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Hardback Offerings for Eager Readers

A round-up for readers of every ilk from our 2011 Holiday Gift Guide

by James Thorne
on 09 December 2011
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The Repurposed Library

Give old tomes new life with The Repurposed Library, a guide to DIY book projects that helps you convert worn hardbacks into functional works of art. The tinkerer in your life will love the selection of projects, which range from wall art to kitchen utensil storage.


Scanwiches is a coffee table book born from the eponymous website that documents cross-sections of delicious mayo-laden creations. The classed-up anthology of food porn will satiate even the most severe sandwich fetish.

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My First Dictionary

For the corrupting parent, author Ross Horsley has compiled this disturbing dictionary to educate young minds in grown-up words. Charming illustrations accompany the hilarious and inappropriate definitions for simple words from burden ("old people are burdens") to nostalgic ("Father is nostalgic. He is remembering happier times before you were born").

If rocks could Sing

Teach your little one their ABC's with If Rocks Could Sing, a children's book illustrated entirely with stones found washed up on the shore. Author Leslie McGuirk scoured the seaside for 24 rocks to elucidate the alphabet in a delightful new way.

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McSweeney's Book Release Club

From the premiere name in small-batch publishing, the McSweeney's Book Release Club will keep the gifts rolling in well into 2012. Bookworm yearning for cleverness and irony in their reading will appreciate this subscription, which sends your reader the next ten McSweeney's publications.


Jean-Baptiste De Panafieu's beautifully designed and just-updated edition of Evolution features the broadest survey of species and photographs on the subject. Shot on a stark black background, the reference elucidates changes in physical appearance based on sexual selection, adaptation, polymorphism and more.

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Inside the Chelsea Hotel

Photographer Julia Calfee inside look at the famed Chelsea Hotel comes in the form of a photography book that reveals moments from the scandalous to the sincere. This collection captures private and public moments of the Hotel's residents and guests.

Tintin: The Complete Companion

Tintin, the intrepid international reporter, has been an icon for adventurers and wanderlust aficionados of all ages. Belgian cartoonist Hergé created the boy reporter in 1929 with 23 titles over the next 50 years. This 208-page hardcover compendium by Michael Farr takes the reader through Hergé's technique and gives social and historical context for Tintin's colorful adventures from the Soviet Union to South America.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

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[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

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I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

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I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

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We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

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The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

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The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

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I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

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People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

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I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

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Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

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Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

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Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

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We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

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Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

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It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

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I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

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We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

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We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

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Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

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Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

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My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

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What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

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In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

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I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

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I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue
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