Cool Tools

UnknownIf you loved the “Whole Earth Catalog” (WEC) you’ll love “Cool Tools,” a book curated by Kevin Kelly. The subtitle is “A Catalog of Possibilities.” It’s a book you can get lost in. Over and over.

It’s an actual book, coffee table sized, with 462 pages in color, printed on glossy stock, presenting a collection of more than 1,500 tools. The word “Tool” is broadly used to include items and ideas that really work, are well priced, easily found and are reviewed by people who’ve actually used them.

If you didn’t love the WEC, you should stop reading because this is about how much this book is liked. Or you should stop so you can go out and buy a copy of “Cool Tools,” if you loved the WEC.

You don’t need to know anything about the WEC, Kevin Kelly, the cool tools blog , or the story behind it to be captivated by some of the stuff and ideas inside this book.

Here’re some snippets from the reviews at Amazon that’ll give you an idea what other people think about it:


“my favorite book to come out in 2013.”

“a conversation-starter”

“a completely different experience from reading the same material online”

“Kelly and his crew have put together the most exhaustive, inventive and mind bending selection of stuff I’ve ever seen.”

“…in addition to hand jacks that can raise 7000 lbs., the Teeny Turner (a pocket-sized driver), portable band saws, and laser measuring tools, you can find the best source on how to buy a car cheaply, make a low-budget movie, brew your own beer, rear an optimistic child, design a logo, win a fight, soak in feral (!) hot springs, learn to swim efficiently, prepare for a natural disaster, vagabond the world, do something dangerous (and live to tell about it), …”

“Open it at random and you experience something like being six again, with a child’s sense of delight and wonder at how clever people can be and what abundance this world holds.”


“for people who love learning-and doing.”

“it’s a wish book and a daydream book and a down and dirty reality book. Nothing since the WEC has been as continually fascinating and educational.”

“This is the most exciting book I’ve seen in years.”

I’ve been dog-earing the pages that have things I like and noticed the other day there’re probably as many dog-eared pages as plain ones.