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Dad couldn't have made this one

Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles in the Air

There’s a coffee table book for everything these days, so we’re a little surprised it’s taken this long to address a topic so near and dear to anyone with even a scrap of inner childhood left kicking around: tree houses. Maybe we’re just rusty on our Swiss Family Robinson. Taschen’s Tree Houses: Fairy Tale Castles…

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No, it wasn't a four-hour talk

30 Minutes With: Tim Ferriss

Pine pollen is a powder that contains the cellular material used to produce male sperm cells in coniferous plants. It’s available on Amazon.com as a supplement to increase testosterone, with some companies marketing it as a source of “perpetual youth”, claiming that it helps with everything from improving endurance to regulating prostate function. As part…

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Get in the director's chair

Bond On Set: Filming Skyfall

After you watch Skyfall and discuss its epic quality with your friends, you may feel a bit of a pinch in your gut. This is Bond withdrawal. Sure, you’ve got Thanksgiving Day marathons coming in a few weeks, but what will you do until then? Keep your Bond high rolling with Greg Williams’ Bond on…

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Examining 007's inky origins

Reading Bond: Casino Royale

I’ve gaped at car chases, grinned from ear to ear over sly one-liners and left theaters flushed with the gory glory of Daniel Craig’s stone-faced massacres. No arguments here: theatrical James Bond is the perfect feel-good character for a whole sect of males. Cars, women, subterfuge and wit — that’s not a hard pill to…

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De-throning the Kings of Beers

Bitter Brew

Mom, baseball, and apple pie might just be the only things more American than Budweiser beer. Except Bud’s not — American, that is. Though the logo of the number-one-selling beer in the U.S. remains burned into our national psyche, Anheuser-Busch is now a wholly owned subsidiary, bought out in a 2008 hostile takeover by the…

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(Nearly) Instant Intrigue

Ian Fleming’s James Bond Kindle Collection

You’ve watched all the Bond movies — yes, even George Lazenby’s go at it. But the on-screen secret agent born from the extravagant wallet of Albert R. Broccoli bares only a fleeting resemblance to the card-carrying killer of Ian Fleming’s 14 seminal novels. The entire Bond book series has always been available in paperback form…

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It's Elementary, Our Dear Readers

Dangerous Work: Diary of an Arctic Adventure

“You stand on the very brink of the unknown, and every duck that you shoot bears pebbles in its gizzard which come from a land which the maps know not”. Before satellites, before Google Maps, before GPS on your cell phone, there was bold-faced exploration. For a young medical student by the name of Arthur…

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Automotivated

Masters of Modern Car Design

Napoleon had Marengo, Speed Racer had the Mach 5 and Magnum P.I. had his Ferrari. Man has always tethered an emotional bond to his mode of transportation, and that much more so with the automobile. But what of the men who’ve boosted the contemporary car’s ascent to a beloved, even worshiped, object? Masters of Modern…

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A reference guide for the beeferati

MoB | Beef Books

People always ask us, “How do you find time to read when you’re busy eating all that beef?” We kill two steer with one stone — that’s how. The market for beef books is robust, so we’ve winnowed the list of our favorite beef-related cookbooks and resources to only five. That should be easy enough…

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The promised land of sports and whatever

Grantland Quarterly

Good writers (if we should say so ourselves) respect good writing. Grantland, one of our favorite publications, certainly in sports and culture if not in general, catches our eyes with intuition, integrity and irreverence. Print may be in bad shape, but it still feels right to hold good journalism between your fingers (your keyboard doesn’t…

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Old man take a look at my book

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

While the nickname never really made much sense, the simple fact that Neil Young was called the “godfather of grunge” in the 1990s proved the influential and staying power of an artist who first came on the scene in 1966. In the upcoming Waging Heavy Peace ($17), a 66 year-old Young talks about his early…

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Keep Calm and Pedal On

The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France

Professional cycling has been brought in to the limelight lately, and what’s being exposed isn’t pretty. With no shortage of content, Olympic gold medalist Tyler Hamilton and New York Times bestselling author Daniel Coyle co-authored The Secret Race: Inside the Hidden World of the Tour de France: Doping, Cover-ups, and Winning at All Costs ($17)….

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A man in full

Mortality by Christopher Hitchens

While handling success with grace and humility is a rare trait, the truer measure of a man is how he deals with adversity. In facing the ultimate travail, one’s certain death, Christopher Hitchens displays a stoicism worthy of Marcus Aurelius in Mortality ($14). A collection of his last essays for Vanity Fair before his death…

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Not your average day job

In-Depth: No Easy Day

We bandy the title “hero” about to describe entertainers, sports figures, politicians, anyone who excels or surmounts significant adversity. The true definition, however, fits a much smaller number. No Easy Day ($16), the first-person account of the SEAL Team 6 raid on an Abbottabad compound that killed Osama bin Laden, breaks the traditional silence of…

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The book before you book

The New York Times, 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe

We hope savvy travelers have finished trekking their way through 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada ($25), because more trips are on the way with The New York Times, 36 Hours: 125 Weekends in Europe ($26). As you’d suspect, this follow-up compiles the same excellent “36 Hour Departure” travel articles as its predecessor —…

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The real audio book

How Music Works

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” Nietzsche said that. “Chillin’ by the fire while we eatin’ fondue.” Bieber said that. But no matter what you think of the current auditory scene, it’s impossible to argue with the power of music. In How Music Works ($21), David Byrne — the former Talking Heads front man…

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Brit Lit (Wit)

Hello Goodbye Hello

Oh, the Brits. They’re funny, they like tea, they just finished hosting the Olympics — and if you’ve sunk your teeth into Brit Lit, then you know they write decent books. Craig Brown’s Hello Goodbye Hello is [in our best accent] bloody well clever. The book is, simply, 101 daisy-chained true encounters between the rich,…

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No fluency required

Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing

While there are endless options for flexing your culinary muscles, making your own dry cured meats is one of the best ways of calling out those hacks on Iron Chef that we can think of. Using the secret ingredient? Try making it b$^&*$#s. Authors Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn know a thing or two about…

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Nowhere to hide

Spy The Lie

It’s estimated that — on average — a person tells a lie anywhere from one to ten times per day. That’s hard for us to believe, since we always speak the truth. In Spy the Lie ($16), former CIA officers Philip Houston, Michael Floyd and Susan Carnicero explain how to spot the difference between truth…

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Get 'er Done

The Art of Fixing Things

The best handymen acquire their skills over a lifetime of tinkering, but if you’re all thumbs 365 days of the year consider The Art of Fixing Things ($11) by Lawrence E. Pierce a crash course in honey-do-list competence. Its 168 pages provide easy-to-follow tips supplemented by helpful photos in areas like automotive, appliances, household and…

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Not lost in translation

Guide to the Foreign Japanese Kitchen

Traditional Japanese cooking can be incredibly daunting if you’re not, well, Japanese. Moé Takemura helps confused Westerners and Japanese expats alike in her Guide to the Foreign Japanese Kitchen ($49), which thoroughly and simply details the necessities of Japanese cuisine from ingredients to silverware. Each of the 30 meals in the book is laid out…

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Post sailing the ocean blue

1493: Uncovering the New World Columbus Created

1492 is a year that most Americans can immediately identify with. It was, of course, the year that North America was discovered by the beautifully misguided explorer Christopher Columbus. But what came after that? Sure, in the five hundred years-plus that have passed since the Italian landed on our shores, we’ve done alright setting things…

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Responsible Read

The Responsible Company by Yvon Chouinard & Vincent Stanley

Pathos — that’s relevant experience and credibility for you non-rhetorically adroit folk — is everything when it comes to how-to books. That’s why The Responsible Company: What We’ve Learned From Patagonia’s First 40 Years ($20) gets two green thumbs up from us. Written by Patagonia’s founder and owner Yvon Chouinard and the co-editor of the…

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The escape artist's handbook

Work Your Way Around the World

Ever felt the urgent need for an extended change of scenery? It can be done. If you are looking to drop off the grid but aren’t Bruce Wayne rich, you’ll need to figure out how to eat along the way. That’s where Work Your Way Around the World ($17) can help. Already in its 15th…

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Put that summer heat in perspective

A Labyrinth of Kingdoms

We’ve already spoiled you for choice with summer reading choices, but we’re generous when it comes to quality literature. A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa ($20) by Steve Kemper catalogues the real-life epic of Heinrich Barth, a 19th century explorer who ranks among Stanley and Livingstone but is virtually unknown outside of…

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"Sic Semper Tyrannis! Whoops"

The Impeachment of Abraham Lincoln

Historical fiction, especially “re-imagined” historical writing, runs the risk of coming off pretty damn awful. “What if Hitler had survived the war and opened a coffee and donuts shop?” all writers have asked themselves, and the lucky ones have been slapped by their peers and continued their cup of coffee, careers still intact. Stephen L….

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A Master, re-mastered

A Farewell to Arms: The Hemingway Library Edition

Remember the tedium of English Comp 101? Outline, rough draft, working draft, final draft, and final copy—all for a lousy B-. Now, imagine 47 rewrites. Papa admitted to revising the ending of A Farewell to Arms 39 times. His grandson, Sean Hemingway uncovered nine more attempts while perusing the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John…

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50 Ways to Toast America

The American Cocktail

Looking for a way to celebrate Merica’ year round? The American Cocktail: 50 Recipes That Celebrate the Craft of Mixing Drinks from Coast to Coast ($13) should do the trick. This helpful bartender companion, written by the trustworthy purveyors of liquid culture over at Imbibe Magazine, covers a unique selection of 50 favourites from master…

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Well read? TED well.

TED Books

Five years ago, Mexicans who sold tacos out of the back of a van were targets of the health department. Now, kids from suburbs buy trucks, sell mashup tacos, and get their own TV shows. How did they do it? The inspiration they received from TED. Building on the millions who have absorbed the ideas…

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Take it or leave it?

The Burning House

We’re all materialistic to some degree. Let’s face it, that’s why you come to this site (besides the bombastic and articulate writers, of course). We would never advocate loving objects more than our loved ones or even the act of living itself — then again, did you see that 90-inch Sharp behemoth?. Examining the things…