Replace your overly safe coffee table repertoire of cars, architecture, and perhaps even pets with something a little more... interesting. SuicideGirls: Hard Girls, Soft Light ($26) is the second photography tome from the revered website, boasting over 200 pages of photos that continue to challenge the typical pop culture definition of beauty while serving as inspiration for your next — or first — tattoo. Oh, and if you couldn't tell from the title, most of the photos were shot using natural light, giving them a quality rarely found in collections like this.
And here you thought rockers and actors were the only ones with lavish drug and sex addictions to write about. Literary Rogues: A Scandalous History of Wayward Authors ($10) looks at those writers who did battle with inner demons on a grand, and thus historically notable, scale. Starting with the Marquis de Sade and continuing all the way up through Hunter S. Thompson, Bret Easton Ellis, and even the infamous James Frey, it provides an entertaining yet startling look at the way outlandish behavior and literary genius have often been linked. See also: Hunter S. Thompson's daily routine.
So it may or may not be legal in your area, but even if it's some legal grey area — and by "grey area", we mean "not legal" — that doesn't mean you don't need something more to do with your greens than just throw them into a colorful piece of glass. Cannabis Cupcakes: 35 Mini Marijuana Cakes to Bake and Decorate ($12) is pretty much what it says on the cover, giving you recipes like Snickers Muffins and Toxic Red Velvet Cupcakes to bake your bake-fuel into. Lest you question the credibility of the author, just know he's responsible for titles such as Spliffs, Spliffs 2, Spliffigami, Bongology, Baked!, and Seed to Weed. And no, we didn't make all those up. Promise.
Celebrate of one of Bruce Lee's most beloved films with this Enter the Dragon: 40th Anniversary ($35) Blu-ray release. Making its second appearance on Blu-ray, this collectors edition features new cover artwork, three new featurettes, commentary form producer Paul Heller, and a re-mastered video and soundtrack that will hopefully have this classic looking and sounding better than ever.
Shit, we're getting old. First Lebowski turns 15, then Dazed and Confused hits 20, and now this. Completing a trifecta of cultural touchstone anniversaries, Give Up 10th Anniversary Edition by The Postal Service ($35) celebrates the decade that's passed since this seminal recording's release. The multidisc set (Vinyl or CD, and also digital download) includes all the original songs, remasterd, plus 15 bonus tracks, among them two brand new songs — "A Tattered Line of String" and "Turn Around" — that provide just a glimmer of hope that we might actually see another album from the likes of Gibbard and Tamborello (and sometimes Lewis). But don't get your hopes up, because the first one was such a process.
If most people tried to write these stories, they'd probably be overly depressing. Fortunately, Marc Maron isn't most people. Attempting Normal ($15) is this blisteringly funny comic's tale of loss, broken hearts, cats, drugs, work, and much, much more. Following Maron from the loss of his job and marriage through to his current incarnation as the host of the wildly popular WTF with Marc Maron podcast, it offers a little wisdom, a little insight, and a lot of laughs.
Normally when a well-known series arrives in a special Blu-ray package, true fans already own all of the films — but that's not the case with the Mad Max Trilogy ($35). This long-awaited post-apocalyptic set includes the original Mad Max, Mad Max Road Warrior, and — making its debut on Blu-ray — the Tina Turner-packing Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Other details, such as potential bonus features and audio formats, are scarce, but word is that it will arrive in premium tin packaging, so at least that's something.
Freak out your ophidiophobic friends by proudly placing Serpentine ($30) atop your coffee table. Not a serpentine, mind you, but the 200-page collection of dangerously beautiful photographs from Mark Laita. Including such snakes as the albino Honduran milk snake, the Malaysian coral snake, and Kobe's favorite, the black mamba, the book also contains an essay from novelist William T. Vollmann exploring the various associations with the animals that make them so menacing to so many.
When we first brought you news of National Lampoon's Vacation on Blu-ray, it was with a heavy heart, knowing that the Amazon reviews said the soundtrack was in mono, the picture sucked, the cover art "looked stupid," and generally "pathetic". We're hoping that the National Lampoon's Vacation: 30th Anniversary ($16) release will fix all of that. If nothing else, you'll get new bonus content like the A&E special, "Inside Story: National Lampoon's Vacation". And let's face it — if you're thinking about buying it and have held off this long, you might as well take the plunge.
Eat like winter is coming by cooking up some of the delicious grub in A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook ($20). Created by fans of the series Chelsea Monroe-Cassel and Sariann Lehrer and given a foreword blessing by series author George R. R. Martin, this 200+ page book contains over 100 recipies, helpfully divided by region. So whether you're looking for a pork pie from the Wall or biscuits and bacon from Across the Narrow Sea, it's got you covered.
Unbeknownst to most common folk, many of rock's greatest albums came from a not-so-glamorous part of the San Fernando Valley. Sound City ($10-$13) is dedicated to the studio of the same name, and the rare sound board held within — sound featured on albums by Tom Petty, Nirvana, Fleetwood Mac, Rage Against the Machine, Neil Young, and many more. Directed by Dave Grohl, this full-length documentary features interviews and performances by some of the rockers who held court there, and is a must-watch for true music lovers.
Many great architects have huge lists of building they've designed for other clients — but it's the houses they create for themselves that really illustrate who they are. The Architect's Home ($26) is a 480-page exploration of this phenomena, with each home listed in an A-Z manner by architect, and including large, full-bleed photography, and text relating to the architect and the home, many times from the designer him/herself. Perfect coffee table fodder for the artsy/designer crowd.