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.
Thinking of growing out your facial hair this fall? You can find plenty of inspiration in the pages of Beard ($9). Filled with stark, straight-on shots of the world's most impressive whiskers — captured at the World Beard and Moustache Championships — it's sure to give you some ideas beyond your trademark five o'clock shadow.
In all honesty, we could probably just print the tagline for Felon Fitness ($11) — "How to Get a Hard Body Without Doing Hard Time" — and leave it at that, but since we are talking about prison, and the word "hard" appears twice in that statement, we figured some clarification was in order. This 224-page guide to getting buff focuses on exercises and techniques used by real-life inmates, all designed to leave you looking like you've been to jail and back — without the random scars and poor-quality tattoos, of course.
We're still trying to wrap our heads around the loss of our favorite CEO — he certainly left his dent in the universe — but out of all the eulogies we've seen so far, we're still waiting to hear Steve's story from the man himself. Written by hand-picked biographer Walter Isaacson, Steve Jobs by Walter Issacsson ($17) tells the tale of Steve's professional and personal life, informed by unprecedented access to Jobs, his family, friends, and co-workers, including details of his final days at Apple, and reflections from Jobs as he faced what he called "Life's greatest invention." Rest in peace, o turtlenecked one. You will be missed.
It's not entitled "The Official Encyclopedia of Beer," but it might as well be. Weighing in at nearly 1,000 pages and covering over 1,100 topics, The Oxford Companion To Beer ($40) is filled with passages penned by experts on the subject, all painstakingly gathered together and edited by Brooklyn Brewery Brewmaster Garrett Oliver and presented in a hefty tome that's perfect reading material for aspiring brewers and beer lovers alike.