With the holidays coming, I’ve decided I’m going to do a gift guide this year. It may seem a little contrived but at the same time, I’m a nerd, I’m a nerd about a few different subjects. My parents have become pretty adept into figuring out what things to get me (my mother very rarely goes from my lists but still manages to find stuff I love) but I know other people who kind of dread what their folks might get them because their folks just don’t have a clue about what they are into.
This is a guide that I hope you can use to make it simpler for those people to go “I want this” and maybe introduce you to a few things you didn’t know about.
This week we look at books.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
Ready Player One in one of my favorite books of the past five years. The novel follows Wade Watts on his quest for glory and fortune in the OASIS, a huge multi-player universe where it’s creator has left secret puzzles. Figure out the puzzles, gain his fortune. It’s nerdy, it’s interesting and it’s very well written. It’s the kind of book that when you finish it, you really want a sequel so you know what happens to the world and the characters in it but at the same time, it’s brilliant the way it is and you hope that nothing comes along to spoil that.
Redshirts by John Scalzi
Set in a Star Trek like universe, Redshirts is a fun read and very easily accessible. The tag line for the book is “They were expendable…until they started comparing notes” and it’s easiest way of describing the novel to you without spoiling anything.
The Affair by Lee Childs
Despite this being the 16th book in the series, I figured since it’s kind of a prequel, it might be one of the best places to start. In “The Affair” we are introduced for the first time (unless you’ve read the other 15 novels) Jack Reacher. Reacher is a military policeman (a major in fact) and he’s sent out to investigate a possibly military involved murder on a base out in the middle of nowhere. Similar in tone with the Bourne novels except a little more down to Earth, the character of Reacher is kind of like Caine from Kung Fu, but kicks a lot more ass. A film version of the character is on it’s way starring an incredibly miscast Tom Cruise. I suggest starting with the books.
Already Dead by Charlie Huston
Comic book readers probably recognize Huston’s name from his work with Marvel (I rather like his reboot of Moon Knight with David Finch) but he’s also a really good pulp writer. Already Dead is the first in a series of vampire pulp novels that Huston has written starring vampire detective Joe Pitt as he tried to find the cause of a zombie like outbreak. His world is incredibly pulpy but really sucks you in. After Already Dead, you’ll want to grab the other books in the series quickly.
The Hacienda: How Not To Run A Club by Peter Hook
This is a book that can easily fall into my music geek list (appearing with in the next few weeks) but I honestly think some non-music geeks will love this too. Peter Hook was the bass player for the legendary band Joy Division and up until recently, New Order. At some point Factory Records (New Order’s label) convinced the band to buy into a club. Peter Hook describes in great amounts of detail the triumphs (like being way a head on club trends) and utter failures of the club. It’s well written, frank and rather funny. Next year sees the North American publication of Hook’s book on Joy Division and after reading The Hacienda, I can’t wait to pick it up.
The Death of Bunny Munroe by Nick Cave
Musician/screen writer Nick Cave wrote this great novel and while it’s a few years old, more people should read this story of Bunny Munroe, a sleazy salesman forced into being a dad… sort of. Well written with an incredible use of language and wit, Cave proves his prose capabilities here.
Next week, I’ll cover great dvd and blu ray releases that geeks should look at!
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!