Africa boasts nearly 20,000 miles of surfable coastline, and surf company Mami Wata celebrates the vastness of the continent’s surfing history as well as the rising interest amongst younger generations. Their debut book’s 300 pages contain contributions from Africa’s top surfers, photographers and cultural commentators in the form of 50 essays and 200 photos. Altogether, it’s a colorful and cheerful celebration of the culture, both on and off the water. Proceeds will be donated to two organizations: Waves For Change and Surfers Not Street Children. Price is in GBP.

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Now in its second printing, Melodie McDaniel’s Riding Through Compton is the result of several years of documentary and portrait photography, capturing striking and tender equestrian scenes in the LA County city. In 1988, Mayisha Akbar (who provides an essay in the book) founded the Compton Jr Posse—a program made for local kids to enjoy riding horses, but also to build self-esteem, confidence and a sense of responsibility. Several members from that program went on to create Compton Cowboys (also a non-profit benefitting youth in the area) and leader Randy Savvy also contributes an essay. Within are interviews by Amelia Fleetwood, a poem excerpt by Robin Coste Lewis and an afterword from Youth in Focus founder Walter Bodle. Riding Through Compton is a stunning book that will delight and move readers. 

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Back to the Future: DeLorean Time Machine: Doc Brown’s Owner’s Workshop Manual

$30

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Written by Back to the Future co-author Bob Gale and Joe Walser (who also illustrated the compendium), Back to the Future: DeLorean Time Machine: Doc Brown’s Owner’s Workshop Manual offers clever insights, captivating schematics and other never-before-scene information on the film’s depiction of time travel. It’s a satisfying read for fans of the cinematic series—or anyone interested in the iconic DeLorean, hoverboards and comedic science fiction in general.

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“Double Happiness” Holiday Bundle

$86

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This season Chop Suey Club created several sets filled with various themed items. Our pick, the “Double Happiness” Holiday Bundle, comprises two pairs of Double Happiness socks, a Thank You rolling tray and a copy of Thomas Sauvin’s Until Death Do us Part photo book—which explores the surprising role of cigarettes in Chinese weddings. The 108-page book comes in an original cigarette box, and the entire set is gift-wrapped for the festive season. Available online or in-store at their LES location.

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As the title suggests, Petra Eisele, Annette Ludwig and Isabel Naegele’s lovely hardback book explores one of the most popular typefaces of all time: Futura. Created by German designer Paul Renner in 1927, the sans-serif font was based on geometric shapes with near-even weights. The book explores the typeface’s beginnings through to notable uses and insight behind the design via illustrations and essays by design writers Steven Heller, Erik Spiekermann, Christopher Burke and others.

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Artist and author Michelle Kwon’s pocket-sized paperback collection of comics, The Interior Life, (released in 2018 by independent California-based publisher Tiny Splendor) assembles personal moments of introspection and humor. It’s thoughtful, endearing and offers a fresh perspective from start to finish. With a cat factoring heavily into the narrative, feline fans should enjoy this, as well.

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Somali chef Hawa Hassan’s In Bibi’s Kitchen shares recipes and tales from grandmothers living in the eight African nations that touch the Indian Ocean: South Africa, Mozambique, Madagascar, Comoros, Tanzania, Kenya, Somalia and Eritrea. The 288-page book goes beyond instructions and dives into the histories behind each dish. From highlighting a region’s importance in the spice trade to Hassan’s personal tales about particular recipes, the book tells stories and teaches lessons on food, history, culture and tradition.

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With all proceeds benefitting the Women’s Center for Creative Work (WCCW) in LA, Making Art During Fascism by Beth Pickens is part zine and part activity book. Designed and riso printed by WCCW, the 24-page publication is just one of many works available from the community- and creativity-driven hub.

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Daniel Gordon: Houseplants

$150

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From the not-for-profit photo foundation Aperture, Daniel Gordon: Houseplants turns six of the artist’s mesmerizing still life images of houseplants into a six-page pop-up. This limited edition, collectible hardcover book, designed by by Simon Arizpe, celebrates the work of Gordon and the sculptural nature of plants.

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Created by fine artist and pop culture guru Michael Gillette, Pack of Dogs is a book of 50 celebrity portraits reimagined as canines. From Bjork in Bantu knots to Motörhead’s Lemmy, Gillette’s dog drawings pay homage perfectly—and his musings on each of his subjects only add to the charm. The book comes in four different cover options (Pharrell, John Lennon, Bob Dylan or Amy Winehouse) and includes a foreword by Ozzy Osborne, as well as an interview with The Flaming Lips’ Wayne Coyne.

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Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture

$149

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Originally published in 2005, Beautiful Losers: Contemporary Art and Street Culture remains useful and inspiring for fans of art, skateboarding, graffiti, street style and independent music—and all of the artists born from these subcultures. Inside the book, you’ll find work by and features on Raymond Pettibon, Margaret Kilgallen, Barry McGee, Cynthia Connolly, Geoff McFetridge and many more. Throughout the 288 pages, there are hundreds of color and black and white illustrations and words by a dozen talented writers and gallerists.

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Originally released as a digital cookbook in May 2020, Kristin Tice Studeman and Bryan Fountain’s Serving New York: For All The People Who Make NYC Dining Unforgettable now comes in a hardcover, real-life book version. With 100% of proceeds going to ROAR (Relief Opportunities for All Restaurants) and Robin Hood’s restaurant relief fund, buying this book also offers financial support to NYC’s hospitality workers. Within the pages, there are 45 approachable recipes from some of the city’s favorite restaurants, including Gertie, Don Angie, Olmsted, Momofuku and more. With a foreword by ROAR founder (also the owner and chef of the beloved, now-shuttered west~bourne) Camilla Marcus, Serving New York is by New Yorkers and pays homage to New Yorkers, and is intended for everybody who loves (and misses) the joy of a dinner out in the city.

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Family Meal Volume 1

$17

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From Made In cookware, with contributions from 17 award-winning chefs, comes the unique cookbook Family Meal Volume 1. Within, one finds 15 original recipes to try at home—imagined by the likes of Tom Colicchio, Eric Ripert, Melissa Perello and more. Additionally, 100% of the proceeds from this cookbook benefit the non-profit Future Chefs, which provides teens opportunities in the culinary world.

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Punk, Post Punk, New Wave

$34

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Familiar and previously unpublished images of a dynamic music scene by photographer and filmmaker Michael Grecco fill the pages of Punk, Post Punk, New Wave: Onstage, Backstage, in Your Face, 1977-1989. Whether an action shot from the stage wing or a quiet backstage portrait, the photographs provide another perspective on the bands and musicians that defined the energy, chaos, grit and creativity of punk, post-punk and new wave. From images of Siouxsie and the Banshees to The Slits, Dead Kennedys, Talking Heads and The Ramones, there are 300 photographs to flip through. Fittingly, The B-52’s frontman Fred Schneider offers a foreword.

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THC Design: Cultivation

$200

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THC Design grows more than 70 strains of cannabis in California, creates multiple products and has an affinity for tasteful design. Their new book—THC Design: Cultivation—promotes the brand’s accomplishments and serves as the best looking and one of the most informed resources for anyone interested in growing cannabis we’ve seen. It’s useful and artfully photographed.

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Record of the Month Club

$36

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For anyone with a burgeoning vinyl collection, it can be hard to know what the next step should be when filling in the gaps. With Vinyl Me, Please, a team of music lovers makes that decision for you—with special editions of contemporary classic’s like The Fugees’ self-titled masterpiece and Beck’s Odelay being recent examples. In addition to the record, subscribers also get one original art print, a cocktail recipe and access to member-exclusive products in their store. There are three memberships tiers here: a full annual commitment translates to $33 per month, the Three Month plan costs $36 per month, and a month-to-month membership runs for $42 per month. We recommend the Three Month service, as its a valid trial for what Vinyl Me, Please has to offer.

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