While you’re probably too busy to get around to all the books you want to read, there’s one place you can count on always having a few minutes every day to learn a little something: in the bathroom. So in honor of National Reading Month, we’re counting down our ten favorite hardcover and paperback bathroom reads. Take notes.
11. The Gentry Man: A Guide for the Civilized Male
magazine hasn’t been in circulation for over 50 years, this compendium features a selection of timeless articles from what was once the style and culture bible of its time. Perfect for the well-heeled 21st century dude who can (or should) appreciate all that goes into looking the part.
Want to find out all the weird stuff that freaks people out? This 96-pager breaks it all down visually, demystifying everything from arachibutyrophobia (fear of peanut butter sticking to the roof of your mouth) to koumpounophobia (fear of buttons). You may not be as crazy as you think.
9. The Field Guide To Manhood
From the folks who’ve been lathering up the beards of dudes for generations — Barbasol — this volume offers intel on everything from the basics of shaving, to dining and drinking, and even how to defend yourself in a bear attack. Plus, all proceeds benefit the Veterans of Foreign Wars Association.
5. What If? Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions
From the creator of webcomic xkcd
, this missive explores the hard-hitting questions you’ve never, ever asked. For example, what if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90 percent of the speed of light? How fast can you hit a speed bump while driving and survive? How long would humanity survive after a robot apocalypse? And it’s all the result of legit research using computer simulations, declassified military research memos, and consultations with nuclear reactor operators.
4. The Best of McSweeney's Internet Tendency
A collection of the greatest pieces from the last 15 years of McSweeney's incredible humor site
, it's packed with gloriously sardonic thought pieces including "It's Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf***ers," "Hamlet
(Facebook Newsfeed Edition)," and "What I Would Be Thinking About If I Were Billy Joel Driving Toward A Holiday Party Where I Knew There Was Going To Be A Piano."
3. Dear Reader: The Unauthorized Autobiography of Kim Jong Il
Learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about the late, great North Korean
leader — as pieced together through actual tidbits of propaganda retrieved by the author. You’ll discover how he can shrink time, why he despises the Mona Lisa, and why he selected manchild Kim Jong Un as his successor.
2. The Burning House: What Would You Take?
You have seconds to escape — what do you grab? This is essentially a best-of compilation from the website of the same name, with 288 pages of photos of the fascinating, odd, and moving possessions people consider most valuable.
1. The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers
For the Lebowski-obsessed amateur philosopher, this was penned by an award-winning religion journalist, who mined 14 of the brothers’ films to examine the underlying spiritual insights and moral questions explored in each in a way that forces you to appreciate them in a whole new light. Nihilists you say? No way.
Joe McGauley is a senior editor at Supercompressor, and a raging selachophobe.