Switch Craft

Switch Craft by Alison Lewis with Fang-Yu Lin is positively delightful, and not just because many patterns use battery power to illuminate clothing. The projects in Switch Craft range from a pillow with a sewn-in mobile headset for comfortable late-night chats to a laptop bag that lights up in the presence of Wi-Fi. The patterns are geared toward all skill levels and the fashion is trendy, reflecting the planned obsolescence of the gadgets they utilize. A newsboy cap with a felt flower that hides the controls to an iPod Shuffle is cute on its own, but add technology and it's a perfect addition to a proper metro-riding, urban fashionista's wardrobe. Catch Me If You Can foils thieves with a foil-lined passport pouch that disrupts new passports' radio chips, which transmit personal information. The authors touch on the implications of the tracking technology, explaining that these same radio-frequency identification tags are used in Prada's SoHo store to match accessories to shoppers' outfits. The Gadget Gloves pattern links our biology to current technology and solves the conundrum of personal media and cold days. "The human body, including the fingers, is actually conductive and stores electrons. This electron-storing ability is called capacitance. Most touchpads and touch screens used in the latest gadgets work by creating a capacitance field on their surface. The field gets distorted whenever your finger touches it?this is not possible when you have thick gloves on. The conductive thread that we added to the Gadget Gloves eliminates the problem." Reflecting our wired world with hip DIY style and patterns, Switch Craft shines a light on the latest crop of crafting books.

July 28: Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin eloped on this day in 1814.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

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Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.

Pastoral

When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).