Books

Books

America the Ingenious

American ingenuity isn’t new. Kevin Baker’s America the Ingenious: How a Nation of Dreamers, Immigrants, and Tinkerers Changed the World delves into some of history’s most important inventions of the past century or so by way of short vignettes of a few pages each. The 320 page book covers the Golden Gate Bridge, the telephone, the electric motor (and its importance for the New York City subway), the Panama Canal, the electric guitar, and 71 more, on top of exploring and hypothesizing on as to what makes America so proficient when it comes to innovation. The essays are accompanied by illustrations and are easily digestible in big numbers, making it a perfect coffee table book — if you can resist powering through.

Find it at Amazon – $24

GET IT: $24

Books

National Geographic Infographics

National Geographic was first started in 1888. The world’s changed a lot over the ensuing 128 years, including the way we consume media, but one thing hasn’t: our ever-present desire to learn. And Taschen’s National Geographic Infographics contains some of the magazine’s best infographics over its 480 pages, spanning seven categories: Animal World, Being Human, History, Science and Technology, Space, The Planet, and World of Plants. Learn about Eastern Island statues, global warming, space exploration, the history of Hawaiian surfboarding, and of course much more with easily digestible bits of information accompanied by expertly devised imagery, one coffee at a time.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $70

GET IT: $70

Books

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck

Take off your rose-colored glasses and see the world for what it really is: an imperfect place. At least that’s what The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life author Mark Manson would have you do. And hell, probably it’s worth a shot if the other self help reads on your shelves haven’t left a dent. His book drives the philosophy that improving our own lives necessitates a better way to cope with adversity rather than trying to spin it positively. He also advises us to get to know and accept ourselves — and our limitations — better and to figure out what really matters to us, because life is short and we can only focus on so much.

Grab a copy at Amazon – $15

GET IT: $15

Books

Pacific & West Refillable Notebooks

No need to ever tear pages out or archive your Pacific & West Refillable Notebooks once they’re full. Instead, add or remove pages freely thanks to their modular discbound system that holds paper in place using metal rings. Available in three sizes, the notebooks also feature handsome two ply walnut covers made of real wood and come with paper that’s either plain, ruled, or with a dot grid.

Check out the whole collection at Pacific & West – $25+

Books

Overview: A New Perspective of Earth

Few ever get to experience the overview effect, the feeling that comes from looking down on earth from up above. And if Google Earth isn’t cutting it grab a copy of Overview: A New Perspective of Earth, a tome inspired by the aforementioned phenomenon. This hardcover presents an extensive collection of landscapes shaped by humanity, captured from space in the form of high-resolution satellite photographs all around the planet. Terra-forming influences include architecture, agriculture, industrial, and many more, with each more beautiful and awe-inspiring than the last. Click through to the other images or sample Benjamin Grant’s Daily Overview Instagram account that started it all.

Grab one at Amazon – $25 [via]

GET IT: $25

Books

A Fateful Christmas

Who is Santa Claus and what drives him to fly around the world, invade homes, and deliver gifts to children? Good question. Mark K. Potter’s A Fateful Christmas provides an alternative (and darker) twist to the legendary white bearded man in the form of a children’s book that you might want to save for older children. It’s even got a bit of complimentary life advice.

Find it at Amazon – $25

GET IT: $25

Books

Tools of Titans

The latest in Tim Ferris’ string of books is Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, a collection of tips, tools, tactics, and insider information collected from a large sample of highly successful individuals — including Arnold Schwarzenegger, the author of its foreword. The book’s contents are derived from the interviews of over 200 said people on The Tim Ferris Show podcast and distilled down from their answers to Ferris’ numerous questions on actionable activities, including their morning routines, their favorite books, their workout routines, and more. Of course Ferris isn’t one to dole out advice without some hands-on exploring and experimenting on himself so expect a hefty personal touch.

Find it at Amazon – $15+

GET IT: $15+

Books

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

Books

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+

Books

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

Books

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

Books

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

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+