It’s no surprise that Daily Beast and Scouted readers love a good book. Everything from pep-talks by Lin Manual Miranda to maps that changed history, there are so many good reads that we’ve talked about this year.
So, we decided to put a list together of the most-bought books of 2018, from you our readers. There are cookbooks, writing guides, exposes on early Christian manuscripts, and more. These make great gifts, but will also help round out anyone’s winter reading list.
1. The World Atlas of Whisky: New Edition
“This is a beautiful coffee-table book, which is lushly illustrated and offers readers an education on how and where whisky is made. But Broom’s colossal talent is in making delicate and subtle details clear and understandable. You’ll feel like an expert after reading his descriptions of the landmark whiskies of each distillery, and you’ll approach your next dram with a new perspective.”
2. From Scratch
By: Michael Ruhlman
“From Scratch looks at 10 favorite meals, including roast chicken, the perfect omelet, and paella—and then, through 175 recipes, explores myriad alternate pathways that the kitchen invites. A delicious lasagna can be ready in about an hour, or you could turn it into a project: try making and adding some homemade sausage. Explore the limits of from-scratch cooking: make your own pasta, grow your own tomatoes, and make your own homemade mozzarella and ricotta. Ruhlman tells you how. There are easy and more complex versions for most dishes, vegetarian options, side dishes, sub-dishes, and strategies for leftovers. Ruhlman reflects on the ways that cooking from scratch brings people together, how it can calm the nerves and focus the mind, and how it nourishes us, body and soul.”
3. Catch and Kill
By: Ronan Farrow
“In 2017, a routine network television investigation led Ronan Farrow to a story only whispered about: one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers was a predator, protected by fear, wealth, and a conspiracy of silence. As Farrow drew closer to the truth, shadowy operatives, from high-priced lawyers to elite war-hardened spies, mounted a secret campaign of intimidation, threatening his career, following his every move, and weaponizing an account of abuse in his own family.All the while, Farrow and his producer faced a degree of resistance they could not explain — until now. And a trail of clues revealed corruption and cover-ups from Hollywood to Washington and beyond.This is the untold story of the exotic tactics of surveillance and intimidation deployed by wealthy and connected men to threaten journalists, evade accountability, and silence victims of abuse. And it’s the story of the women who risked everything to expose the truth and spark a global movement.Both a spy thriller and a meticulous work of investigative journalism, Catch and Kill breaks devastating new stories about the rampant abuse of power and sheds far-reaching light on investigations that shook our culture.”
4. Gmorning, Gnight!: Little Pep Talks for Me & You
By: Lin-Manuel Miranda
“Before he inspired the world with Hamilton and was catapulted to international fame, Lin-Manuel Miranda was inspiring his Twitter followers with words of encouragement at the beginning and end of each day. He wrote these original sayings, aphorisms, and poetry for himself as much as for others. But as Miranda’s audience grew, these messages took on a life on their own. Now Miranda has gathered the best of his daily greetings into a beautiful collection illustrated by acclaimed artist (and fellow Twitter favorite) Jonny Sun. Full of comfort and motivation, Gmorning, Gnight! is a touchstone for anyone who needs a quick lift.”
5. Theater of the World: The Maps that Made History
By: Thomas Reinertsen Berg
“Theater of the World offers a fascinating history of mapmaking, using the visual representation of the world through time to tell a new story about world history and the men who made it.Thomas Reinertsen Berg takes us all the way from the mysterious symbols of the Stone Age to Google Earth, exploring how the ability to envision what the world looked like developed hand in hand with worldwide exploration.Along the way, we meet visionary geographers and heroic explorers along with other unknown heroes of the map-making world, both ancient and modern. And the stunning visual material allows us to witness the extraordinary breadth of this history with our own eye.”
6. Battle Cry of Freedom: The Civil War Era
By: James M. McPherson
“Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one-volume history of the Civil War. James McPherson’s fast-paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox. Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War–the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln-Douglas debates, John Brown’s raid on Harper’s Ferry–and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself–the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities. Particularly notable are McPherson’s new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the 1850s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti-war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union’s victory.”
7. The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook
By: Steven Rinella
When Steven Rinella hears from fans of his MeatEater show and podcast, it’s often requests for more recipes. One of the most respected and beloved hunters in America, Rinella is also an accomplished wild game cook, and he offers recipes here that range from his takes on favorite staples to more surprising and exotic meals.
8. Poisoner in Chief
By: Stephen Kinzer
“The visionary chemist Sidney Gottlieb was the CIA’s master magician and gentlehearted torturer―the agency’s “poisoner in chief.” As head of the MK-ULTRA mind control project, he directed brutal experiments at secret prisons on three continents. He made pills, powders, and potions that could kill or maim without a trace―including some intended for Fidel Castro and other foreign leaders. He paid prostitutes to lure clients to CIA-run bordellos, where they were secretly dosed with mind-altering drugs. His experiments spread LSD across the United States, making him a hidden godfather of the 1960s counterculture. For years he was the chief supplier of spy tools used by CIA officers around the world.”
9. Bill Cunningham: On the Street
By: New York Times
“Bill Cunningham’s photography captured the evolution of style, of trends, and of the everyday, both in New York City and in Paris. But his work also shows that street style is not only about fashion; it’s about the people and the changing culture. These photographs—many never before seen, others having originally appeared in The New York Times and elsewhere—move from decade to decade, beginning in the 1970s and continuing until Cunningham’s death in 2016. Here you’ll find Cunningham’s distinctive chronicling of the 1980s transit strike, the rise of 1990s casual Fridays, the sadness that fell over the city following 9/11, Inauguration Day 2009, the onset of selfies, and many other significant moments.”
10. The Way of Whisky: A Journey Around Japanese Whisky
By: Dave Broom
Since 2002 (the year it appeared on export markets) Japanese whisky has been consistently winning major international spirits awards. As export production increases and export markets – the USA and France in particular – open up to embrace the quality of these fine malt whiskies, all eyes are on Japan.Award-winning author and internationally recognized whisky expert Dave Broom has visited Japan 25 times in the past 12 years, studying and learning about its whiskies. In this major new book he shares his personal journey around Japan’s whisky distilleries and the unique whisky culture of the country.Each chapter details the history of the distillery in question, its production and current whiskies (with tasting notes). Dave considers along the way why Japanese whisky is different, questions of tradition vs innovation, and how whisky links with many aspects of Japanese culture. Breathtaking photography from Kohei Take leads the reader deeper into the philosophy behind the drink, making this a must-have edition for any whisky lover, whisky drinker, whisky collector or Japanophile.
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