You mightn’t expect a book like Recipes from the Woods: The Book of Game and Forage from a chef like Jean-François Mallet, and while many the ingredients are more or less foreign to your kitchen the recipes are inspiring nonetheless, not to mention useful should you ever need to fend for yourself in the backcountry. The 100 included recipes are mainly based around foraged ingredients such as dandelion leaves, nettles, wild strawberries, mushrooms, snails, and a variety of game spanning feathered to furred. Accompanying each one are bold, mouth-watering photographs of the end result that’ll make you want to run out the door and gather ingredients — though you’ll need to brush up on your hunting skills to make the meat part happen. Perfect for cooking at the cottage, with the tartan pattern on the cover fitting right in.
Find it at Amazon – $32
First came Where Chefs Eat. Perhaps this made you wonder Where Bartenders Drink, which also (now) happens to be a thing. This 420 page hardcover includes secrets and suggestions from 300 notable drink-making experts around the globe, sharing where they go grab drinks when they’ve gotten off for the night. Not limited to one type in particular, their favorite venues range from local watering holes to hotel bars, and number at around 750 in total, so they likely won’t be in short supply regardless of your next trip destination. And the included maps only make finding these places easier.
Grab a copy at Amazon – $30
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
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