We don't have to tell you how huge fantasy sports are — if you spent as much time in the gym as you do working on your lineup, you'd probably be a professional athlete by now. Fantasy Life: The Outrageous, Uplifting, and Heartbreaking World of Fantasy Sports from the Guy Who's Lived It ($21) examines every detail of this widespread pastime, from trophies, and trash talk, to cheating attempts, and enviable draft-day locations, it provides deep insight into why we play. Written for long-time fantasy players and neophytes alike, Matthew Berry (fantasy sports writer for ESPN.com) shares his identifiable story of an obsession that turned into a career.
If you can't get enough of Wes Anderson's quirky characters, unmistakable scenery, and oddball situational humor, then the The Wes Anderson Collection ($28) was made with you in mind. Giving readers a detailed look into Anderson's life, career, and filmography — including Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Moonrise Kingdom — this book offers a rare glimpse into the mind of a truly-talented director. Based on an extensive interview between Anderson and film critic Matt Zoller Seitz, this book weaves in photography, artwork, and memorabilia to help tell its story.
If you're a comic-book geek, a data-visualization nerd, or ideally both, you're going to find a lot to like in Super Graphic: A Visual Guide to the Comic Book Universe ($15). The amount of information spanning generations of comics can be daunting, even for the hardcore fan — with different universes, conflicting story arcs, backstories, rivalries, not to mention the huge array of heroes and villains. This book simplifies it all into easily-digestible diagrams, charts, graphs, timelines, and more, all well-thought-out and beautifully-designed.
Chronicling the anti-hero movement, Difficult Men: Behind the Scenes of a Creative Revolution: From The Sopranos and The Wire to Mad Men and Breaking Bad ($20) charts the rise of a new type of cable television that we've all come to love, featuring unlikeable characters, difficult subject matter, and artistic merit. The book includes in-depth interviews with the guys who made it happen, such as David Chase (The Sopranos), David Simon (The Wire), Matthew Weiner (Mad Men), and more — giving you an inside look into why TV doesn't suck anymore.
There are plenty of suitable resources out there if you want to learn to mix up a cocktail — but if you care about more than just the proper proportions, the right bitters to use in a Manhattan, or whether a Martini calls for gin or vodka, then check out The Cocktail Lab: Unraveling the Mysteries of Flavor and Aroma in Drink, with Recipes ($22). While it certainly contains plenty of drink recipes to keep you and your friends buzzed, it also goes deeper into the art and science behind mixology. It promises not only to teach you how to mix drinks, but to change the way you think about making cocktails.
There are a few skills every man needs to master before he can feel completely comfortable in his masculinity — grilling a steak to medium-rare perfection, changing the oil on an internal combustion engine, getting by in another language, and cussing up an impressive storm. With How to Swear Around the World ($10), you'll learn two of those skills vital to manliness, all from one tidy paperback. Whether you want to learn fighting words in Russian, an appropriate description for someone's mother in Japanese, or the best idioms and exclamations Swahili has to offer, this book has your needs met.
Forget stocking your pantries with non-perishables and canned foods for the end times, we can find what we need to sustain us all around — and thanks to The Eat-a-Bug Cookbook: 40 Ways to Cook Crickets, Grasshoppers, Ants, Water Bugs, Spiders, Centipedes, and Their Kin ($13), we don't need to eat it in its natural state. With recipes like "Cream of Katydid Soup," "Curried Termite Stew," and "Cockroach a la King," you might even forget you're eating bugs long enough to swallow a few down. That is, at least, until you get a leg or two stuck in between your teeth.
Just because you're out in the wilderness, doesn't mean you have to eat like a wild animal. With details on gear, stocking a pantry, and building a menu, Campfire Cuisine: Gourmet Recipes for the Great Outdoors ($12) is more than just a recipe book — though it has those too. The over 100 recipes range from sauces and dressings such as yogurt mint sauce, breakfast items like skillet scones, sandwiches including hot-and-spicy California grilled cheese, full-on entrées like bourbon-glazed chicken, even deserts and sides. So get rid of the dehydrated, packaged food, and start eating like a person when you're under the stars.
Nick Offerman, perhaps better known as Ron Swanson from Parks and Recreation, is the ultimate man's man. When he's not playing the manliest man on television, he's running his own wood shop — so when he offers advice on how to be a man, we're inclined to listen. Paddle Your Own Canoe: One Man's Principles for Delicious Living ($20) is a book of just such advice, from growing a mustache, and seducing a woman, to grilling meat, and appreciating nature. We're not sure reading it will make us half the man he is, but it's worth a try.
If your basement workshop isn't cutting it, or your garage is too cluttered to even focus on a project, it might be time for a shed. While you can buy a number of unoriginal, pre-fab jobs, wouldn't it be cooler to build one yourself? The handy guys at Popular Mechanics think so, and that's why they published Shed Nation ($12). This book contains plans and guides for building an assortment of sheds for different purposes. Whether you want to build a small place to hold your tools, something with a tractor bay, a garden shed, or a full-on greenhouse, they've got you covered.
For those who've followed the rise of Twitter-sensation @DadBoner, news of the forthcoming book Power Moves ($13) comes as no surprise. For those not familiar with Karl Welzein, President and CEO of Bad Boy City, USA, he's a guy who's fed up — with work, his wife Anne, his kids, his roommate Dave — but he still manages to live the all-freedom lifestyle (24/7/365, open on Sundays). This epic midlife
crisis celebraish story plays out episodically in 140 characters at a time, detailing Karl's exploits and screw-ups, from top shelf margs at 'Bees to falling asleep on the crapper at work. We're not sure how it'll translate to the printed page, but we can't wait to find out.
Nothing seems to get music fans riled up like a good list, and no group of music fans likes to get people riled up quite like metalheads, so The Merciless Book of Metal Lists ($15) seems only natural. This 200+ page book is filled with random lists covering such topics as sell-out bands, bad metal fashion, album covers with goats, as well as a forward from Slayer's Kerry King, an afterword from Philip Anselmo, and contributions from various metal personalities like Anthrax's Scott Ian, Exodus' Gary Holt, Soulfly's Max Cavalera, and Eddie Trunk. A great Father's Day gift, provided your Dad has a favorite Motörhead t-shirt.