List price: $53.97

The Cool and Unusual Gift Books Bundle

Brolliology + How to Sharpen Pencils + Networks of New York

Part of Gift Ideas

Brolliology: In the spirit of the best literary gift books, Brolliology is a beautifully designed and illustrated tour through umbrellas in literature and history. It surprises us with the crucial role that the oft-overlooked umbrella has played over centuries — and not just in keeping us dry. Marion Rankine elevates the umbrella to its rightful place as an object worthy of philosophical inquiry. The Washington Post calls it, ahem, “Delicious.”

How to Sharpen Pencils: Deep in New York’s Hudson River Valley, craftsman David Rees—the world’s number one #2 pencil sharpener—still practices the age-old art of manual pencil sharpening. Now, in a book that is both a manifesto and a fully-illustrated walk-through of the many, many, many ways to sharpen a pencil, he reveals the secrets of his craft. The New Yorker praises it as “powerfully funny… a stylistic high-wire act, [in which] Rees never teeters.”

Networks of New York: With more than fifty illustrations—from manhole coverings to sidewalk spray-paint to carrier hotels—Ingrid Burrington, called “the premier infrastructure writer in America,” reveals the pieces of the Internet that are hiding in plain sight. The Wall Street Journal describes it thus: “A playful, approachable handbook… its goal is to demystify components of New York City’s physical internet: not only those spray-painted street messages, but also manhole covers, junction boxes, cable routers and entire buildings whose primary purpose is to do the hidden work of making a wired modern city run.”