Gift Guide: Book Lover

Despite the rise of tablets and e-readers, the printed book shows no signs of going gently into that good night. And for the hardcover lover, 2014 offered up some really tremendous work. Novels are usually personal choices, so we recommend going with one of these reads as a gift this holiday season.

The Art of Tinkering

Maybe you have a guy into DIY on your list, or maybe you just have someone who likes to take things apart to see how they work, well, if you do, The Art of Tinkering is just about the perfect book. Filled with the stories of 150+ makers, the book combines stunning images with info meant to inspire and educate. $24

Proof: The Science of Booze

For the guy who unwinds with a few fingers of some Islay single malt, consider Proof: The Science of Booze. Adam Rogers traveled the world to learn about the science behind the perfect buzz, and he documents it all in this 270-page read. $16

Bushcraft 101

When it comes to surviving in the wild, you don’t want to just wing it. Bushcraft 101 teaches readers about the 5 Cs—cutting tools, covering, combustion devices, containers, and cordages—and shares survival expert Dave Canterbury’s tricks for making it out of Mother Nature’s grasp. Perfect for the guy who loves the outdoors, or that person a little too into doomsday scenarios. $13

What If?

XKCD’s Randall Munroe penned one of our favorite books of 2014. What If? takes really absurd questions and gives the answers way more thought and research than probably necessary. But the result is one of the most entertaining books you’ll ever pick up. No more wondering what would happen if you threw a baseball at the speed of light. $14

Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs

In this day and age, everyone’s a photographer. And after snapping away with a smartphone for a while, most want to take their game to the next level with a DSLR. The read will help the novice photographer take stellar pictures without being bogged down by technical jargon. $11

Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails

Holidays are the time for cocktails, and if you want to help someone on your list make ones far better than the drinks served at 99% of parties, get him Death & Co: Modern Classic Cocktails. From one of the best cocktail bars in America, the book is loaded with more than 500 innovative recipes. $26

Oldest Living Things

The perfect coffee table book combines stunning photography with easily digestible info. Oldest Living Things is that to a T. An exploration of the oldest living organisms on the planet, the book packs compact essays and cool shots of living things that are over 2,000 years old. While you’re whipping up drinks, your guests are sure to pick it up. $30


This is our pick for cookbook of the year. Even if you’ve never been to Husk or McCrady’s, Sean Brock is a chef you should know. His cookbook features interpretations of Southern classics that take comfort food to another level. And while the person you give it to will be hard at work crafting some killer meals, he’ll also pick up an appreciation for the people who create the artisanal ingredients Brock uses. $24

The Monocle Guide to Good Business

One of our favorite magazines released one of our favorite books of 2014. For the budding entrepreneur, or just for someone who cares about business, consider The Monocle Guide to Good Business. It tackles the challenges an entrepreneur will face, but also provides that spark that will make them want to go all in. $40

The Way We Were: The Photography of Julian Wasser

If you have someone on your list who likes to wax poetic about the cool of years gone by, this collection of Julian Wasser photography is a must gift. Including both well-known and obscure works from Wasser, the book is composed of images from LA back in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Painfully cool and loaded with nostalgia. $40

Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook

The comedic cookbook genre is sparsely filled. If, however, you have someone on your list who likes to cook and then burn off those calories belly laughing, Thug Kitchen: The Official Cookbook: Eat Like You Give a F*ck is where it’s at. From the food blog of the same name, the book is actually filled with killer recipes, just delivered in an unpretentious way. $15

Barley & Hops

For the avid homebrewer or beer lover on your list, pick them up a copy of Barley & Hops. The 250-page book is a celebration of the craft brewer pushing beer forward today. Both a history of the craft beer movement and a look at the labels, ingredients, and innovations of today. $38

Danny Clinch

Instead of giving the music lover on your list another iTunes gift card, consider this book from photographer Danny Clinch. Filled with over 200 photographs he’s taken of musical icons, the book will become a music lover’s coffee table staple. 32

Also checkout out our Holiday Gift Guide for more cool gift ideas that don’t suck!

Urban19 (1)

 You can’t have a fall evening without a fire. And you can’t have a fire without a Cowboy Cauldron. They’re built from solid plate steel, meaning they’ll last a lifetime or two and they come in four different sizes with elevated basins that can be adjusted to any height. We’re going with The Urbaan Cowboy® because it’s perfect for entertaining at home.  With a 30″ diameter basin, it is more than large enough to have a nice fire, but still small enough to pack into a pickup truck and take it with you.  Can you imagine the envy when we bust this puppy out at a tailgate or the beach? We haven’t seen a more handsome fire. You?  Best of all, Cool Material readers get an exclusive deal.