Christmas time is when I request a bunch of new books for the new year. In past years' I received a number of military titles but frankly with all the snow and crappy weather I figured I'd go with something more uplifting.
The one I like right away is "Modern Shoestring (Contemporary Architecture on a Budget)", which has a number of very interesting, modern houses built at a limited cost per square foot. Some of the houses are cheating ($200 square / foot sounds good except one house is 5,000 square feet so that is $1M) and in others the owner did a lot of the work himself (not happening with my skills) but there are a lot of fun and cool examples.
Two books are about finance, one by Michael Lewis (Dan and I are big fans) and one by Niall Ferguson, who wrote a great book about WW1. A couple fiction books are on the list from David Foster Wallace, who sadly recently committed suicide. Finally "Outliers" is a big name on the non-fiction list about geniuses and I thought I might see how the way-smart got that way.