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Josh’s Guide to Great Geeky Gifts — Part Two!

October 13th, 2020
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October 13-14 is Amazon’s Prime Day, in which they trumpet all sorts of great discounted deals across their site.  Personally, I enjoy hunting through their deals and I almost always make some great purchases each year when this comes around.  So I thought this might be a fun excuse to assemble a list of awesome geeky gifts that might interest readers of this site either as something fun to get for themselves, or as great potential gift ideas for your friends and loved ones!

Full disclosure: as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.  That means that if you click through to Amazon from any of the links on this site, I’ll get a tiny percentage of the price of ANY purchase you make on Amazon for the next 24 hours.  You don’t have to purchase the specific item I linked to!  Just use one of my links to get to Amazon, and then purchase whatever you normally would.  So please, allow me to ask: when you’re thinking about doing some online shopping, please click through to Amazon through one of my links.  It’d be a huge help to allowing this website to continue!  Thank you!

Yesterday, in Part One of my list, I suggested some great movies in 4K, some of my favorite extended cuts of movies, and some great complete series sets of TV shows.

Today, in Part Two, I’ll be suggesting some great novels, some great graphic novels, and some great entertainment-related books.  Onward!

Great Novels:

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee — In my humble and correct opinion, this is the greatest American novel of all time.

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams — No novel gives me more pure joy than this one.

The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien — Last year I decided to replace the well-worn copies I had of these beloved books, and I bought this lovely pocket-sized edition, with beautiful leatherette covers.  I adore this new edition.  Check it out:

Isaac Asimov’s Foundation trilogy — I adore the entire multi-book saga, probably the greatest sci-fi saga ever written.  It starts here with the original three books.

Dune, by Frank Herbert — Wait, maybe THIS is the greatest sci-fi saga ever written?  With Denis Villeneuve’s film coming out next year, now’s a great time to dive into this epic.  The spice must flow.

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, by Michael Chabon — A pure delight from start-to-finish.

Sherlock Holmes: The Adventure of the Peculiar Protocols Brilliant film director and writer Nicholas Meyer released his latest Holmes pastiche last year, in which Holmes tracks the existence of the Anti-Semitic Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  I thought it was fantastic.

The Gunslinger, by Steven King — The master’s magnum opus begins with this short novel.

 

Great Graphic Novels:

Powers: The Best Ever — Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Avon Oeming wrap up their seminal series about cops in a world of super-heroes.  If you’ve never read Powers, start from the beginning with Powers vol 1: Who Killed Retro Girl.  (Click here for my look back at this series!)

March — The late Congressman John Lewis’ three-volume memoir (co-written by Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell) has never been more important to read.  (Click here for my full review.)

Stumptown — Greg Rucka and Matthew Southworth’s story of PTSD-suffering, Portland-based Private Eye Dex Parios is a terrific yarn.  It’s even better than the TV show (which I enjoyed).

Criminal — Ed Brubaker and Sean Phillips’ noir masterpiece is one of my favorite comic book series of all time.  Gritty crime stories and moving character studies all wrapped up in one thrilling package.  Start with the first story, Coward, and have at it.  (I wrote about Criminal years ago, and the series has only gotten better from there.)

Astro City: Life in the Big City — Kurt Busiek, Alex Ross, and Brent Anderson’s long-running series is one of my all-time favorite super-hero sagas.  Astro City presents super-hero ideas in a thoughtful, adult way that is serious and also hopeful.  If you’ve never read it, enjoy the short stories presented in the original mini-series, Life in the Big City, and go from there.  (Click here for a more detailed look at this wonderful series!)

X-Men: God Loves, Man Kills, by Chris Claremont and Brent Anderson — Still the best single X-Men story ever told.

 

Great Entertainment-Related Books!

What Just Happened? Bitter Hollywood Tales from the Front Lines, by Art Linson — This short, super-funny and super-fascinating book by producer Art Linson is chock-full of incredible behind-the-scenes Hollywood stories.  I wrote more about the book here.  It was also made into a mediocre movie starring Robert deNiro (Click here for my review).

Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by its Stars, Writers, and Guests, by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales — This stupendous, super-deep dive throughout the entire history of Saturday Night Live will bring you incredible joy.  It’s the best oral history I have ever read.  (And I have read a lot of good ones!  There’s another one coming soon on this list!)  (Click here for my full review of this book.)

Adventures in the Screen Trade, by William Goldman — The incredible author of The Princess Bride spins yarn after yarn about his experiences as a Hollywood screenwriter, and gives invaluable tips for all writers.  (Click here for my full review of this book.)

The Daily Show (The Book): An Oral History as told by Jon Stewart, the Correspondents, Staff and Guests, by Chris Smith — This in-depth retelling of Jon Stewart’s seminal almost two-decade run on The Daily Show is fascinating, insightful, and a joy to read from start to finish.  (Click here for my full review of this book.)

The Making of The Empire Strikes Back, by J.W. Rinzler — Mr. Rinzler has created a number of extraordinary books that tell the behind-the-scenes stories behind the making of great movies.  For me, the first among equals is this revelatory, astoundingly-in-depth, beautifully assembled coffee-table-sized book about the how The Empire Strikes Back came to be.

The Revolution was Televised, by Alan Sepinwall — Mr. Sepinwall is my favorite TV critic working today, and I adore this book that presents a deep-dive history and analysis of twelve dramas that, in Mr. Sepinwall’s estimation, changed the face of television in the 21st century.  These TV shows are: Oz, The Sopranos, The Wire, Deadwood, The Shield, Lost, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 24, Battlestar Galactica, Friday Night Lights, Mad Men, and Breaking Bad.  If you’re a fan of some/all of those shows, this book is a must-read.  (Click here for my full review of this book.)

The Fifty-Year Mission: The Complete, Uncensored, Unauthorized Oral History of Star Trek, by Edward Gross and Mark A. Altman — I’m a hard-core Star Trek fan who knows a heck of a lot about the history of this franchise.  Nevertheless, I found so much fascinating new information in this magnificent, astoundingly in-depth two-volume oral history of Star Trek’s fifty-and-counting year history!  These books are essential reading for all Trek fans.

 

Thanks for reading, and for supporting this site!  I appreciate it so much!  See you back here soon with more reviews and other fun stuff.

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