If you've ever wanted to make Absinthe, gunpowder, rockets, or even build a flamethrower, then Absinthe & Flamethrowers: Projects and Ruminations on the Art of Living Dangerously ($12), looks like some hazardous, but fascinating Summer reading. [Amazon via Uncrate]
I think this is the guy that also did backyard ballistics. In this vein, I'd also recommend Theodore Gray's Mad Science. That guy has some rather twisted home experiments to try.
And, can someone tell me what the deal is with absinthe? I know that at one point true absinthe was illegal. But now, you see it in liquor stores. Is it fake, or did the feds in some bizarre plot decide to de-schedule it as a narcotic or something? What did I miss? And, for those that have tried it, is it anything remotely special?