Never Built New York

New York’s skyline is unlike any other. Still, it could have been very different, and Never Built New York revisits the Big Apple’s long list of could-have-been projects. The book covers nearly 200 proposals over the last two centuries for skyscrapers, bridges, transit systems, amusement parks, and many more that were never carried through for one reason or another. We’re glad plans to fill in rivers and extend the city didn’t make the cut, but it incites you to wonder about Frank Lloyd Wright’s master plan for Ellis Island and Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic dome design for the Brooklyn Dodger’s stadium.

Pick up a copy at Amazon – $41

GET IT: $41


Designed by Apple in California

Whether you own their products or not, it’s hard to dispute Apple’s mastery of product design. And Designed by Apple in California, a new hardbound book dedicated to the memory of Steve Jobs, chronicles the results of this work over the past two decades. The linen-bound tome bears a starkly minimal white exterior and is filled with 450 equally sparse photographs shot over an eight year period by photographer Andrew Zuckerman. Designs are represented as such; as a result, the book completely foregoes all details about the process of attaining these final iterations and are can instead be enjoyed as such. Available in two sizes, both including a foreword by Apple chief design officer Jony Ive.

Learn more at Apple – $200 to $300

GET IT: $200+


Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie

The Star Wars universe’s biggest appeal is its imaginative assortment of landscapes, vehicles, and of course characters. And the hardcover deluxe edition of Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie gives fans of the saga an inside look at the works of Star Wars’ most prolific and influential artist, Ralph McQuarrie, who first designed iconic characters like Darth Vader, R2-D2, and C-3PO. The two-tome set is a collection of roughly 2,000 color illustrations, all scanned and photographed again specifically for this set, across 800 pages, including costume designs, storyboards, paintings, and more, many at the conceptual stage and many more never before released. It’s also filled with unpublished interviews and commentaries from McQuarrie’s friends and coworkers that’s sure to please even the most obsessive detail-oriented Star Wars fanatics.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $170

GET IT: $170


EveryDayCook: This Time It’s Personal

Alton Brown’s EveryDayCook: This Time It’s Personal could practically double as the chef’s personal cookbook. And that’s because it mostly is, considering he organized his personal recipes, packed them into a book, added a few more to get it up to a total of 101 (and 256 pages), then snapped a bunch of pics for the tome using nothing other than his iPhone. Included [and interestingly-named] meals are arranged by time of day; for instance, Nitrous Pancakes in the morning, EnchiLasagna around noon, and Garam Masalmon Steaks for supper. Beside the recipes, the book includes a variety of insights on everything that goes into crafting a perfect drink or meal, from tools to methods to ingredients. Best of all the recipes and images are all genuine — no tricks and staged shots to speak of.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $21

GET IT: $21


The Monocle Guide to Drinking & Dining

With an ever expanding selection of restaurants, choosing becomes ever more daunting. And the same can be said about narrowing down meal options at home. The Monocle Guide to Drinking & Dining offers straightforward and wide-ranging advice on crafting great dinner experiences, from sourcing produce to refining adjacent hosting skills and obtaining quality tools for the kitchen. They’ve also included a list of must-visit restaurants and bars from all around the globe, with recipes from some of their favorites, and even more dishes developed by the Monocle team in London. Also on the menu is advice on turning your passion of food and drink into a job by way of launching your own eatery or bar. An interesting read, at any rate.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $60

GET IT: $60


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+


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+


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


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]


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


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


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]



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