If you or someone you know is into difficult puzzles, The Master Theorem – A Book of Puzzles, Intrigue and Wit is sure to offer a challenge. It’s filled with more than 40 perplexing puzzles include ciphers, logic games, and visual puzzles, each of which requires smarts and creativity even to figure out where to start each one.
THE BEST Books
From the authors of Death & Co, the Cocktail Codex is no ordinary drink recipe book. It teaches home bartenders about the fundamental elements that go into a good cocktail and the relationships between drinks that share attributes. The approach encourages experimentation in creating your own concoctions.
Graphic designer Sean Tejaratchi creates books densely packed with black-and-white images scrounged from vintage catalogs, advertising, and obscure books. They’re reminiscent of old clip-art books but cleverly incorporate social commentary. Can’t decide which one to get? Go for the 544-page Big Book of Unhappiness.
Photographer Mark Richards and author John Alderman offer a visual guide to some of the earliest examples of computing devices. The 176-page hardcover book features artistically-composed images of machines like the Eniac, Cray 1, and the original Apple 1, which call Silicon Valley’s Computer History Museum home.
From the creators of the YouTube cooking series of the same name, comes a cookbook filled with more than 60 tasty and easy-to-prepare recipes that will make you feel like you actually know a thing or two about cooking, and might actually impress your family and friends.
Marc Hagan-Guirey – aka “the dark king of kirigami” – creates marvels with paper, a ruler, a sharp blade, and an equally sharp eye. For Le Corbusier Paper Models, he created templates and step-by-step guides so patient crafters can cut and fold their own mini-models of 10 iconic buildings by modernist architect Le Corbusier.
Do or do not. There is no try. Learn the ways of the Jedi and how they might be used to better your life. Author Amy Ratcliffe and illustrator Christina Chung take quotations and lessons from Star Wars and pair them with exercises for mindfulness like breathing, posture, and meditation to help bring peace and serenity to your life.
From the hosts of the Really Awful Movies podcast comes a book about the most insane and ridiculous action movies of all time. Despite their low budgets, D-list stars, and often bad special effects, each of the 100 movies in this book deserves a watch if you’re looking for a big bang for your entertainment buck.
Hide small items in plain sight with this fake book storage box. Designed to look like the parts manual from an old piece of industrial equipment, it’ll look great sitting alongside other mechanics’ books. It measures 7″ x 5.5″ x 1.8″ and is made from canvas, wrapped around MDF plywood, with a velvet-lined interior.
Written by ex-con Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez and actor Clifton Collins Jr., this unique cookbook offers up more than 65 recipes made by inmates using instant ramen and other items they could get from the commissary while incarcerated. Among the contributors: Slash, Shia LaBeouf, and Danny Trejo.
From the authors of P Is for Pterodactyl comes a kids book about homophones, homonyms, and tricky punctuation. The playfully-illustrated book compares various words and phrases that sound the same but can have very different meanings, like “The hero had super vision” and “The hero had supervision.”
Looking for a fun and challenging activity to do at home? Artist Byriah Loper’s book is filled with designs and techniques for making some incredible folded polyhedral paper sculptures. You’ll need a variety of different types of paper, a bone folder, and a few other supplies to complete your own paper art. Definitely not for beginners.
We never really thought of the Alien movies as being colorful, but now you can bring some brightness into their dreary world with this Alien coloring book. Its 80 pages are filled with terrifying and gruesome scenes of xenomorphs in their various stages, along with favorite characters like Ripley and the Nostromo’s cat, Jonesy.
Stop staring at your screen and read this book. Bestselling author Paul Greenberg provides ideas, wit, and wisdom to help you break away from technology and get back to living. The book includes 65 small but meaningful activities to help occupy your mind and expand your creativity instead of being a slave to your phone.
Want a real coloring challenge? Grab this book which features 35 amazing full-color images captured by NASA, side-by-side with coloring outlines based on the photos. Add a set of two-tone space colored pencils and you’ve got a great gift for any astronomy fan.
While Google is our go-to for many answers, we still keep a copy of Thomas Glover’s Pocket Ref on hand. It’s loaded with more than 850 pages of reference tables, formulas, constants, and conversions, and is one book we’d want in our bug-out bag if the internet ever blew up. The larger Desk Ref has 1280 pages.
Ever thought about what might happen if we lost everything and had to rebuild the world from scratch? This 400-page book is designed as a reference to give our society a fighting chance, with illustrations and information on everything from vehicles to shelters to medicines and agriculture. Available in digital or print editions.
Looking for a gift for a book lover who already has a full library? These solid wood coasters from Cutting Boredom make a great present for bookworms. They come in more than 20 different designs, each inspired by the cover of a classic piece of literature. Sold in sets of two or more.
Author Micah Cash expands his wonderful Waffle House photo essay from The Bitter Southerner into a book. The 96-page hardbound book incorporates photos taken from inside of the iconic diners across the South, and explores the role that the restaurants play for their customers that goes beyond just bacon and eggs.
You’ve seen the memes, now see the whole collection of Steven Rhodes’ parody children’s book covers. My Little Occult Book Club features the funniest of his paranormal fakes – including Caring for Your Hell Hound and Necromancy for Beginners – characterized by deviously cheerful illustrations with a 1970s vibe.
What’s a schmegoogle? “A person so insignificant that if you Google his name, nothing comes up,” jokes Daniel Klein, author of Schmegoogle: Yiddish Words for Modern Times. Klein updates 200 Yiddish words to hilariously kvetch about contemporary life from tech to weed. Corny Jewish humor has rarely felt this fresh.
BOWIE: Stardust, Rayguns, & Moonage Daydreams celebrates the life of David Bowie through a series of illustrated comic panels. The 160 page hardcover graphic novel chronicles his rise from pop singer to Ziggy Stardust, and his numerous personas and reinventions. Written by Michael Allred, Steve Horton, and Laura Allred.
Didier Ghez’s six-volume series delves into the lesser-known art of Disney Animation. Each book is filled with rare images gathered from the depths of the Walt Disney Archives and the Disney Animation Research Library, along with untold stories of the artists behind the scenes. Start with the 1930s and work your way to 2020.
This hardcover art book catalogs hundreds of forms, patterns, textures, and colors extracted from natural things like fruits, veggies, insects, fish, and more. It’s a great addition to any artist’s or designer’s reference library, providing a fresh source of creative inspiration.
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