If you think your religion has some crazy ideas, you haven't seen anything yet. The Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster ($11) is the accompanying guide to the new parody religion — born out of last year's battle between advocates of evolution and intelligent design — that worships a supernatural entity resembling spaghetti and meatballs. Followers of the FSM, called Pastafarians, believe that pirates control global warming and natural disasters, that superstition trumps science no matter what, and that the FSM hid dinosaur fossils underground to dupe mankind. Oh yeah, and heaven has a stripper factory and a beer volcano.
While most of the photography books we've featured have been of a light nature, it's never a bad thing to have some more substantial material on your coffee table as well. Spawned from a GQ feature article, This is Our War: A Soldier's Portfolio ($20) tells the stories of our troops in Iraq through 250 photographs taken not by journalists, but by the soldiers themselves. Some are moving, some funny, some simply beautiful, but all are honest, intimate portrayals of war.
Company ($15) is the latest novel by our new favorite contemporary satirist, Max Berry. In the 350-page work, he takes office politics and banal tasks to an extraordinarily extreme degree, but it's not so twisted from reality that it doesn't apply to your own 9-5. The story line follows naive business school grad Jones through his relatively short career at Zephyr Holdings. His first task is to find out what the company (not just his department, which only deals with other internal departments) actually does. Not only does no one know, they can't grasp why Jones would be curious. A perfect book if you enjoy The Office, Dilbert or Office Space.
Growing up, we certainly had our share of fun — and got into a fair share of trouble — with our potato guns. Now we can rebuild better, stronger guns with the help of Backyard Ballistics ($11). Plans for building potato guns, a match-powered rocket, a tennis ball mortar, a pneumatic missile, and more are included. Just make sure not to bust out your neighbor's windows with your "toys."
We here at Uncrate love nothing more than a nice, serene round of golf — even if we normally break up the serenity with cursing after most shots. Fifty Places to Play Golf Before You Die by Chris Santella ($17) features 224 pages of beauty, From Ballyliffin along the North Sea in Ireland to New Zealand's Cape Kidnappers, which sits 500 feet above the ocean. Whether you're an amateur, pro, or just like to look at beautiful places, this book is for you.