Blurppy’s 2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Books

We hope you survived the madness that is Black Friday.  Now that things have settled down a bit, we wanted to start our Holiday Gift Guide articles.

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This first one is centered around books.  Books, books books, O how we love them.  Stephen King, Anne Rice, Blake Crouch, Michael Koryta, Robert R. McCammon, Joe Hill and SO many others have captured our imagination with their gift for the written word.  Books are a timeless gift for the young and old alike.  Here are ten that are our favs for this holiday season.

STAR WARS ART: RALPH MCQUARRIE (Abrams Books) 

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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If you are a fan of a galaxy far, far away, then this book needs to be on your list.

(It’s on mine...)

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Ralph McQuarrie is the most iconic artist in the history of Star Wars. He worked hand-in-hand with George Lucas to help establish the saga’s visual aesthetic, its inimitable look and feel. Beyond designing Darth Vader, C-3PO, and R2-D2, McQuarrie produced hundreds of pieces of Star Wars artwork, including conceptual paintings, costume designs, storyboards, and matte paintings, as well as posters, book covers, and album covers—even Lucasfilm’s annual holiday cards—all rescanned and rephotographed for this book.

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In Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie, readers will find the most definitive collection of the artist’s Star Warswork ever assembled, including hundreds of never-before-seen illustrations. Rare unpublished interviews, as well as recollections from McQuarrie’s colleagues and friends, complement and contextualize the art. Star Wars Art: Ralph McQuarrie is a comprehensive tribute to cinema’s most beloved and influential concept artist.

8-Bit Art Book (earBooks)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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I am once again shown just how old I am because I can remember playing these games in my youth. “8-bit” brilliantly pays homage to the visual quality of digital artworks and is a compelling insight into how pixels learned to walk, run and jump.

In the beginning was the square! Say “8-bit!” to gamers and they will immediately picture monochrome blocks on a black background. Pong, Blockade, Centipede, Space Invaders or Frogger – they all have that angular look of early video games. 
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The 8-Bit Retro book (featuring Mario Bros, Pac Man, Zelda, Pong, Mega Man and many more) pays tribute to the early icons of the video game development universe with a beautiful array of stunning screenshots, cutscenes, sprite sheets and more. Take a journey into video game history!
 
Combined with interesting background knowledge and anecdotes about art, aesthetics and reception, it is a true tribute to the craftmanship of designers and impressively shows how the pixels learnt to walk.
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Take a journey into video game history featuring:

  • Art from (take a breath!): Pac Man, Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd, Bubble Bobble, Kirby, Duck Hunt, Galaga, Space Invaders, Mega Man, Metal Gear Solid, Ghost ‘n Goblins, Contra, Dig Dug, Castlevania, Star Wars, Paper Boy, Metroid, Tetris, Wonder Boy, Bomb Jack, Balloon Fight, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and many many more!
  • Sturdy Hard-Back Design
  • 240 Spectacular Full Spread Colour Pages
  • Trivia & Information About Classic Retro Games
  • Catalogue Of Artwork & Sprite Work In High Quality Lithography
  • Dimensions: 29cm x 29cm

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YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN: THE STORY OF THE MAKING OF THE FILM (Black Dog & Leventhal)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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“Of all my films, I am the proudest of this one.  My hope was that “Young Frankenstein” would transport audiences the way I was transported as a kid sitting in the dark in Williamsburg watching James Whale’s “Frankenstein.”  I think we succeeded, and in this book I will show you how we did it.” – Mel Brooks

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Written and directed by Mel Brooks, one of our most-favoritest films of all time, “Young Frankenstein” is quite possibly, one of the funniest films we have ever watched.  With a brilliant cast that includes: Mel Brooks, Marty Feldman, Peter Boyle, Cloris Leachman, Teri Garr, Gene Hackman, Madeline Kahn and the incomparable Gene Wilder, this film has easily stood the test of time.

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Young Frankenstein was made with deep respect for the craft and history of cinema-and for the power of a good schwanzstucker joke. This picture-driven book, written by one of the greatest comedy geniuses of all time, takes readers inside the classic film’s marvelous creation story via never-before-seen black and white and color photography from the set and contemporary interviews with the cast and crew, most notably, legendary writer-director Mel Brooks.

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With access to more than 225 behind-the-scenes photos and production stills, and with captions written by Brooks, this book will also rely on interviews with gifted director of photography Gerald Hirschfeld, Academy Award-winning actress Cloris Leachman and veteran producer Michael Gruskoff.

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PRINCE LESTAT AND THE REALMS OF ATLANTIS By Anne Rice (Knopf)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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Ever since I first picked up Anne Rice’s “Interview With The Vampire” I have been completely captivated and enthralled by Lestat and the entire Vampire Chronicles series. Now, the 12th book in the series has just come out and I can’t WAIT to get my hands on it.

At the novel’s center: the vampire Lestat de Lioncourt, hero, leader, inspirer, irresistible force, irrepressible spirit, battling (and ultimately reconciling with) a strange otherworldly form that has somehow taken possession of Lestat’s undead body and soul. This ancient and mysterious power and unearthly spirit of vampire lore has all the force, history, and insidious reach of the unknowable Universe.

It is through this spirit, previously considered benign for thousands of vampire years and throughout the Vampire Chronicles, that we come to be told the hypnotic tale of a great sea power of ancient times; a mysterious heaven on earth situated on a boundless continent–and of how and why, and in what manner and with what far-reaching purpose, this force came to build and rule the great legendary empire of centuries ago that thrived in the Atlantic Ocean.

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And as we learn of the mighty, far-reaching powers and perfections of this lost kingdom of Atalantaya, the lost realms of Atlantis, we come to understand its secrets, and how and why the vampire Lestat, indeed all the vampires, must reckon so many millennia later with the terrifying force of this ageless, all-powerful Atalantaya spirit.

DC SUPER HEROES LITTLE LIBRARY & DC SUPER HEROES ON THE GO! (Downtown Bookworks)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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One of the best ways you can spend time with your children is through reading. Downtown Bookworks has come up with a fantastic collection of books in collaboration with DC Comics called “DC Super Heroes Little Library.”  These books target young readers from the tender ages of 0-4 years old.

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Superman can fly.  Batman and Robin zip around Gotham City in the Batmobile.  Wonder Woman has her invisible jet.  DC Super Heroes On The Go! shows how beloved DC characters run, jump, swim and drive from place to place.

DC COMICS: THE BIG BOOK OF GIRL POWER & THE BIG BOOK OF SUPERPOWERS (Downtown Bookworks)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE & HERE

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If your kids are slightly older, perhaps these two titles would appeal to them.  Since publishing their first book of Girl Power, Downtown Bookworks has heard from fans again and again saying: “What can I get for my daughter?”

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Ask and you shall receive!  This all-new, action-packed picture book showcases DC’s super heroines including Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Raven, Bumblebee, Katana and more.  Inspiring origin stories and original art make this the must -have book for young super heroines.

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From Superman and Supergirl’s amazing Kryptonian superpowers to Green Lantern’s Power Ring to Batman’s incredible inventions, every beloved DC character has a fascinating backstory.    This book introduces: Cyborg, Starfire, Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Green Arrow, Plastic Man, The Atom and more.

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Illustrated with original art in the DC Classic style, this engaging picture book is a terrific introduction to popular super heroes and their special powers.

ANCIENT ALIENS: THE OFFICIAL COMPANION BOOK  (Harper Elixir)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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I can still remember my Dad taking me to the theater back in 1977 to see Steven Spielberg’s “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.”  From that moment on, I have been fascinated with the possibility of aliens, other worlds and technology.  Imagine my joy back in 2009 when the TV series, “Ancient Aliens” began.  Each week narrator Robert Clotworthy asks the questions I seem to be asking myself.  “Who where they? Why did they come? Where did they go?  Will they return?”

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Now, there is a new book for my fellow Ancient Alien Theorists called “Ancient Aliens: The Official Companion Book.”  The book features interviews from series contributors including Erich Von Daniken, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, David Wilcock, David Hatcher Childress, Linda Moulton Howe and others.

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The book touches on topics from the series including The Tomb of the Palenque Astronaut, Mohenjo Daro, Puma Punku, Nazca, the Anunnaki and of course, Roswell.  Packed with photos, this one is great for fans of the show or those that have questions of their own.

The Fireman by Joe Hill (William Morrow)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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The apocalypse is coming but….it’s not zombies, it’s a plague called Draco Incendia Trychophyton that causes spontaneous combustion.  From the mind behind chilling tales like “Heart-Shaped Box“, “Horns,” “Locke & Key” and “20th Century Ghosts” comes a new tale of despair with humanity on the brink of extinction and an unlikely hero known only as “The Fireman.”

“ART OF ATARI – LIMITED DELUXE EDITION” (Dynamite Entertainment)

AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE

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Here’s another vintage video game book that takes me right back to my youth.  The fact that it comes in a deluxe edition is just icing on the cake….

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ART OF ATARI represents the most comprehensive retrospective to date, a whopping 350+ pages that provides insightful history and high-resolution scanned artwork culled from hundreds of production/concept illustrations, photographs, video game packaging, and groundbreaking advertisements from the height of Atari’s innovation and popularity. Now, for the hardcore enthusiast, Dynamite Entertainment proudly pulls out all the stops with this gorgeous ART OF ATARI Deluxe Edition, allowing them to relive the classic era of gaming with our Deluxe Edition special features:
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* A sturdy Deluxe Edition slipcase, perfectly capturing the design of vintage game packaging!
* A unique, leather-bound Deluxe Edition “Game Cartridge” cover design!
* An Atari Vault Steam Key, allowing fans to relive the Golden Age of Gaming with 100 of the most popular iconic games (including Asteroids®,Centipede®, Missile Command®, and many more), now with online multiplayer capability!
 * A frameable Limited Edition Print featuring brand-new artwork by original Atari artist Cliff Spohn!
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About blurppy

Blurppy is a constantly changing, always evolving web entity that features articles, reviews, interviews and such from my perspective. Who am I you ask? I'm DT and if you see it on here, I like it, have it, want it, need it, lust it or simply can't afford it. How about you take a gander at my lil part of the massive web universe and if you see something that appeals to you, share it with your friends.
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