As anyone who's ever watched 2001 can tell you, weapons have been around a long, long time. Now you can explore this rich, violent history with A History of Weapons: Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up ($10). Penned by comedy writer Josh O'Bryan, this book — as the title suggests — take a humorous look at maiming machines from across the ages, with a brief history, list of uses, and killing potential rating for each. Perfect reading fodder for your torture dungeon next Medieval-themed party.
Leave it to the guys who make the software our own team uses to work remotely to write the book on the subject. Remote: Office Not Required by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson ($13) takes an in depth look at the growing trend of employees working from home, discussing both the benefits and challenges, and why more businesses will want to promote this model in the future. It's not coming out until October, but if it's anywhere near as insightful as their prior Rework, it'll be well worth the wait.
You might not think about it — in fact, you're probably even less inclined since the advent of Wi-Fi and cellular data — but the Internet that keeps a big chunk of society functioning is actually a huge, world-spanning networks of routers, wires, and other complex gadgets. Tubes: A Journey to the Center of the Internet ($17) takes you on a tour of these places, from massive data centers and historical spots to caverns full of wire and the ten-thousand-mile undersea cable that connects Europe and Africa. A must-read for anyone who spends the majority of their day online — so basically everyone.
The NBA playoffs are just around the corner, so what better time to soak up some knowledge from the winningest coach of all time? Penned by former Chicago Bulls and potential future L.A. Lakers coach Phil Jackson, Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success ($17) tells the story of Jackson's rise from a kid in North Dakota to a leader of hyper-athletic, enormously-ego'd men, with plenty of insight on how he handled the personalities of his players and got all-time greats like Jordan and Kobe to buy into a team concept bigger than themselves. Okay, so it's not technically coming out until May, but that should still give you plenty of time to finish it before the Finals.
No matter if you're drinking vodka, gin, rum, or whiskey, your booze of choice came from a plant of one form or another. The Drunken Botanist ($12) takes a look at this grand tradition of fermentation and distillation, with tons of information and stories about various drinks. And should you think it's all just boring facts, rest assured that the 400-page book also contains over 50 drink recipes, as well as growing tips for those looking to grow their own garnishes.