Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2018: Books, eBooks, and AudioBooks
By Empress Eve
Wednesday, November 21st, 2018 at 3:25 pm
The holiday season is upon us, so it’s time to start looking into some of the year’s best book releases to give to your loved ones. This year sees many selections to choose from for fans of properties like Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, Dracula, and Frankenstein and authors like Anne Rice and J.R.R. Tolkien; tie-ins for Die Hard, Planet Of The Apes, The Walking Dead,, and Stranger Things, as well as titles by authors like Raymond E. Feist, John Ajvide Lindqvist, Grady Hendrix, and R.A. Salvatore.
Check out here below our Holiday Geek Gift Guide 2018 for Books, eBooks, and Audiobooks for our favorite holiday gift picks for this year for the reader in your life.
For your digital reading news, there’s the 6-inch Kindle e-reader now with glare-free Touchscreen display, while the Kindle Fire tablet devices come in various colors and with Alexa and is only $49.99. On each product page, there’s a “compare” chart to help you decide which device is best for your recipient. Also, you can easily gift someone a Kindle ebook – see details about that at the bottom of this post.
Recommendations by Empress Eve
Frankenstein Classics Reimagined Illustrated Edition Hardcover
By Mary Shelley
Illustrated by David Plunkert
Publisher: Rockport Publishers
To coincide with the 200th anniversary of the release of Mary Shelley’s classic novel Frankenstein, Rockport Publishers released this attractive illustrated oversized hardcover edition to their “Classics Reimagined Illustrated” line. The 256-page book contains Shelley’s origin text accompanied by full-color illustrations by David Plunkert, along with a small 8-page vellum insert will drawings of Dr. Victor Frankenstein’s designs.
Vault of Frankenstein 200 Years of the World’s Most Famous Monster Hardcover
By Paul Ruditis
Publisher: becker&mayer! Books | Quarto Group
Vault of Frankenstein is another good pick for fans of Frankenstein: This oversized hardcover covers the history of the franchise, from Mary Shelley’s conception of her now-classic novel to its popular incarnations on the big screen, both serious and parody. This 176-page full-color book also includes an inside back cover envelope containing removable replica memorabilia, such as a Bride of Frankenstein movie poster, handwritten manuscript pages from Shelley’s novel, and a photo of actor Boris Karloff on the set of Universal’s Frankenstein.
We Sold Our Souls Hardcover | Kindle
By Grady Hendrix
Publisher: Quirk Books
In this heavy metal horror story from Grady Hendrix (My Best Friend’s Exorcist, Paperbacks From Hell), the former guitarist of a metal band learns the awful truth about the sinister deals her lead singer made to achieve his own fame two decades ago. Tired and broke with nothing to lose, she embarks on a dangerous cross-country road trip for a final showdown with her former bandmate and the forces of evil. We Sold Our Souls is heavily peppered with all kinds of hard rock, punk, and heavy metal lyrics and references. Metalheads and horror fans alike will dig this one.
The Making of Planet of the Apes Hardcover
By Jonathan Rinzler
Publisher: Harper Design
Author J. W. Rinzler is best known for his comprehensive tomes on the making of the Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies. Now, he tackles Planet Of The Apes for its 50th anniversary. Including a foreword from Fraser Heston, son of the film’s star Charlton Heston, this massive 304-page hardcover contains exclusive and never-before-seen photographs and concept art from the beloved film, as it tells the against-all-olds tale of how the story went from Pierre Boulle’s novel to the big-screen. There’s even photos of journal pages and sketches from Charlton Heston’s private collection, and much more. A must-have for Apes fans.
Tolkien: Maker of Middle-Earth Hardcover
By Catherine McIlwaine (editor)
Publisher: Bodleian Library, University of Oxford
At 416 pages, this oversized hardcover is a treasure trove of info and art about the world of J.R.R. Tolkien, creator of The Hobbit and its sequel trilogy The Lord Of The Rings. It contains 300 images of the author’s manuscripts, drawings, maps, and letter, as well as over 75 never-seen-before images, including family photos, and much more. There’s also essays exploring the themes found in Tolkien’s works, and letters to the author from famous people like Joni Mitchell. The full-color book is actually the “Catalogue” that accompanied the museum exhibit at Bodleian Libraries at the University of Oxford, which finished its run there last month, and will move to The Morgan Library & Museum in New York City from January 25, 2018 through May 12, 2019. If the gift recipient is in the NYC area (or plans to visit there next year), so you bundle this book with tickets to The Morgan Library & Museum. (FYI – I’m a member of the museum, and can highly recommend a visit there, and I have no doubt the Tolkien exhibit will be an great experience.)
Stranger Things: Worlds Turned Upside Down The Official Behind-the-Scenes Companion Hardcover
By Gina McIntyre
Publisher: Del Rey
When the Netflix series Stranger Things debut in summer 2016, it was a big hit with audiences, targeting in on our nostalgia for all things ’80s. With a third season on the horizon, Del Rey publishers has released a hardcover behind-the-scenes companion book for the series that continues to aim at our nostalgia. This 224-page full-color book, which is designed to look like a used book and even has a discount sticker on the cover, contains exclusive interviews with the show’s stars, including the talented young cast, original commentary and foreword by creators Matt Duffer and Ross Duffer, a look at the monsters, storylines, and costumes, and even a sneak peek at season three. And just like the show, some of the pages are in the Upside Down, too. This is a really fun companion to the series, and provides some juice for fans as they await the new season next year.
Set in May 1953 London as preparations are underway for the imminent coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, a police inspector and a stage magician team up to investigate the murder of their old wartime commander. The Blood Card is the third book in Elly Griffiths’ Magic Men Mysteries series (the fourth book was released last month), and the hardcover edition would make an attractive gift item. Matter of fact, all four books in the series have great matching cover designs, so perhaps grab all four and bundle them together for your gift recipient.
Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery Paperback | Kindle
Written by Andrew Schaffer
Publisher: Quirk Books
Know someone who misses the Obama administration and the President’s bromance with his veep Joe Biden? Then definitely get them Hope Never Dies: An Obama Biden Mystery. Yes, it’s a mystery! And a thriller. And it’s quite amusing. The cover alone makes this one a fun novelty gift. But the story is fun, too. After Obama and Biden completed their time in office, they teamed up again to solve a murder, traveling through Delaware, staying in cheap motels, hitting biker bars — all the things you’d expect from these guys. (Not!)
Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History Hardcover
By James Mottram & David S. Cohen | Foreword by John McTiernan
Publisher: Insight Editions
This year is the 30th anniversary of the greatest action film ever made, 1988’s Die Hard. The film, directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis as John McClane, is commemorated in a gorgeous new book, Die Hard: The Ultimate Visual History, published by Insight Editions and written by James Mottram and David S. Cohen. The book serves as a both a detailed explanation of the film’s history and impact and also as a coffee table conversation piece.
TCM: Must-See Sci-Fi 50 Movies That Are Out of This World Paperback | Kindle Edition
By Sloan De Forest | Foreword by Roger Corman
Publisher: Running Press
Geeks don’t only want to watch movies, but read about them as well. One great suggestion for a family member into film history is TCM – Must See Sci-Fi: 50 Movies That Are Out of this World. Written by Sloan De Forest with a foreword by Roger Corman, this is a great book to read and then use as a checklist for classic sci-fi films watching.
One of the best novels I have ever read, author Craig DiLouie has turned dystopian fiction on its head. It is 1984 and the world is a strange one. A germ spread in the 1970s, causing genetic mutations in some of the children. Not harelips or six fingers or webbed toes, but fur and blobs, and upside down faces. These children are getting older and were put in a home, treated like slaves, unwanted and unloved. In a sleepy Georgia town, Enoch — or Dog, as he is called — just wants to belong, but hate and fear of the unknown will always keep him from being “One of Us.” When someone is murdered, it’s human (monster) against monster (human). Everyone should read this book.
The Disappearance of Sloane Sullivan Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Gia Cribbs
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
This fast-paced book was as rapid as the protagonist could escape. It took several unexpected turns, but in the midst of it all was just a girl, a girl who wanted to live a normal life. The wording is so skilled, you get sucked in and paranoid along with Sloan, who imagines danger in every place, with every person. I read this in a matter of hours, because I had to find out who she could actually trust and figure out what actually was going on. Thing is… Sloane Sullivan isn’t real. The deal is that she picks her first name and her protector/friend/brother/agent, Mark, picks the last name, until it’s time to run again. But she’s so close – so close to graduating high school and witness protection at the same time. All she has to do is blend in until the school year is over, just 9 weeks, and she’s free. No more running. No more practicing escape routes in the schools she attends… free. But there are two complications, one from her past and one from her present. Who can she trust? Or can she not trust at all?
Buffy the Vampire Slayer: A Picture Book Pop Classics Hardcover | Kindle
Based on the series created by Joss Whedon; Illustrated by Kim Smith
Publisher: Quirk Books
Buffy Summers wasn’t always a fierce vampire slayer and slayer of other monsters. When she was 8, she was scared of them, especially the monster that lived in her closet. She didn’t know what to do! Every night there would be scary thumps and growls emanating from the darkness behind the door. One day, she decided to have Xander and Willow sleep over, and sure enough, they heard the noises too!. Asking Giles, their trusty librarian, he told her she was the slayer and could face any monster. So they decided to brave the closet again. I can’t tell you what happens next. You’ll just have to find out for yourselves.
Based on the iconic Joss Whedon series and illustrated by the supremely talented Kim Smith (Pop Classics, The Kindness Club series), this is a surefire way to get your youngsters into Buffy before they are old enough to watch the TV show. The story is adorable, Buffy is well… Buffy, it’s funny, and it has a surprising ending.
Paperback Crush The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction Paperback | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Gabrielle Moss
Publisher: Quirk Books
Delighted adolescents and teens of the ’80s and ’90s, remember when they swarmed WaldenBooks for the latest titles and devoured words. Gabrielle Moss has put together a lovely thick volume of teenage crushes, jealousy, horror, and happiness in Paperback Crush: The Totally Radical History of ’80s and ’90s Teen Fiction just for them. Paperback Crush starts with the cover, the bright colors mimicking the novels it talks about inside. This is not your typical history of fiction book, as it is funny, quirky, self-deprecating, and just downright fun. It is organized by type, and although does not contain every book (would be much larger) and focuses on some of the author’s faves more than others, it still is so enmeshed in nostalgia, that you won’t care. This is a must-have for any gift list.
Nightingale Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Amy Lukavics
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
The Quotable Negan Warped Witticisms and Obscene Observations from The Walking Dead’s Most Iconic Villain Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Robert Kirkman
Publisher: Skybound Books
On AMC’s The Walking Dead, Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) is my favorite character. I know, I know… he killed Glenn and Abraham (also two of my faves), but it is not his murder streak that makes me love him. It’s his goddamn witty sayings that accompany his actions. It’s his way of finding the humor in everything, even when surrounded by a horde of hungry zombies or handing out death like a deck of cards. I just about ate up Skybound’s little book about TWD‘s big man. I don’t have to tell any Negan fan that The Quotable Negan is NSFW, given our favorite villain’s propensity for the f*** word (792 times! There’s a chart). But I have to put the warning in for the curious newbie. This book is definitely funny and over the top. How can it not be? You can actually hear Jeffrey Dean Morgan say the words. The quotes are from the comics (Negan debuted in issue #100), but his television counterpart has said many a line. Anybody that loves The Walking Dead in comic book or television form needs to own this book.
When four families wake up one morning to find that their caravans are in the middle of a grassy expanse of nothingness, away from humanity, will that remove the humanity from them? John Ajvide Lindqvist, renowned horror author of Let the Right One In, has decided to mess with our brains once again with this psychological mind twister. This novel is for the horror/puzzle fan, really for any reader who likes to sink their brain into a giant swamp and then rescue himself/herself one spoonful at a time.
Beautiful Scenes From a Fantasy World Background Illustrations and Scenes from Anime and Manga Works Paperback
Edited by PIE International
Publisher: PIE International; Bilingual edition
Bluecrowne A Greenglass House Story, Book #3 Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
By Kate Milford
Publisher: Clarion House | HMH Books
Foundryside: A Novel The Founders Trilogy Hardcover | Kindle
Written by Robert Jackson Bennett
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Dylan on Dylan Interviews and Encounters – Bob Dylan
Musicians in Their Own Words Series Hardcover | Kindle
Edited by Jeff Burger
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Hooked on Hollywood Discoveries from a Lifetime of Film Fandom Paperback | Kindle
Written by Leonard Maltin
Publisher: Paladin Communications
Recommendations by Waerloga69.
Anne Rice Alphabettery Paperback | Kindle
Publisher: Anchor Books
A detailed compilation of people, places, events, and more from all fifteen books in the award winning Vampire Chronicles series from Anne Rice. This deep dive into all things vampiric is a surefire hit for Anne Rice fans of all ages. Even includes an expansive introduction from the author herself!
Dungeons & Dragons: Art & Arcana: A Visual History Hardcover | Kindle
By Michael Witwer, Kyle Newman, Jon Peterson, Sam Witwer
Publisher: Ten Speed Press
A historical chronicle of the world’s greatest role playing game! From the very beginning to the current era, we are able watch the metamorphosis of Dungeons & Dragons through the advertisements, artwork, and media releases. This is extraordinarily comprehensive and perfect for your gaming archives. Included are some extremely rare photographs and original drawings from Gary Gygax and company!
A comical take on what might occur if one were to travel back in time and find themselves stuck in a variety of situations and eras. Essentially it is a primer for restarting (or starting) a civilization with step by step instructions for each piece to this proverbial puzzle. Filled with jokes and humorous stories, it is still a wealth of knowledge! This might not be a bad addition to one’s post-apocalyptic stash.
Half-Orcs get a bum rap in most fantasy settings. They are portrayed as brutish, violent, and ugly creatures that…oh, wait. Never mind, that is fairly spot on. However, sometimes they are heroic and strive to create a better world than they were brought into, much like the protagonists in this exciting first novel of the Lot Lands series. So much awesome is packed into this rousing adventure that is filled with twists and turns that come out of nowhere.
First in a new series from legendary author Raymond E. Feist, we are taken to a world where peace has reigned for so long that war is inevitable. Deceit and distrust run rampant amongst the five kingdoms when four betray one, attempting to wipe the ruling family of that nation. But no plan is foolproof, as our victors find out. And they do say that revenge is a dish best served cold, as they will soon find out! An epic tale that flows as perfectly as any of Feist’s tales.
Dungeons & Dragons: Mordenkainen’s Tome Of Foes Hardcover
By Wizards Of The Coast Staff
Publisher: Wizards Of The Coast
New spells, new stories, new creatures. This Dungeons & Dragons accessory is an expansion for the core books and broadens the spectrum for players of all classes. It is fairly handy for dungeon masters, as well, enabling a more robust game and campaign. Based in Greyhawk, but usable in any of the many settings from the world’s greatest roleplaying game!
A masterpiece of fantasy prose by legendary author R.A. Salvatore, this first book in the Coven series is sure to be a hit with any fantasy reader this holiday season. Starring a female protagonist with an unbending will, the reader is able to witness the progress and heroism shown at every turn. This fearless young woman with a talent for magic is sought by many for various reasons, few of them benign. Demons, witches, and warriors abound in this tale of good and evil, with much grey in between.
Dungeons & Dragons: Guildmasters Guide to Ravnica Hardcover
By Wizards RPG Team
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Dungeons & Dragons: Dungeon of the Mad Mage Hardcover
By Wizards RPG Team
Publisher: Wizards of the Coast
Iron Druid series Starting with Book 1
By Kevin Hearne
Alex Verus series Starting with Book 1
By Benedict Jacka
Three years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, Leia Organa is a teenaged princess coming into her own on her adopted home world of Alderaan. But to prove she’s ready to accept her responsibilities on the throne, she must undergo personal, physical, and emotional challenges. While undergoing these challenges, she discovers not only secrets about herself, but also her family and their involvement with the Imperial Senate and events to come that involve the entire galaxy. This really is a great transition piece between the prequel and original trilogy and even introduces elements of the sequel trilogy. It is also officially my favorite Star Wars book because it did such a great job of involving emotion in a way few SW books have to date.
Not Even Bones Hardcover | Kindle
By Rebecca Schaeffer
Publisher: HMH Books For Young Readers
In an alternate Earth where fantastical creatures live among humans, Nita is a teenage girl living under the radar as one such unnatural. While her mother hunts other unnaturals, Nita plays out her love of anatomy by cutting up these creatures so her mom and dad can sell them on the dark web. Until, that is, her mom brings home a live unnatural that she expects Nita to chop up piece by piece on demand doing her best to keep him alive and, thus, fresher for buyers. Nita refuses and helps him escape in the night. This act of defiance results in her being sold in his place and now she must fight for survival while piecing together who betrayed her. Nita is an interesting character who is well developed by the author and, despite being 100% human myself (I hope), I find myself relating to her quite well. I really had a lot of fun reading Not Even Bones and cannot wait until the second installment in the series is released.
In the middle of the night, a private plane unexpectedly crashes into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of New York. Killed aboard was a conservative news mogul, his wife, their daughter, their bodyguard, the plane’s crew, and a family friend who it turns out is under investigation for laundering money for enemy nations. The only survivors are the mogul’s 4-year-old son and a down-on-his-luck painter named Scott Burroughs invited aboard as a favor by the mogul’s wife who he only knows from the local farmer’s market. You would think the survival story would be the end of it all, but it’s just the beginning as investigators, federal authorities, the news media, and everyday people on the street refuse to let Scott move on with his life. It’s a damning investigation of the sometimes-negative power of media and perception, but it’s an exciting read. Hawley digs his claws in deep and doesn’t let go.
In Dracul, co-authors Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker posit that Count Dracula was based on true events in the life of its author Bram Stoker, who happens to be Dacre’s great-grand-uncle. Being a relative as well as being the manager of the Bram Stoker Estate, it might seem logical to think the author would have access to documents and historical records to which not everyone else would have access. And that’s exactly what he wants you to think”¦ thus allowing him to pen a tale that could be a little bit fact with a dash of speculation based on so-called “found documents.” I loved this book from the get-go. It is a very well-written page-turner that weaves these aforementioned supposedly found documents with historical fact into a masterful what-if about the history of one of the most beloved of gothic villains. I can easily see this being a book that gets read over and over again scanning for elements that may have been missed in past readings. Considering I’ve only ever re-read a book once, that’s really saying something.
Star Wars: Lando’s Luck Star Wars: Flight of the Falcon Series Hardcover | Kindle | Audiobook
Written by Justina Ireland; Illustrated by Annie Wu
Audiobook narrated by Soneela Nankani
Publisher: Disney Lucasfilm Press
In a cantina in a far corner of the galaxy, a mercenary/spy meets a woman claiming to have information on the illustrious Millennium Falcon. She sits with her and is regaled with a tale about having flown aboard the ship while Lando Calrissian was its owner and captain. To avoid a death sentence for smuggling, Calrissian agrees to deliver a tribute owed to the Empire for the Queen of Hynestia. What she doesn’t realize is the Queen’s daughter has her own ulterior motives and sneaks aboard the Falcon in order to deliver this tribute back to its true owners instead of the Empire. And she will make Lando agree to do it whether he likes it or not. Lando Calrissian has always been one of my favorite characters in the Star Wars universe. He’s a gambler, a swindler, a pilot, a warrior, a general, and he’s probably the only person that can make Han Solo blush. This is a good adventure tale with solid pacing and a well-rounded cast of characters.
Giving Kindle Books as Gifts
— You can gift Kindle books and set your gift to be delivered whenever you want to anyone with an email address. On the Product Page (on the top right side), click the button that reads “Give as a Gift.” From there you enter the recipient’s email address and note the date you’d like your gift to be delivered via email, and also include a personalized message. There’s also the option to have the gift emailed right to you that you can forward the gift email to the recipient yourself or print it out and personally deliver it to the recipient.
— You don’t actually need a Kindle device to read these ebooks. Books can be read on a Kindle or one of Amazon’s free reading apps for iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows PC, Mac, Window Phone,
Remember, if all else fails, there’s also the Amazon.com Gift Card, you can have emailed to the recipient (arrives immediately) or you can print out the gift card at home and give it to the intended that way. If you order in enough time, you can get the physical gift card sent directly to you or to the gift recipient.