Whether you're a completely-obsessed Apple fanboy, or just an industrial or packaging designer looking for inspiration, Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation ($75 or $300) is the coffee table book for you. Filled from cover to cover with carefully-shot photos documenting the evolution of Apple products from the Apple II to the iMac, this book details Apple's rise from a two-man company in a Silicon Valley garage to one of the top producers of consumer electronics in the world. See full-color photos of desktops, portables, iPhones, iPods, prototypes, and packaging, accompanied by introductions and quotes from Apple insiders. If you're really wild about Apple, opt for the special edition which comes in a specially-made retro peripheral case celebrating computing products from the late 70s and early 80s.
Experience the classic board game of capitalism and real estate like never before with the Monopoly 3D Edition ($500). This special edition game is limited to just 2,000 pieces, and features custom-designed elements depicting New York City from popular three-dimensional artist Charles Fazzino. These elements include six pewter game pieces, money, title deeds, chance and community chest cards, wood houses, hotels, and banker's tray, as well as three-dimensional artwork with embedded crystals and foil accents. The set comes in a two-inch-deep wooden cabinet with a glass top, and each set is numbered and signed by the artist.
Rap, hip hop, whatever you want to call it — sometimes song lyrics leave you feeling clueless about their meaning — but don't worry, Understand Rap: Explanations of Confusing Rap Lyrics You & Your Grandma Can Understand ($10) is here to save you from uncool ignorance. This book explores rap lyrics from songs divided into multiple categories (braggadocio, cars, crime, disses, fashion, intoxicants, people, places, and sex) giving you deep insight into sometimes-cryptic hip hop turns of phrase. Each lyric is quoted, along with the artist, song, and album, and then explained in a matter-of-fact, academic manner that will leave even the least knowledgeable feeling like a hip hop head.
Perfect if you're the kind of guy just getting into Bob Dylan and looking for a complete discography to jump-start your collection, Bob Dylan: The Complete Album Collection ($180) is nearly all-encompassing. It includes each of his 35 studio and six live albums —many of them newly-remastered and independently packaged with reproduced original artwork — as well as a two-disk compilation of additional music not found on the original albums.
With Halloween just around the corner, it's never been a better time to start assembling a respectable collection of classic scary movies — and a secret stash of candy to hold you over for the rest of the month. Get your horror library started with Chucky: The Complete Collection ($60). Relive the early scenes of Chucky and Andy that made us all terrified of dolls in Child's Play, Child's Play 2, and Child's Play 3. Watch as Chucky finds true love in Bride of Chucky and Seed of Chucky. And, if you're not quite caught up, watch Curse of Chucky for the first time. This collection includes all six films as well as hours of bonus content.
As an adaptation of Max Brooks' oral history of the zombie apocalypse, World War Z ($20) may leave something to be desired — but as a star-studded globe-spanning monster epic, it has enough thrills, incredible set pieces, and Hollywood scares to keep you engaged until the last bite. For those unfamiliar with the source material (from which the film differs substantially) or the movie itself, it chronicles the efforts of one UN investigator (Brad Pitt) to find the source of, and cure for, an undead outbreak of global proportions. This unrated blu-ray, DVD, and digital copy edition will give you plenty of opportunities to re-watch, pick apart, or just stare anxiously from the edge of your couch, and the extra seven minutes give you a bonus you never found in theaters.
You all know by now that Legos aren't just meant for kids — there are grown men (and women) all over the world building incredible things out of these little colorful bricks. Beautiful Lego ($18) highlights the amazing creations made by Lego enthusiasts that really transcend the medium. This book features photos of Lego replicas of everyday objects and famous buildings, ships, creatures, and more, as well as interviews with the artists that give you a window into their creative minds. It might be just the inspiration you need to pull that box of bricks out of your basement and start building.
Most of you have probably at some point dreamt of ditching your mind-numbing nine to five, packing up your things in a van, and heading for the open road. Foster Huntington, author and photographer of Home Is Where You Park It ($65), did exactly that two years ago, and has been living in his VW Vanagon ever since. Along the way he has run into a number of like-minded people and their vans, documenting them as he went. This coffee-table book features over 100 photos of camping vans, as well as anecdotes about other travelers, and stories from his own experiences exploring the country surfing and camping.
Even in the era of the smartphone, there's still plenty of room in the traveler's bag for a good guide book — especially if it's one of the Herb Lester Travel Guides ($7 and up). Made to serve as your go-to guides for the great cities of the world, these books feature maps and illustrations from exceptional designers, and cover everything from famous destinations to local favorites. Choose from guides to European cities like London, Amsterdam, and Paris, or American cities like New York, Austin, and San Francisco. They also offer collections of guides in case you're planning a grand tour.
The long wait is finally over. You can now play Grand Theft Auto V ($60) — the franchise' largest, most ambitious installment to date. With the ability to seamlessly switch between the three main characters with the push of a button, you can see (and play) this massive world from a variety of unique perspectives. And speaking of this massive world, Los Santos is Rockstar's largest open world yet, letting you explore side missions that involve yoga, tennis, gold, even hunting. But, don't fret, it still has the classic GTA elements you've come to love, like customizable cars, guns galore, and the ability to step into the shoes of a hardened criminal.
With the series coming to an end in just a few short days, there's no better time than now to order Dexter: The Complete Series ($322). Revisit every moment with your favorite vigilante serial killer from seasons one through eight with this blu-ray collection. The collection includes 25 discs, with each of the seasons and an additional disk of bonus content, all packaged in a slide box inspired by Dexter's. It's perfect for storing away in the air conditioning unit in your apartment (so you can keep it from the prying eyes of roommates, significant others, or younger sisters who also happen to be homicide detectives).
You no doubt enjoy pasta with some regularity — but do you know where this versatile, yet simple culinary staple comes from? In The Perfect Shape + The Perfect Sauce = The Geometry of Pasta ($17) you'll find everything you didn't know you didn't know about pasta. Beginning with the basics (an introduction to ingredients, recipes for a few types of pasta and several sauces), the book dives deep into a huge range of pastas from A to Z. Each entry includes a brief history lesson, a detailed description, ideal sauce pairings, in some cases recipes for the pasta, and a black and white illustration.