Entries tagged with “Books”.

The Solution

Wedged tightly between my old NES Game Atlas and a small book entitled ‘How To Win at Pac-Man’, in the dark, forgotten lower catacombs of my bookshelf, was this fully illustrated, step-by-step guide on how to solve a Rubik’s Cube, aptly called ‘The Solution’. Published by Ideal, the (now defunct) toy company that originally manufactured the Rubik’s Cube, it is possibly the only “official” guide ever published.

It starts with a lot of words (which you can skip) and then tells you to get the four blue corners in place around the blue center piece. Apparently from that point there is only one possible path to completion, and this guild will hold your hand as you walk down it. It provided illustrations and fancy arrows showing you exactly what to turn where. A dozen or so pages later and you will be able to feign genius and impress your friends with your newly discovered secret talent.

Surprisingly, most people I show this book to never knew it existed. Today however, it serves little practical purpose since several video guides are readily available on YouTube.


The book Break Dancing Step-By-Step Instructions by Jim Sullivan and Lori Calicott is a monstrous 64-page, over-sized, magazine style symbol of why America was so great in the 1980s. At the risk of turning this into a book review blog, this is possibly the best breakdancing instructional book I have ever read. I’ll tell you why:

First, it is the ONLY breakdancing instructional book I have ever read. This should not be taken as mere witty commentary, but as evidence that no further education on the subject is required beyond this single manual. Second, every page, indeed every two pages, portrays an enlarged, two page still photo of genuine urban 80s kids engaged in the art of breakdancing. Some are taken from great movies of the day like Breakin’ and Beat Street, but the majority are not. As an added bonus each photo also exposes us to the fantastic fashion that accompanied this subculture in all its hilarity. Third, the book takes the responsible initiative to warn us on page one of the dangers of breakdancing, lest we try to double back-flip off a car hood onto linoleum padded asphalt without an instructor present and hurt ourselves.


No serious urban street dancer should be without this.