Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining: Stay Out Of The Woods

So you live in the city, yet you’ve always yearned for the coolest thing to come out of the sticks: moonshine. Don’t ruin your access to public transportation, first-fun films, and solid dining options by moving to the country; just pick up the Kings County Distillery Guide to Urban Moonshining (Kindle $12, hardcover $16). Penned by the founders of Kings County Distillery, New York City’s first distillery since Prohibition, this 224-page book explores America’s age-old love affair with whiskey and offers a detailed, easy-to-follow guide to safe home distilling, complete with a list of supplies, step-by-step instructions, and helpful pictures, anecdotes, and tips.

The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert

If becoming a wine snob didn’t involve years of pricey research and stuffy parties, perhaps we’d see more guys at our local bars in sweater vests. Finally, we have a fast track. The Essential Scratch and Sniff Guide to Becoming a Wine Expert ($14) by Richard Betts helps you learn the basic components of wine — the fruits, the wood, the earth — all through the childlike magic of scratch and sniff. Commit these 16 scents to memory and you’ll be infinitely wine-wiser.

Drink More Whiskey: (After You Read This Book)

Remember that song “Getting to know you, getting to know all about you”? Yeah, turns out it wasn’t written about whiskey. That’s why Drink More Whiskey ($15) is a necessary ingredient in your library. This 176-page tome tells all you need to know about this renowned spirit. Covering everything from the unique styles and differences in quality, to the best ways to work whiskey into your daily diet (includes 20 recipes), you’ll never not know enough about what’s going down your gullet again.

Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful

I believe it was Albert Einstein who said, “Parents just don’t understand.” Got that right, Al. Especially when it comes to the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, which way too many over-protective moms swiped before we got our pubescent paws on it. Now that mom is (probably) not getting your mail anymore, you can see all the sumptuous skin you missed the first time around. Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful ($32.50) is 304 pages of Christie Brinkley, Heidi Klum, Kate Upton, and overall a definitive retrospective of the iconic issue. Take that, ma.

Iconic: The Apple Fanatic’s Print MVP

We all know an Apple fanboy/girl or two. You know, someone who wants to talk about what day they’ll start camping out for the iPhone 6, as they’re in line for the iPhone 5. If you’re that person, you also need to own Iconic: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation ($75). Creator Jonathan Zufi defined the word ‘painstaking’ by purchasing dozens and dozens of old Apple products to photograph in his own studio. The result is a 350-page book with more than 650 photos, covering the “most visually stunning and important products produced by the world’s most innovative company.” Broken down into six chapters — desktops, portables, peripherals, prototypes, iDevices, and packaging — Iconic covers more than 35 years of Appley goodness. And perhaps best of all, there are no pics of Ashton Kutcher.

The American Craft Beer Cookbook: Destroys Anything By Rachael Ray

Looking to get more beer in your diet without going the intravenous route? Learn how to cook with it. The American Craft Beer Cookbook ($13.30 paperback, $10 Kindle) is a 352-page tome that lists 155 recipes made better with beer. Author John Holl rounds up the tasty ways to boost your appetizers, main dishes, side dishes, and desserts with some of the best craft beers around. Slow-Cooked Dopple Bock BBQ Meatballs or American Wheat Beer Steamed Clams might take longer than Rachael Ray’s 30-minute meals, but those won’t kickstart your beer buzz either.

The Godfather Family Album

Not many films can stand up to repeat viewings AND make you want to delve behind the scenes. The Godfather does just that. The Corleone family lives forever on film and now, in an extensive behind the scenes photo book, The Godfather Family Album. Author Steve Schapiro had full access to the entire Godfather trilogy, and captured over 400 black and white, and color photos of the cast and crew. Included are essays and writings that’ll make someone feel really smart to read them. How much did Marlon Brando really eat to fully inhabit his character. This book will answer that question.

Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

To maintain some semblance of adulthood, one must occasionally read a book, especially in the summer. Paging your way through Beyond the Pale: The Story of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. ($17) certainly seems like one of the best ways to feign maturity as you learn about founder Ken Grossman’s awesome transformation from hobbyist homebrewer to owner of one of the most successful craft breweries in the U.S.. When someone asks you what you’re reading this summer, just tell them it’s a book about sustainability, nonconformity, following one’s passion, and doing things the right way. Ken would be proud.