A well-researched and lively read about one of the most impressive technological achievements of all time: the 1858 laying of a telegraph line crossing the Atlantic and connecting North America to Europe.
From early computer programmers to the “girl gamers” of the 1990s, Claire Evans does an incredible job of highlighting the important women who are often left out of conventional tellings of internet history. I just finished this book and can see their influence everywhere now—not just in the internet as...
When I thought of a hermit, I used to imagine a Biblical figure living in the desert. Then I learned about Christopher Knight, who may be history’s greatest hermit (27 years with almost zero human contact) despite living within shouting distance of Maine vacation homes from the ‘80s through the...
Like the air we breath, it can be easy to overlook something as everyday as milk. Luckily, author Mark Kurlansky has not made that mistake. This book covers everything from Fidel Castro’s obsession with dairy and ice cream, which led the CIA to attempt to assassinate him with a poisonous...
This is a stunningly detailed pop-up book that can morph into a planetarium, an infinite calendar, a message encoder, and more. Super cool.
Use the red cellophane magnifying glass included in this artful book to reveal the secrets behind a number of beautifully illustrated scientific specimens, historical objects, and antique objet d’art.
See your home and neighborhood through the eyes of the bad guy with this fascinatingly in-depth look at the methods experienced burglars use to "case the joint".
Written at the beginning of the 19th century, this novel of interlocking stories of travel, seduction, conspiracy, occultism, and general bewilderment was centuries ahead of its time. Martin Scorsese and Francis Ford Coppola have promoted the film adaptation as a classic of world cinema.
Behind every almost famous artist, scientist, explorer, or entrepreneur is a story in many ways more interesting than that of their more celebrated kin. This book explores the saga of near achievement while celebrating mankind's silver medalists.
This gorgeous book traces how humans have attempted to understand the cosmos through the ages. Explore ancient astronomical charts, medieval illuminations of the heavens, supercomputer renderings of the structure of the universe, and hundreds more illustrations, maps, and diagrams that range from antiquity to the present day.
A charming book by a British travel writer visiting his ancestral homeland of Ireland for the first time. Through his travels (and the bars he finds along the way), McCarthy explores this concept of “genetic memory”—can you feel like you are from a place, even before you’ve actually been there?
As a person that grew up in Northern New Jersey, I have long been fascinated by the ecosystem known as the Meadowlands, but didn’t know all that much about it. Robert Sullivan’s book gave me a whole new appreciation for these often maligned wetlands, their flora and fauna, and their...
What Annie Leibowitz is to celebrities, Beth Moon is to trees. She takes gorgeous black-and-white photos the world's most charismatic trees, from the General Grant to the Bleeding Yew of Nevern to the Dragon's Blood trees of Socotra.
Clear, beautifully rendered illustrations and vivid descriptions make this book my absolute favorite guide to bird identification—I never travel without mine.
This book—the result of one man's passion for the art of tying—has become a bible for knot-makers the world over. From the most basic hitch to astonishingly complex decorative patterns, this is the only book on knots you'll ever need.
If you've ever spent time looking upward, finding shapes in passing clouds, this is the book for you. Learn to see clouds in a whole new light through the lenses of history, science, art, and culture. Perfect for weather enthusiasts and the curious-minded alike.
Atlas Obscura co-founder Joshua Foer's yearlong quest to improve his memory reminds us that, in every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.
I picked up this 500+ page book about the history of the Brooklyn Bridge intending to skim for mentions of one of my personal heroes—Emily Roebling—but found myself sucked into the narrative and ended up reading the whole thing cover to cover. It’s an epic story, masterfully told.
Filled with non-stop curiosities about an oddly notable summer in which, among many other happenings, Lindbergh completed his transatlantic flight; The Jazz Singer was released; and the first public demonstration of the television occurred.
A fascinating collection of eyewitness accounts from the first Europeans who encountered, and attempted to describe, a wide range of animals, plants, foods, and people, and a healthy reminder of how wrong first impressions can be.
A detailed account of the ocean’s most frightening mystery.
Go deep on the design history of a modern marvel, your humble coffee cup lid.
Timeless how-to guide for outdoor sustenance, warmth, orientation and safety, and the perfect gift for the grad, dad, or survivalist on your list.
With approximately 3,000 color photographs taken between 1942 and 1945, these rarities—now over 70 years old—bring an unexpected immediacy and intimacy to the conflict.
Often overlooked as tourist destinations, cemeteries deserve a new life in the eyes of the traveler. This book pays respect to the incredible architecture, stunning landscapes, and intriguing histories of those oft-ignored spaces around the globe that exist to celebrate and honor life.
Informed by visits to 39 sanatoriums across 11 former Eastern Bloc countries, this book details both the architecture and attendees of these state-mandated vacation destinations.
Serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions. For example, how many calories would you consume by eating this book?
Full-color instructions for building a LEGO robin, hummingbird, blue jay, and 12 other detailed aviary designs.
The world looks both beautiful and wounded in Benjamin Grant’s Overview, a collection of incredible high-definition satellite photos of (sometimes devastating) human activity.
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