We're not sure whether an Academy Award nomination lowers or heightens your street cred, but in either case, we're pretty sure Banksy doesn't care. Banksy: You Are an Acceptable Level of Threat ($23) is the latest book dedicated to the subversive street artist's work, spanning over 220 pages and featuring images and texts covering the last decade-or-so of work from the mysterious artist, from street art to gallery work.
We're not generally fans of keeping books in our theaters, but for The Film Book ($15), we'll make an exception. Weighing in at 350+ pages, this reference-worthy tome includes tons of information, including a history of the art form and industry, discussion of various cinematic techniques, well-known directors, styles, genres, and filmmaking around the world. A must-have for any hard-core movie buff.
Take a trip into the history of psychiatric care in the U.S. with a copy of Asylum: Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals ($25). Weighing in at over 200 pages, the book is the work of photographer Christopher Payne, who visited 70 institutions in 30 states, documenting the crumbling institutions that once housed our country's "insane." Bonus points for the essay by Oliver Sacks and for visiting our local favorite, the Athens Lunatic Asylum.
We don't recommend trying them all at once — or even over the course of a month — but should you make it through all the varied selections in 1001 Whiskies You Must Taste Before You Die ($25), you'll no doubt be a more well-rounded drinker. This nearly 1000-page book contains tasting notes, histories, and temperature recommendations for all of its suggestions, which range from high-quality but mass-produced brands to specialty drinks from micro-distilleries, and a little bit of everything in between.
[Scouted by Blaine]
While Steve McQueen is one of the most talked- and written-about stars of all time, no prior tome on the man has gone as deep Steve McQueen: The Actor and His Films ($45). Weighing in at nearly 500 pages, this hefty book tracks his journey from his delinquent beginnings through to his late career, including accounts of every film he made, as well as plenty of insights into his techniques and behind-the-scenes stories from filming. A great way to fill the time vacuum left by the impending end of the NFL season.