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Published on October 27th, 2005 | by Greg


Lies, Secrets, and Superheroes in New Books

New books The Book of Lies, The Book of Secrets, and The Government Manual for New Superheroes have more than a few things in common- they’re quick and fun reads, they’re under $15 each, and they’d make excellent gifts.

Budding superheroes will find plenty of tips in TGMfNS by Matthew David Brozik and Jacob Sager Weinstein- from advice on costuming and sidekicks, to assistance in choosing the proper name. It’s strictly tongue-in-cheek, with plenty of sly references for comic book fans (or just people who have seen The Incredibles). Clever drawings and a few great lines like “Also, your sidekick must not be better than you are at anything” prevent it from becoming boring, but a lack of discussion of any real superheroes keeps it from becoming an instant classic. Worth a read for advice about which city to choose to protect: “[C]ities like Buffalo, New York… tend to view the massive destruction wrought by alien death rays as an integral part of the urban renewal process”.

Almost as entertaining, but with much more history, The Book of Lies and The Book of Secrets (by Malcolm Green and Thomas Easton, respectively) are nondescript, intriguing volumes- one red and one black, both unadorned and almost biblical in their austerity. Inside them though, you’ll find optical illusions, top ten lists, and plenty of interesting facts. One of them covers the world of fibs from advertising to romance, the other discusses underground experiments and historical conspiracies. The Book of Lies tosses in more than a few fabrications of its own, but marks them with a symbol so you can tell them apart- a clever, but ultimately strained attempt at filler material that doesn’t quite work. The Book of Secrets wisely keeps it “real”, and has some fascinating stories to tell: from real-life inspirations for Harry Potter characters to hidden graves and some not-so-appetizing revelations on coffee and preservatives.

All three books are available now.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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