For the Audiofile:
1. Never be at the mercy of someone else’s poor quality speakers again. Great sound, awesome design and totally portable, the tego mini speakers are great to travel with to turn your phone or computer into a great sounding stereo.
2. Possibly the most famous unreleased collection ever, the Beach Boys SMiLE sessions are the remastered recordings done for the never completed 1967 album SMiLE. An important piece of pop-culture and music history that sounds great!
3. The Emerson String Quartet doing Motzart’s Prussian Quartets. One of the best modern american string quartets playing an all-time classic.
4.Remember like 10 years ago when the apple white earbuds were a fashion statement? Well now the statement they make is not a good one. These great skullcandy wood in-ear headphones are great and would be loved by any music and design lover.
For the Literature Lover:
1. Not new on any account but the translation work done by Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky is superb. They treat Tolstoy’s masterpiece as something between prose and poetry remaining faithful to the meaning of each word while maintaining the lyric quality of the original Russian phrasing.
2. Around the madness of the holiday season a reflection on the impact of peace and silence in a frenetic time seems like a welcome diversion. Fermor recounts his travels through the monasteries of Europe as a teen in a way that is part travel novel, part history and part introspective meditation.
3. As Occupy Wall Street dominates the news and corporate bonuses are announced, Ayn Rand’s classic reflection on capitalism and the role of business as a pillar of a successful world view offers an interesting counterpoint. Plus, who can write a 40 page monologue like her?
4. What is duty? What is worldly obligation? Reading the Bhagavad Gita could be said of both. This piece of the classic Hindu epic—The Mahabharata—discusses the human condition and an individual’s responsibilities to themselves and to their companions in strikingly beautiful poetry.
For the Outdoor Aficionado:
1. A new twist on an old stand-by. This PBA-free, reusable water bottle is glow-in-the-dark to aid finding it in your dark rucksack after the sun sets.
2. Many flee into the wilderness as an escape from the modern world but the reality is if you are in the woods for a few days having a cell-phone as a flare is not a bad idea. With the short life of the iPhone battery, this battery case that doubles your battery life will keep that safety net in place, allowing peace of mind for twice as long.
3. Tape. That’s it. Next to tiger balm and aspirin it is one of the most helpful things to have with you in the outdoors. Have a blister? Throw some tape over it and it will stop the friction. Tear your jacket on a branch? Patch it together to keep the cold out. Fall down a hill and break an arm? Immobilize until you can—well you get the idea…
4. The Leatherman Style CS is a truly utilitarian multi-tool offering all of the basics—knife, scissors, screwdriver, nail file and tweezers—in an exceptionally compact size. At under 3″ and less than 1.5oz, it won’t be noticeable in your pack—until you need it that is.