Books

Books

The Tetris Effect

Probably everyone’s been through a phase of serious Tetris addiction, and Dan Ackerman’s The Tetris Effect: The Game that Hypnotized the World looks to explore the intriguing background of this simple game with lasting power. It recounts how Alexey Pajitnov, a teenager in the Soviet Union working on outdated computers, to put it lightly, came up with the idea for a game and then toiled for years to make his vision a reality through the mid to late eighties. The narrative — which bears a striking resemblance to modern day startup stories — continues with the efforts to get the game out of the USSR and published, which, considering the internet didn’t really exist, isn’t quite as easy as putting a home-brewed game online today. Despite these obstacles Tetris made it to Game Boys and NES’s around the world, and since then just about everything with a processor, a screen, and some buttons.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $15 (Kindle) to $20 (hardcover)

GET IT: $15+

Books

Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck

You wouldn’t have known it by its title, but the original Thug Kitchen is a fully vegetarian cookbook trying to push you to eat a little healthier. Thug Kitchen 101: Fast as F*ck has the same general mission in mind but with a penchant on speed, which is logical: if it’ll take less time than ordering in then maybe you’ll be more likely to whip up some sh*t yourself and simultaneously spare some cash. The book is packed with 101 quick recipes that use simple ingredients and straightforward, entertainingly-written recipes to get you exploring outside of your comfort zone.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $12 (kindle) to $18.55 (hardcover)

GET IT: $12+

Tech

Kobo Aura One eReader

Pouring a hot bath and relaxing while reading is, to us, incredibly inviting. Too bad both paper books and eReaders aren’t really waterproof and require a ton of care. That’s changing with the Kobo Aura One. The slim device is rated waterproof to the IPX8 standard and can therefore go about six feet underwater for up to an hour for reading underwater (but more likely just for withstanding occasional splashes). A massive 7.8-inch Carta E Ink screen is about the size of a good novel as well as just as sharp with a pixel density of 300 dpi, and comes equipped with ComfortLight Pro front lighting, which also gradually reduces blue light exposure as dusk approaches to avoid impacting your sleep. Other features include 8GB of on-board memory for storing thousands of eBooks, one month of battery life, and customizable font weights and sharpness to create a reading experience tailored to you.

Up for preorder on August 30th. Find it at Kobo – $230

Books

Codex Silenda

Prop a Codex Silenda up on your coffee table and it’s sure to attract attention. Not only is this tome thick as hell, it’s also made of laser-cut wood and boasts only five pages. But each of the five features an intricate puzzle that needs to be overcome to unlock the next page and keep progressing. Puzzles include the Mechanical Iris, a Rotating Maze, Geneva Gears, Paradox Sliders, and the Cryptex Lock, all more complex than the run-of-the-mill puzzles in the mainstream like Rubik’s cubes and one trick ponies in the form of interlocked pieces. The only catch is they’re all out of hand-assembled options so you’ll need to build it yourself — or  get someone to build it for you, since you’ll probably want a go at it yourself. Unlocking the last page also grants access to a small storage stash, useful once you’ve mastered all five.

Find it at Kickstarter – $125 [via]

Books

Atlas Obscura

With the advent of massive amounts of information at our fingertips and sites like TripAdvisor, exploring our planet has never been easier. But their angle isn’t always quite right. Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders packs over 600 of the most interesting places, structures, and things to see in the world between its two covers, made not for the shopping-obsessed, snap-happy tourist but for the deeply curious explorer. Put together by the folks behind the website, the tome’s 480 odd pages tell of a baobab tree so large it hosts a pub inside, the Gates of Hell in Turmekistan (a gas field that’s been alight for 45 years), Spain’s Baby Jumping Festival, and many more oddities that’ll make you want to get up and get out more.

Preorder a copy at Amazon – $21

Books

The 420 Gourmet

Eating cannabis instead of smoking it doesn’t need to limit you to brownies. JeffThe420Chef’s The 420 Gourmet: The Elevated Art of Cannabis Cuisine takes the author’s extensive experience in cooking cannabis edibles — initially started to help a close friend’s mother with side effects from her cancer treatment — and wraps it up in a 320 page hardcover. On top of helping you select principal strains and dosages to use for desired medical or recreational effect, the tome details step-by-step processes to make his signature canna-butter and canna-oils, and then in which larger meals to incorporate these, from salads to multi-course dinners. It’s even got gluten-free, kosher, vegetarian, and vegan options to accommodate all.

Find it at Amazon – $20

Books

Calm the F*ck Down

Coloring books are back with a vengeance, but this time not only to pacify kids — to help adults de-stress after a bad day at work. In fact, it’s better you keep this one away from the children altogether. Sasha O’Hara’s Calm the F*ck Down: An Irreverent Adult Coloring Book helps you do just what its title promises. Twenty-one single sided (to avoid bleed-through), moderately complex coloring pages let you lose yourself in extravagant hues or whatever else floats your boat. Each page has plenty to fill in and usually includes a moderately offensive quote alongside the image. Have a look at some page photos down in the Amazon listing’s review section.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $7 [via]

Books

Seinfeldia

Seinfeld’s been off the air for a couple of years (or so) by now, but if you’re anything like us (and most other Americans with a sense of humor) the episodes still play on your tube regularly. Jennifer Keishin Armstrong’s Seinfeldia: How a Show About Nothing Changed Everything takes a behind-the-scenes look at the two minds behind the sitcom to get you rare information such as how and where they dreamt up the show to begin with, the real life characters inspiring those on the show (down to the many one-episode icons), and plenty of general gossip. Hell, the actual Soup Nazi (or Larry Thomas, the actor that played him, anyway) couldn’t put it down, so you’re likely to be no different.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $17

Books

Beaches

When you’re lethargically roasting under the sun at a beach and need something to “read”, words won’t always do. Gray Malin’s Beaches on the other hand is particularly on point. Shot not by drone but instead by him snapping away from inside a doorless helicopter, Beaches is packed with aerial photographs of beaches from over twenty cities around six continents which’ll all make you want to do one thing if you’re not already digging your toes into sand: head to your nearest beach.

Pick up a copy at Amazon – $26

Books

The Last Stop

Officially, road trips were born but a mere hundred years ago, and with them came infrastructure: roads, highways, and of course imaginative rest stops. But while the concrete paths on which we drive are guaranteed, man made rest stops are not, demolished at increasing rates due to maintenance expenses, lack of use thanks to a myriad of commercial options (not to mention affordability of flying), and occasionally, criminal activity. Photographer Ryann Ford’s The Last Stop: Vanishing Rest Stops of the American Roadside documents these unique and quickly fading rest stops before many more are gone for good. Years were spent capturing photographs of her eye-catching subjects across twenty odd states, instilling nostalgia in readers who’ve never even visited a fraction of the feature in the book. All it makes us want to do is load up the car and hit the road.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $27

Gadgets

Kyouei Illuminated Bookmark

If everything you read is on an eBook reader, skip this one. Otherwise, the Kyouei Illuminated Bookmark can add a little extra functionality to the traditional paper or plastic bookmark and looks cool to boot. Its silver ink circuit is printed on a special film, transmitting light when it’s folded over a CR2032 lithium coin battery, the latter squeezed between its two contacts. Its two LEDs aim one way so you can point it towards your page, making this a compact directional reading light you’ll always have with you for when you’re out of other options.

Find it at the Designboom Shop – $16 [via]