Cool Tools: A Catalog of Possibilities is the new Whole Earth Catalog. The editor is Kevin Kelly, who worked for Whole Earth Catalog, and Stewart Brandt is a large contributor. I got a copy from the library last week and have been enjoying paging through it. There is also a website, from which a lot of the material in the derives: CoolTools. The book is a lot more fun (though things become dated so quickly these days.)

I have a lot of quibbles with this. The catalog, of course, reflects the interests of the creators, who seem to be primarily white, aging, male engineers. There are very few entries by women, and even the quotations (on the bottom of each page) are about 90% by men. It also, oddly, seems geared to those with quite a lot of money. A much slicker deal all around than the good old Whole Earth. Every item comes with a QR codes (assuming everyone reading will have an equipped smartphone?)

Another gripe: this is the third book I've ordered this month that has been too large to read in any reasonable manner.

Has anyone else taken a look? What did you think?

Here is the blurb from Amazon:
Cool Tools is a highly curated selection of the best tools available for individuals and small groups. Tools include hand tools, maps, how-to books, vehicles, software, specialized devices, gizmos, websites -- and anything useful. Tools are selected and presented in the book if they are the best of kind, the cheapest, or the only thing available that will do the job. This is an oversized book which reviews over 1,500 different tools, explaining why each one is great, and what its benefits are. Indirectly the book illuminates the possibilities contained in such tools and the whole catalog serves an education outside the classroom. The content in this book was derived from ten years of user reviews published at the Cool Tools website, cool-tools.org.