Ahhhhhh… ’tis the season for family get-togethers, TV holiday specials, nog and the stress of buying the “perfect” gift for that someone special. Here are some books that have caught our eye that we think you should give consideration to.
If you are a fan of Blurppy you know we are a huge fan of the written word. We STILL haven’t transitioned over to online books because we LOVE to hold our books when we read them. Here are a few that we loved this year.
THE AYLA TRILOGY by Matt Griffin and O’Brien Press
This award winning series of books is PERFECT for the young adult on your list that is enamored with the world of Harry Potter, the Lord of the Rings series or ancient Irish myth and folklore. Matt has crafted a tale full of magic, mystery and fantasy all centered around an unlikely group of heroes. To make things even better, Matt is also a gifted artist and his work is woven throughout each book helping bring the tale to life.
Get ready to journey to lands unknown with Sean, Finny, Benvy and Ayla as they go up against mythical beings, their own inner demons and battle to save themselves and the townsfolk. These books are page-turners that will pull you in and leave you binge-reading right up to the last page. AVAILABLE HERE
Speaking of our youth, reading is such an crucial, imaginative thing for them to be involved with and these days, role models are more important than ever. Enter a book series geared towards kids that gives them some inspiration to be a better person, set lofty goals and learn all about it from folks who did just that.
Brad Meltzer’s series of “I am” books are exceptional gifts this holiday season. As Mr. Meltzer says, “These aren’t the stories of famous people. This is what we’re all capable of on our very best days.”
There are currently 13 books in the series featuring the stories of: Ameila Earhart, Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Rosa Parks, Lucille Ball, Jackie Robinson, Helen Keller, Martin Luther King Jr., Jane Goodall, George Washington, Jim Henson, Sacagawea, Ganghi and coming this January, Harriet Tubman.
Brad Meltzer’s “I am” series of books can be purchased HERE.
If you can’t tell, we love books and this next one is awesome on multiple levels. Titled “The Monster Project Art Book” if takes drawings that kids submit and then artists around the world interpret those kid drawings into something spectacular. (Actually we LOVE what the kids turn in, just as much as the updated versions from other artists.)
If you are not familiar, The Monster Project is the undertaking of a passionate collection of artists who share a common goal: to help children recognize the power of their own imaginations and to encourage them to pursue their creative potential.
You can follow The Monster Project on TWITTER and INSTAGRAM and you can order this incredible book HERE.
If you like stories with a unique twist, some horror, stories that could pull at your heartstrings and will leave you binge-reading into the wee hours of the morning, then we strongly recommend “Strange Weather” by Joe Hill.
“Strange Weather” contains four short novels: “Snapshot,” “Loaded,” “Aloft,” and “Rain.” Each one is brilliantly crafted by the award winning author who takes us from Silicon Valley, to Florida to Boulder, Colorado and up into the skies in tales that will leave you looking for more work from this gifted writer. (Trust us, ALL his work is phenomenal.)
“Strange Weather” by Joe Hill and William Morrow can be purchased HERE.
Whilst we are speaking of the illustrious work of Joe Hill, we’d also like to share another of his creations, “Locke & Key: Heaven & Earth.” Joe originally wrote the “Locke & Key story back in 2008. This special deluxe release of “Heaven & Earth” finally reprints the oft-requested and long-denied Eisner-winning one-shot, “Open the Moon!” Plus the other long-sold-out one-shot, “Grindhouse!” PLUS plus: the even more hard-to-find IDW 10th anniversary Locke & Key tale, “In the Can!” And additional covers, behind-the-scenes photos and more, all wrapped up in a beautiful 72-page hardcover package.
Joe Hill’s “Locke & Key: Heaven and Earth” comes to us from IDW Publishing and, like the original series, it features the brilliant art of artist Gabriel Rodriguez. It can be purchased HERE.
If you are like us, you are eagerly anticipating the next film in the ongoing Star Wars saga later this month. If you are like us, you also can’t get enough of ANYTHING from a galaxy far, far away. If you are feeling crafty we think you will jump into hyperspace with a new book from Chronicle Books called: “Star Wars: Kirigami.”
In “Star Wars: Kirigami,” celebrated paper artist and designer Marc Hagan-Guirey applies his genius to the Star Wars galaxy in this over-sized book of 15 unique kirigami ships that are featured throughout the saga’s films. (Kirigami = cut and fold) Ranging in difficulty from beginner to expert, each beautifully detailed model features step-by-step instructions and a template printed on cardstock. All that’s needed are a utility knife, a cutting mat and a ruler.
Accompanied by colorful and inspiring photographs of the final models on display the book features templates for: Anakin’s Podracer, AAT, Republic Gunship, AT-TE, Jedi Starfighter, Republic Attack Cruiser, Luke Skywalker’s Landspeeder, Sandcrawler, Snowspeeder, an Imperial Star Destroyer, X-Wing, Rey’s Speeder, a First Order Stormtrooper Transporter and yes….the Millennium Falcon. Marc Hagan-Guirey’s “Star Wars: Kirigami“ from Chronicle Books can be purchased HERE.
Let’s get creepy…. “Gwendy’s Button Box” by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar is a novella worthy of your time.
The little town of Castle Rock, Maine has witnessed some strange events and unusual visitors over the years, but there is one story that has never been told… until now.
There are three ways up to Castle View from the town of Castle Rock: Route 117, Pleasant Road, and the Suicide Stairs. Every day in the summer of 1974 twelve-year-old Gwendy Peterson has taken the stairs, which are held by strong (if time-rusted) iron bolts and zig-zag up the cliffside.
At the top of the stairs, Gwendy catches her breath and listens to the shouts of the kids on the playground. From a bit farther away comes the chink of an aluminum bat hitting a baseball as the Senior League kids practice for the Labor Day charity game.
One day, a stranger calls to Gwendy: “Hey, girl. Come on over here for a bit. We ought to palaver, you and me.”
On a bench in the shade sits a man in black jeans, a black coat like for a suit, and a white shirt unbuttoned at the top. On his head is a small neat black hat. The time will come when Gwendy has nightmares about that hat…
“Gwendy’s Button Box” by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar can be purchased HERE.
(Do yourself a favor and follow Richard on TWITTER. He’s always on social media and he is always giving away great things. NO, we haven’t won yet but we’ve tried every time!)
Let’s switch things up. How about a book about book design? “Chip Kidd: Book Two” by Rizzoli Publications is a sensational look at one of our generations most prolific book designers.
“Chip Kidd: Book Two” by Chip Kidd, Rizzoli New York, 2017
With introductions by Haruki Murakami, Neil Gaiman and Orhan Pamuk, the book highlights Kidd’s work from 2007 – 2017. Kidd’s work has graced the book covers of some folks you may know, including: J.J. Abrams, Alex Ross, Neil Gaiman, Robert Downey Jr., Anderson Cooper, Frank Miller and countless others.
“Chip Kidd: Book Two” picks up where Book One left off showcasing his impressive body of work over the past decade as well as new works yet to be seen this year. We see not just hundreds of his recent projects, but the working processes behind them – thoughts, sketches, revisions, scrapped drafts and triumphant final versions.
Kidd is known by geeks worldwide for his comic book and graphic novel work and he has created movie art for entertainment powerhouses like J.J. Abrams, DC Comics, Universal Pictures and Paramount Pictures.
Throughout this ten-year retrospective, Kidd leads readers through each step of his design journey culminating in a section on how to write and art-direct a graphic novel, using as an example his New York Times-bestselling “Batman: Death by Design.“
“Chip Kidd: Book Two” can be purchased HERE.
If living steampunk robots is your thing, then may we strongly suggest, “The Clockwork Dynasty” by New York Times bestselling author, Daniel H Wilson.
The novel spans thousands of years, weaving a thrilling and fantastical story mixes robots, history and non-stop action to create a thoroughly original plot that embodies elements of “The Terminator,” “Indiana Jones” and “The Vampire Chronicles.”
When a young anthropologist specializing in ancient technology uncover a terrible secret concealed in the workings of a three-hundres-year-old mechanical doll, she is thrown into a hidden world that lurks just under the surface of our own. With her career and her life at stake, June Stefanov will ally with a remarkable traveler who exposes her to a reality she never imagined, as they embark on a around-the-world adventure and discover breathtaking secrets of the past and the avtomats.
“The Clockwork Dynasty” by Daniel H. Wilson and Doubleday is available to purchase HERE.
These are some of OUR favorites but we’d LOVE to hear some of yours. We are avid, rabid readers over here at BLURPPY and we are ALWAYS looking for good books to sink our eyes into. Please give us some suggestions over on our TWITTER page. We can NEVER have enough books on our shelves.