Welcome to Workman’s #30DaysofGiving! This holiday season, we will be excerpting from some of our favorite books of the year and giving readers the chance to win a copy. Follow along by visiting our master digital advent calendar, and use the hashtag #30DaysofGiving on social media for daily updates.
ATLAS OBSCURA by Joshua Foer, Dylan Thuras, and Ella Morton (Day 14)
The Anti-Gift Guide
9 gifts inspired by the 700 wonders in ATLAS OBSCURA
1. For the ex: Send his toothbrush to the Museum of Broken Relationships, then take a picture of the exhibit and Instagram it, tagging him.
2. For your self-professed ‘foodie’ friend: Buy them a tub of the Icelandic delicacy Bjarnarhöfn (rotten shark) from the Bjarnarhöfn Shark Museum. Tell them how much you’ve personally enjoyed it.
3. For your enemy: A one way ticket on a polar cruise to Bouvet Island, the most remote island on Earth, which houses a frozen volcano and storms that rage for over 300 days per year.
4. For your wayward child: A night stay in the Karosta Prison Hotel and a dvd of Scared Straight!.
5. For the hypochondriac you’re attempting to break up with: A couples visit to Micropia, concentrating on the kissing exhibit, which illustrates the massive exchange of bacteria that occurs when two people make out.
6. For your morbid friend: A “reservation” at The San Francisco Columbarium, a beautifully restored neoclassical atrium that offers thousands of alcoves for burial urns.
7. For your lovelorn friend: A Love Potion from the Historic Voodoo Museum gift shop.
8. For the struggling artist: Donate their work to the Museum of Bad Art and ask for a certificate to frame.
9. Your ex boss: A print of Galileo’s middle finger, housed at Museo Galileo.
What are the origins of the electric guitar? How did the whaling ship work? Why was the invention of the electric motor so crucial for the New York City subway? The incredible stories behind these strokes of genius and more, told by author Kevin Baker, fill the pages of America the Ingenious.
Here are 76 of the most intriguing, important, and ingenious inventions realized in America, from the Panama Canal, the Hoover Dam, the Golden Gate Bridge, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater to the oil rig, the electric sewing machine, and the telephone. Who came up with these ideas? How long did they take to realize? What were the complications? How, exactly, do these things work? And how have they affected who we are today? This book will satisfy the curiosity of history and miscellany buffs alike. Readers will walk away with a new appreciation for these world-changing inventions, as well as a newfound understanding of what makes America the perfect breeding ground for ingenuity.
Still need help finding a gift? Message our Holiday Hotline for personalized suggestions.