What Books Can't You Put Down?

Okay, I'm a little dim today because I stayed up all night reading The Stand -- the crazy-long unexpurgated version. I'm not sure how I managed NOT to read this book until now (nor really any Stephen King stuff), but once I started, I quickly realized that I couldn't stop. First I turned off the phone, then I ordered a massive delivery of food (couldn't spare precious moments for cooking), and proceeded to devote myself entirely to The Stand. After an entire weekend reading (including both nights -- and I'll admit, a few naps), I'm finally finished.

This hasn't happened to me lately, and it's refreshing. Okay, it's intellectually refreshing; I bet I could use some physical freshening up. Last time I found a book unputdownable (which is apparently a real word) was about two years back, when I read Michael Chabon's Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay...and then everything else he'd written. It put a real damper on my social life for a while, but once I'd worked my way through his catalog, I was back to normal. (If you want to learn more about authors who inspire obsessive reading, check out Gotta Read 'Em All and the recent repost -- skip the article, read the comments.)

So my weekend adventure with The Stand has left me exhausted but happy. I'm a little bummed that the book is over (it's a little like reaching the bottom of a bag of candy), but at the same time...I'm stuffed. I like to tempt fate, so I'll ask: what books have inspired you to read all night?

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN
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YouTube/Great Big Story
See the Secret Paintings Hidden in Gilded Books
YouTube/Great Big Story
YouTube/Great Big Story

The art of vanishing fore-edge painting—hiding delicate images on the front edges of gilded books—dates back to about 1660. Today, British artist Martin Frost is the last remaining commercial fore-edge painter in the world. He works primarily on antique books, crafting scenes from nature, domestic life, mythology, and Harry Potter. Great Big Story recently caught up with him in his studio to learn more about his disappearing art. Learn more in the video below.

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