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Modernist Cuisine

Modernist Cuisine

Plenty of books can tell you how to cook something — but far fewer can tell you why to do so a certain way. Modernist Cuisine ($470) belongs in the latter category. Written primarily by ex-Microsoft CTO Nathan Myhrvold and weighing in at 2,400 pages, this part cooking, part science six-volume set explains in simple, easy-to-understand terms the details behind practically every cooking method, making it just as useful for weekend grillmasters as it is for professional chefs. [Thanks, Chris]

  • Country Wisdom & Know-How

    Now matter how "citified" you might be, you can still learn a thing or two from less-urban ways, and Country Wisdom & Know-How ($12) is proof. Culled from Storey Publishing's "Country Wisdom Bulletins," this thick, nearly 500 page volume includes information on raising animals, cooking, gardening and farming, home improvements, and general well-being, paired with tons of black-and-white illustrations and photographs to help you along the way.

  • You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News

    The best way to hear potentially terrifying news is through comedy, so it helps that You Might Be a Zombie and Other Bad News ($9) is actually pretty funny. Penned by the editors of the irreverent Cracked.com, this 320 page paperback is filled with unsettling facts like half of humanity carries a parasite that could take over its brain, dolphins aren't as nice as you think, and your brain secretly makes all your decisions 10 seconds before you know what they are — unless you're drunk, in which case your brain might not be consulted at all.