It’s tempting to give your more bookish friends and relations gift cards to the major retailers, but it doesn’t take much time or effort find a more personal gift from one of the Valley’s many local booksellers. And it can often end up saving you money — books are one of the few gifts about which people rarely care whether it’s new or pre-owned.
As long as it’s in decent condition, even the fussiest of collectors can find something to love about almost any book.
Here’s a look at some of the books profiled on Nerdvana over the last year. Don’t forget to leave your own suggestions in the comments!
A Princess of Mars: This is the “swords and planets” novel that launched Edgar Rice Burroughs’ pulpy Barsoom tales — and, some say, inspired James Cameron’s 3-D epic Avatar. In the story, a Civil War veteran who fought for the Confederacy “dies” in Arizona and awakes on the Red Planet to save a beautiful princess. Pixar is working on adapting the classic story into a movie called John Carter of Mars, but schlockmasters The Asylum are rushing a DVD version of Princess of Mars into production starring Antonio Sabato Jr. and Traci Lords. It will be out Dec. 29 — perfect timing for a belated holiday gift.
The Gathering Storm: The latest installment in the epic “Wheel of Time” fantasy series is the first co-written by Brandon Sanderson, who is taking up the mantle of recently deceased author Robert Jordan. Gift sets of the previous 11 volumes are also available. With two volumes left to be published, it really is the gift that keeps on giving!
LEGO Star Wars: The Visual Dictionary: DK Publishing’s 96-page exploration of the marriage of two of the world’s biggest brands costs $21.99 and includes an exclusive LEGO Minifigure: Throne Room Luke Skywalker!
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: If you hurry, you can honestly say you discovered this zombified Regency romance before it gets massacred (pun intended) as a film adaptation starring producer Natalie Portman.
Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbooks: If you know someone who is into the fantasy roleplaying game, or is looking to get into it, a special limited-time bundle offers the Player’s Handbook and its expansion, Player’s Handbook 2, for the price of just one of the books.
The Language of Bees: Laurie R. King’s Language of Bees is the ninth entry in the Mary Russell series (and my first experience with same). If you want to get a sneak peek, you can read the first two chapters on PDF. Don’t know Mary Russell? She’s the wife of Sherlock Holmes, of course. After the Great Detective’s retirement to the countryside to raise bees he met and married this extraordinary woman, his equal in wits and more. King’s writing compares well with the classic Arthur Conan Doyle stories of the famous consulting detective of Baker Street.