And here you thought just watching the killing of Bin Laden was exciting. Zero Dark Thirty ($30) takes you through the entire ordeal, from the inception of the idea to the execution in a room in Pakistan. While we could watch Jessica Chastain torture our own mothers for hours on end, the payoff of the real-time mission at the end was nothing short of amazing. The fact that it's directed by Titanically big director James Cameron's ex-wife probably doesn't matter. But the fact that she won Best Director for The Hurt Locker probably does.
Anyone who's listened to Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke's solo album The Eraser knows that playing it live must be a challenge — a challenge met by Flea of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, longtime Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker on drums, and Mauro Refosco as a secondary percussionist. Amok by Atoms For Peace ($10) is the first effort from the band, taking Yorke's complex electronic compositions and turning them into recordings using real instruments. There's still plenty of electronic noise to go around, of course, and Yorke's voice is as unmistakable as ever — so if you were waiting on an Eraser followup, this is likely as close as you're going to get. It drops on February 28, but you can stream it for free right now.
Looking for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city? You can certainly find some ideas in Rock the Shack ($40). This 240-page celebration of the shanty takes a look at all sorts of away-from-it-all retreats, from cabins and cottages to simple shelters and farms. Like the structures themselves, the interiors of the various homes featured inside run the gamut from the most basic essentials to modern luxury, but all of them offer a look at what someone considered the perfect hideaway.
Sure, season 3 isn't over yet — in fact, the second half just got started. But that doesn't mean it's too early to start thinking about adding it to your collection. The Walking Dead Season 3 Limited Edition Set ($TBA) is the premiere way to do so. The set includes a replica of The Governor's walker head aquariums, which can actually be filled with water, light up, and include five heads that can be arranged in any order you choose. Oh, and it'll also include every episode from season 3, and probably even some bonus content. Probably.
And here you thought HBO was the only place to find compelling, expletive-heavy dramas. As the first original Netflix series, House of Cards ($8/month) is receiving a lot of hype — but deservedly so. Based on a novel by Michael Dobbs and a subsequent BBC miniseries, this political drama stars Kevin Spacey — sporting a sweet, sweet Southern accent — as the most ruthless man in Congress, and Robin Wright as his equally cutthroat wife. Spacey is also an executive producer, as is David Fincher, who directed the first two episodes. What more do you need to know — all 13 episodes from the first season are available now, and you probably already pay for Netflix anyway — so go get to it.
Yes, it has a silly name, and yes, it's bigger than your average book — but for good reason. Swissted: Vintage Rock Posters Remixed and Reimagined ($25) measures roughly 11" x 14" because its filled with modern recreations of classic rock posters, and it wants you to appreciate them the way you're supposed to: from a nice spot on your wall. To that end, every page is microperforated, giving you a collection of 200 posters that are ready to frame and display. With poster representing everyone from Iggy Pop and the Sex Pistols to the Pixies and Nirvana, you should be able to find some that match your tastes.
It's not just another Bond movie — it's one of the best ever. And as it turns out, Skyfall ($25) was one of the best action movies of the year, as well. Once again starring Daniel Craig as the British agent, it finds Bond and M facing a complete exposure of MI6. Forced underground, 007 and a single field agent follow the trail of clues to find Silva, played brilliantly by Javier Bardem. Directed by Sam Mendes, it's set the bar awfully high for the inevitable Bond 24.
Yes, it's about a pair of cops, and yes, it's set in a bad part of Los Angeles. But just because End of Watch ($25) was written and directed by the scribe behind Training Day doesn't mean it's a rehash. In fact, it just might be better. All-time bros Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Peña serve as upstanding police officers who get more than they bargain for over the course of a few days (it gets weird, people), and thanks to plentiful use of first-person, hand-held cameras, it conveys a sense of excitement and visceral terror like few cop films before it. A must-see.
Like a golfer who knows the best courses around, it's no surprise that chefs tend to know of some good places to chow down. Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs' Favourite Restaurants ($13) is filled with wisdom from some of the world's best chefs, including reviews, quotes, maps, and over 2,000 personal recommendations from names like Ferran Adria, Matt Molina, Daniel Boulud, David Chang, and others. Just be aware that this isn't exactly a pocket guide — at over 700 pages, you'd best make your choices before you leave home.
If you really want to know what it's like to be a spy, don't watch a Bond flick — simply ask a spy. The Art of Betrayal: The Secret History of MI6: Life and Death in the British Secret Service ($21) tells the story of MI6's transformation since the end of WWII, using stories and anecdotes from actual, real-life agents who worked through and helped shape the course of world events over the last 70-or-so-years. From the Cold War to 9/11, author Gordon Corera — a BBC News security correspondent — crafts a tale that many times would be unbelievable — if you didn't already know it was true.
Odds are you'll never really know what it's like to hunt for your own food — but you can learn more about it by reading Meat Eater: Adventures from the Life of an American Hunter ($16). This interesting tome tells the story of noted author, TV host, and hunter Steven Rinella, as chronicled through the tales of ten hunts, starting when he was just 10 and ending when he's 37. On the way, you'll learn far more about hunting, eating wild game, and food in general than you'd expect.
Meat lovers, have we got the cookbook for you. Michael Symon's Carnivore: 120 Recipes for Meat Lovers ($22) is filled with meat-centric recipes from celebrity chef and restauranteur Symon. After giving you tips on breeds, cuts, and techniques, Symon unloads a wide range of recipes for beef, pork, poultry, lamb, goat, and game, many accompanied by full-color photographs. So whether you're in the mood for smoked lamb ribs or bacon-wrapped rabbit legs, it's got you covered.