -- sequences of sequences in - retrievable, interconnected patterns, consistently using - feedback to make parallel predictions about what - happens next. -  - The complexity of the book's ideas is balanced by its - conversationality. "The most powerful things are - simple," - say Hawkins and Blakeslee, and On - Intelligence - is both. This book is a rare choice, as informative as it - is - thought provoking. -  -  - -- J.N. Nail
  • On Intelligence: How A New Understanding Of The Brain Will Lead To The Creation Of Truly Intelligent Machines
    by Jeff Hawkins and Sandra Blakeslee
    (Henry Holt: New York) $25/hardcover

    The inventor of the PalmPilot, Jeff Hawkins, has written the brain book he always wanted to read: On Intelligence. With Sandra Blakeslee, a science/medicine writer for the New York Times, Hawkins has created a meaty mental meal for readers. Tough but toothsome, the book succeeds in its main purpose: proposing a comprehensive theory of how our minds work.

    On Intelligence explains the inherent failures of AI, or artificial intelligence. It ambitiously incorporates brief histories of computers, psychology and neurology in an eight-section repackaging of ideas that includes Crick's Astonishing Hypothesis, which proposes that the mind is only a creation of the cells of our brains. "Packaging and interpretation can make a world of difference, the difference between a mass of details and a satisfying theory," writes Hawkins. That statement covers both the commercial appeal of the book and sums up his whole Theory of Memory-Prediction Framework, which postulates that intelligence is all association -- sequences of sequences in retrievable, interconnected patterns, consistently using feedback to make parallel predictions about what happens next.

    The complexity of the book's ideas is balanced by its conversationality. "The most powerful things are simple," say Hawkins and Blakeslee, and On Intelligence is both. This book is a rare choice, as informative as it is thought provoking.

    -- J.N. Nail

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