Inspired by the bestiaries of Medieval times, Michael Largo's The Big, Bad Book of Beasts: The World's Most Curious Creatures ($13) aims to share some of the more intesting information about the animal kingdom, from the biggest bug to the fastest bird. Along with way, you'll find entertaining anecdotes about animal behaviour and our relationship to the beasts, as well as an A to Z listing of weird creatures, and well over 250 illustrations. At 464 pages, it's not exactly a quick read, but it's no encyclopedia, either — after all, you've got Wikipedia for that, right?
As anyone who's ever watched 2001 can tell you, weapons have been around a long, long time. Now you can explore this rich, violent history with A History of Weapons: Crossbows, Caltrops, Catapults & Lots of Other Things that Can Seriously Mess You Up ($10). Penned by comedy writer Josh O'Bryan, this book — as the title suggests — take a humorous look at maiming machines from across the ages, with a brief history, list of uses, and killing potential rating for each. Perfect reading fodder for your
torture dungeon next Medieval-themed party.