13 Books You Need on Your Nightstand

By AFM Team – August 1, 2015




by Sara Deseran 

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It’s no secret that Austin is a taco-fueled town. Whether the hour is early or late, everyone has their favorite go-to spot. Summer is one of the best times to whip up some creative taco creations, and—on that note—there isn’t a more appropriate time to peruse the pages of “Tacolicious.” Full of mouth-watering taco recipes, the book also features recipes for spicy salsas and cool cocktails to pair with your creations. 

"Franklin Barbecue: A Meat-Smoking Manifesto” by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay

You won’t have to stand in line for 3 hours to flip through the pages of this book. Indulge in armchair eating with this mouthwatering resource created for both foodies and backyard pitmasters alike. Chapters are dedicated to building or customizing your own smoker; finding and curing the right wood; creating and tending perfect fires; sourcing top-quality meat; and of course, cooking mind-blowing, ridiculously delicious barbecue.

“The I Hate Kale Cookbook: 35 Recipes to Change Your Mind”

by Tucker Shaw

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Whether you succumbed to the kale trend years ago or are one of the few holdouts yet to hop on the bandwagon, this recipe book offers 35 ideas—from smoothies and salads to fried rice and stews—guaranteed to satisfy even the most skeptical of kale haters. While the author explicitly states that, “kale will never be bacon,” he promises the green stuff tastes delicious—once you know what you’re doing with it. 

“How to Make Coffee: The Science Behind the Bean”

by Lani Kingston 

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The perfect kitchen companion for the coffee snob, er connisuer, in your life, this informative how-to guide delves into the science and history behind coffee beans and their origins as well as the artistically diverse amount of brews and caffeine concoctions you can make. With illustrated, step-by-step instructions, this cute book is for the person who doesn't want to settle for anything less than the perfect cup.


“A Little Piece of Earth: How to Grow Your Own Food in Small Spaces”

by Maria Finn 

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If planting a garden sounds like too big of a commitment, then this is the book for you. No matter the size of your planting space—be it a yard, a terrace, or just a windowsill—this charmingly illustrated guide, equipped with 50 simple and doable project ideas, will show you how to start harnessing your green thumb.

Fitness Inspiration

“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail”

by Cheryl Strayed 

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A classic read for any woman (or man) with an itch for adventure, “Wild” will have you pondering the possibility of setting out on your own solo thru-hike. Get lost in Strayed’s somber and soul-searching journey of solitude as she traverses through blistering heat and snow on the Pacific Crest Trail. Backpacking from the Mojave Desert in Southern California to the Bridge of the Gods in Northern Oregon, Strayed eloquently and humorously depicts the reality that is backcountry travel. 

“Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen”

by Christopher McDougall 

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Currently being made into a movie starring Matthew McConaughey as the book’s eccentric central character, Caballo Blanco, “Born to Run” is a definite inspirational armchair travel read for athletes of all ages. Join McDougall, an award-winning journalist and at-times injury-prone runner, as he sets out to find the Tarahumara Indians, an isolated tribe of ultrarunners, in Mexico’s deadly Copper Canyons. His goal: to find out why his foot hurts. 

“50 Places to Hike Before You Die”

by Chris Santella 

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Next time you’re in need of a trip-planning nudge, simply flip through the pages of this condensed guidebook that’s chock-full of captivating, scenic imagery and insider hiking tips. From a grueling, multi-week adventure through Tibet’s Kangshung Valley to a leisurely stroll along Italy’s Amalfi Coast, you’ll find destination hikes suited for all walking abilities.

“The Little Book of Yoga”

by Nora Isaacs 

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There’s no denying the rise in popularity of yoga—or the spike in yoga studios around town—but with so many styles and methodologies out there, it can be hard for a beginner to know where to roll out their mat. A solid read for beginners as well as those more advanced in their practice, the book is broken down into sections that discuss yoga’s foundation, poses, and philosophy. Illustrated pose instructions and morsels of practical wisdom round out the content. 

“Just Ride: A Radically Practical Guide to Riding Your Bike”

by Grant Petersen 

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Common sense can be, at times, admittedly hard to come by. For those in search of a humorous approach to even the simplest rules and how-tos adhered to in the biking world—take for instance Chapter 20: Don’t Get Doored—this book is right up your alley. It’s a discussion of bike equipment and technology, safety precautions and upkeep, as well as a foray into the world of “velosophy”—all rolled into one tiny, easily transportable package. 

“How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter, and Self-Preservation Anywhere”

by Bradford Angier 

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Equipped with detailed illustrations and instructions, this pocketsize adventure book is broken down into four essential sections: Sustenance, Warmth, Orientation, and Safety. Be enlightened on a range of wilderness topics—from how to catch game without a gun and how to know what plants are edible to how to build a warm shelter, make clothing, protect yourself and signal for help. 

People & Places

“Home is Where You Park It”

by Foster Huntington

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Live vicariously as a vagabond rambling on the open road as you peruse through this 125-page coffee table portrait book; beautifully capturing camper vans as they roam across undulating mountain landscapes and expansive, dry desert basins in a nomadic search for their next home. 

“It’s a Long Story: My Life”

by Willie Nelson 

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“This is the story of my life, told as clear as a Texas sky,” Willie Nelson says about his autobiography. “It's a story of restlessness and the purity of the moment and living right. It’s a story of my childhood in Abbott, Texas. Of selling vacuum cleaners and encyclopedias while hosting radio shows and writing song after song, hoping to strike gold. It's a story of true love, wild times, best friends, and bar rooms, with a musical sound track ripping right through it. My life gets lived on the road, tried and true, and I've written it all down—from my heart to yours.”



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