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
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
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+
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.
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
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+
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
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