Attention grammarians, English majors, writers (or pretty much anyone who has ever been called a "grammar nazi"), this one's for you. Highlighting the myriad cases of the misuse of the humble quotation mark, The Book of 'Unnecessary' Quotation Marks: A Celebration of Creative Punctuation ($14) features photos of menus, signs, posters, and more, all using this somehow-misunderstood bit of punctuation for everything except actually quoting words someone said. At times hilarious, and at others disturbing, this book will leave you wondering just what exactly people had in mind when employing quotes. Is it sarcasm? Is it a euphemism? Is it an actual quotation? Or is it just a complete misappropriation of one of the most straightforward marks in our otherwise complex language? We may never know, but at least we can laugh.
Whether you're an aspiring woodsman, the kind of guy who appreciates the simple beauty of nature in its rawest form, or you're just cultivating a lumberjack aesthetic in your apartment, Woodcut ($20) is the coffee table book for you. This book highlights the intricate, painstaking work of artist Bryan Nash Gill, featuring relief prints of cross sections of trees. With prints of a range of trees found near his Connecticut studio (including ash, maple, oak, spruce, and willow), it clearly displays age marks, cuts, scuffs, animal burrows, knots, and branches like no photograph ever could. Find also a detailed interview covering his process, from cutting the blocks with chainsaws, sanding, burning, and sealing, to the careful application of ink.
While it sounds like a DIYer's guide to at-home booze making — and you'll certainly find directions for just that within these pages — the The Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: How to Make and Drink Whiskey ($16) is so much more. Split into several sections, this book first delves into the question of "what is whiskey?" followed by an in-depth history of the delicious brown stuff, and a detailed survey of all the options available. In the final two chapters, the book provides a guide for guys who want to safely distill whiskey at home, and then offers expert advice on how best to enjoy this intoxicating liquor in modern times.
If you've ever wondered about the lengths our government goes to keep us safe from the stockpile of nuclear weapons at its disposal, you owe it to yourself to check out Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety ($17). This hard-hitting bit of well-researched investigative journalism delves into the secretive world of America's nuclear arsenal, exploring the risks of nuclear weapons, and the near miss of one almost-catastrophic accident. It reads like a taut political thriller, exploring the delicate balance between the use of these weapons of mass destruction to keep us safe, and the inherent conflict that arises from their very existence.
If you were to approach Ron Swanson and ask him to recommend a cookbook, he would, with absolutely no hesitation, tell you to pick up The Wild Chef ($23). Written by Jonathan Miles, Wild Chef columnist for Field & Stream, this is the ultimate outdoorsman's cooking companion. Whether you're just a fan of the taste of wild meat, you aspire to become a serious hunter-chef, or you've been butchering game for years, there's plenty to like in between these pages. Broken down into four sections by season, this cookbook is packed full of detailed recipes, anecdotes, and gorgeous photography of food and the outdoors.