Your furniture makes your house a home. Learn to restore, care, and maintain it for the long haul with Christophe Pourny’s The Furniture Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Identify, Restore & Care for Furniture. This 304 page tome briefly covers the provenance and history of furniture, then delves deeper into techniques Pourny himself employs to restore finer pieces, including ceruse, water gilding, vernis anglais, and many more, complete with step-by-step photographs to guide even the inexperienced. And for more involved DIYers, he even includes recipes to make your own waxes, stains, and varnishes.
Find it at Amazon – $24
Untether your home theatre — or the projector component of it, anyway — with Celluon’s PicoAir and PicoPro Pico Projectors. Among the lightest projectors available at just 7 ounces, both the PicoAir and PicoPro project up to a 250″ image with a custom HD resolution of 1920 x 720, packing in more pixels than standard 720p. Differentiating the models is connectivity: while the PicoAir is designed for wireless use with Miracast-enabled Android devices, the PicoPro also offers wired connectivity including HDMI for iOS users and the like. Both also boast a 80,000:1 contrast ratio, 16.7 million colors, PicoP technology that eliminates the need to focus, and a built-in battery good for up to 3 hours.
Grab the PicoAir ($300) or PicoPro ($350) at Amazon.
Change, ironically, is really the only one constant you can count on. Yet so many individuals and companies fail to adapt to the changing times. TrendHunter CEO Jeremy Gutsche’s Better and Faster: The Proven Path to Unstoppable Ideas sheds light on the deficient philosophies of the layman and helps decrypt the elusive patterns of opportunity crucial to making it in this chaotic world. Leveraging over a quarter million ideas covered in TrendHunter, this easy-to-read book transforms data-driven, brand-tested research into actionable skills. And with plenty of inspiring examples, you’ll want to drop the TV remote and put these newfound abilities into action immediately.
Grab a copy at Amazon – $14+
How did a selfish, arrogant young man grow up to become a brilliant visionary and highly effective business leader capable of turning everything he touched into gold? That’s the question Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution of a Reckless Upstart into a Visionary Leader aims to answer. This 464 page tome details his story and progressive rise with never before told stories from his inner circle and family as well as numerous on- and off-record notes collected by Brent Schlender, the author, over 25 years of interviews. It’s the story of growth and self-improvement that nuances Jobs’ keys to success and his increasingly honed genius throughout his fascinating life.
Preorder at Amazon – $15+
Living in the urban jungle, along with all associated responsibilities, sometimes results in us forgetting all about the real world outside civilization’s walls. Somewhat ironically, The Great Wide Open takes you on a visual journey of several of the most scenic places on earth, all from the comfort of your sofa or coffee table. This 352 page tome features stunning page-spanning photographs shot by cyclists, mountaineers, surfers, and intrepid globetrotters, accompanied by the stories behind the photographs that’ll undoubtedly stir up fierce cravings for adventure in even the most adamant homebodies.
Hit up Gestalten ($68) for details or preorder at Amazon ($50)
Expand your horizons and learn to truly appreciate the complexity of Japan’s rice-brewed beverage with Sake Confidential: A Beyond-the-Basics Guide to Understanding, Tasting, Selection, and Enjoyment. This 184 page handbook, penned by John Gauntner, the “Sake Guy” and the only non-Japanese certified Master of Sake Tasting, details the inner workings of the sake industry, the brewer’s art, and practical advice useful for selecting and enjoying a bottle for yourself. It’s also indexed with suggested brands, label photos, and packed with interesting anecdotes detailing the drink’s surrounding culture.
Grab a copy at Amazon – $10
All humans eat roughly three times a day, occasionally at a restaurant. And if you ever wondered what sort of fare world famous chefs go for on their off time, give Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favorite Restaurants a read. This 976 page guide builds off the original and covers 3,000 favorite eateries of over 600 leading chefs, from humble neighborhood joints to late night hangouts and high-end restaurants. The picks are scattered around the globe and accompanied by comments from the chef, reviews, key information, plus detailed maps for hunting them down.
Pick one up on Amazon – $18
The form factor of Chromecast and the like is spectacularly convenient, but try to do anything other than streaming movies and you’ll hit a brick wall. While that’s understandable given their price points, Intel’s Compute Stick instead offers a full-fledged — if basic — computer running Windows 8.1 (or Linux) on a tiny, power-efficient stick. Plug it into a television or computer via HDMI browse the web, run productivity software, play games, and stream content from your other devices, Netflix, or Hulu. It’s also equipped with a quad-core Intel Atom processor, 8GB to 32GB of storage, and 1GB to 2GB of RAM.
Learn more at Intel – $90 to $150
Gallivanting about and taking in the world’s best sights needn’t rapidly deplete your life savings. Matt Kepnes — aka Nomadic Matt — dispels conventional beliefs that travel is prohibitively expensive with How to Travel the World on $50 a Day: Revised: Travel Cheaper, Longer, Smarter, a 336 page guide that focuses on making a globetrotter out of you on the cheap. Whether your trip lasts two weeks or two years, this paperback is packed with firsthand-derived tips to stretch your dollar in finding interesting activities, accommodations, food, and transportation, including flights. And besides on-road expenses, it also guides you through the planning process and sets your expectations by region, covering places of interest in Central & South America, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and most of Asia.
Grab a copy on Amazon – $12
Confronted with seemingly limitless whiskey options, keeping track — not to mention simply settling on your next bottle purchase — can be a nightmare without proper guidance. Good thing The North American Whiskey Guide from Behind the Bar handled the daunting task of reviewing over 250 different whiskeys. Written by the general manager of San Diego’s The Aero Club Bar and packed with blind taste tests by top bartenders, this handy tome will tell you what to try, with which cigar to pair it, and with what to mix if you enjoy the occasional cocktail.
Grab a copy at Amazon – $16