Did The Oxford Companion to Beer whet your appetite for brewing? Well, the Brooklyn Brew Shop's Beer Making Book ($14) has all the information you'll need to start your own microbrewery at home. It offers up 52 seasonal recipes that are designed to be made in small batches, as well as tips on brewing, growing hops, and pairing the right beer with the right food. It also has four gluten-free recipes within its pages, so your Celiac-suffering neighbor will at least have something to drown his sorrows when his beloved Browns manage once again to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. [Scouted by Eric]
Most autobiographies tend to be rather tame affairs — so we were pleasantly surprised to find that West by West ($18) is anything but. Penned by hoops legend Jerry West and Jonathan Coleman, the book tells West's journey from his childhood and college years in West Virginia though his 40-year stint with the Lakers, chronicling both his greatest triumphs and his intermittent battles with depression along the way. Pretty gripping stuff, especially for a guy who literally became an icon.
If a trip across the country isn't in your near future, why not do the next best thing and virtually drink your way from coast to coast? Written by the editors of Imbibe Magazine, The American Cocktail ($14) will let you do just that by offering up 50 recipes from top bartenders across the U.S., each focused on regionally produced spirits, sodas, fruits and herbs, but simple enough to make that you can sub in your own local favorites when necessary. After all, what else do you have to do this winter?
Whether you're an animation buff or simply like learning more about the creative process, The Art of Pixar ($35) is a requirement for a cool coffee table this fall. Spanning over 300 pages, this unique tome offers a behind-the-scenes tour of every Pixar film to date, including the complete color scripts, select visual development art, and a foreword by Chief Creative Officer John Lasseter. A fitting accompaniment for Steve Jobs, and way more flip-through friendly for your couch-dwelling guests. [via]
As it turns out, Soviet Russia was good for more than a source for Yakov Smirnoff jokes. Cosmic Communist Constructions Photographed ($40) proves as much by offering up fantastic photographs over 90 buildings situated in the Soviet Republics which could just as easily been found on a sci-fi set, and offering a brief look at the story behind each one. Best enjoyed with a glass of high-grade vodka.