It might not teach you how to do it yourself, but if you ever wondered how small batch distilleries create the flavors of your favorite spirits, The Art of Distilling Whiskey & Other Spirits ($17) is your book. Included in the text are detailed explanations of distillation processes and techniques, set alongside original photography of micro-distilleries from across the nation. Best when read with a fine glass of your favorite gas.
After we posted The Big Books, we heard an outcry from readers wondering if there was going to be a chest-oriented edition (okay, not really). As it turns out, all you "boob men" out there get an extra special treat — 3D. 3DD ($20) is filled with three-dimenional, anaglyph images of topless women, letting you admire the female form in an even more up-close and personal manner.
Smartphones may have replaced the traditional map for most people, but that doesn't mean there isn't an intriguing world of cartography outside the digital realm. Strange Maps ($20) is a collection of some of the most interesting maps produced throughout the centuries, including Thomas Jefferson's proposal for dividing the Northwest Territory, a map of Thomas More's Utopia, and even a "Jesusland" map based on voter profiles. Who knows — maybe the 17th century map showing California as an island will be accurate someday.
It might seem hard for those of us born in the last 30 or so years to believe, but comic books didn't exist as few as 80 years ago — and few, if any companies played a more integral role in their development than DC. Now you can celebrate this rich heritage with 75 Years Of DC Comics: The Art Of Modern Mythmaking ($125). Weighing in at 15 lbs. and 720 pages, this oversized — roughly 18.5 x 13 — ode to all things DC includes over 2,000 images that help to illustrate the prose, which includes an in-depth look at the company's history and future, along with biographies of the comic legends who worked there. The ultimate gift for any comic book fan — unless, of course, they're a Marvel fanboy.
Looking for a gift for the Mad Men fan in your life — even if that's yourself? Pick up a copy of Mad Men: The Illustrated World ($9). This punchy picture book takes a look at the culture of the '60s through the eyes of the hit AMC show, offering up information such as drink recipes, women's hairstyle tips, appetizer menus, and, as an added bonus, paper cutout dolls of everyone's favorite office manager, Joan Harris.