(or, A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer)
I just took a look at categories and realized that nothing with a book topic had been published since 12/05. That’s pretty disappointing, especially with evil_bastard as a contributing writer.
My last fun book was Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond Age.
“The primary protagonist in the story is Nell, a street urchin who illicitly receives a copy of an interactive book (with the quaint title Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer; a Propaedeutic Enchiridion in which is told the tale of Princess Nell and her various friends, kin, associates, &c.) originally intended for an aristocrat child in a neo-Victorian tribe. The story follows Nell (and, to a lesser degree, two other girls who receive similar books) as she uses the primer to overcome both her lack of education and her deficient parenting.
The Diamond Age is characterized by two intersecting, almost equally developed story lines: Nell’s education through her independent work with the primer, and the social downfall of engineer and designer of the Primer, John Percival Hackworth. The text includes fully narrated educational tales from the primer, set apart through different (sans-serif) typeface, that map Nell’s individual experience (e.g. her four toy friends) onto archetypal folk tales stored in the primer’s database. Although The Diamond Age explores the role of technology in child development, its deeper and darker themes also probe the relative values and shortcomings in communication between cultures.”