GeekMom Holiday Gift Guide 2017 #4: Books

Reading Time: 7 minutes

The GeekMoms share their suggestions for the best books to give this holiday season. From cross stitch to cats, science to Star Wars, geography to gaming, we hope you find some great ideas.

50 Cities of The USA, Image: Wide Eyed Editions
50 Cities of The USA, Image: Wide Eyed Editions

50 Cities of the U.S.A. by Gabrielle Balkan

Recommended By: Patricia Vollmer
For: Middle Grade and older
Approximate Cost: $6 Hardback, $18 Kindle
Buy It From: Amazon

50 Cities of the U.S.A. is a gorgeous complement to any family’s coffee table. For each of the 50 two-page spreads about American cities, there are dozens of fun historical tidbits, mini-biographies of famous residents, adorable artwork, and key facts and statistics. This information is presented on a backdrop of an artist’s rendition of a map of the city. In addition, each city’s pages include “A Day in…” with a one-day schedule of family-friendly activities that can be done in each of the cities. This book is perfect for any children who know how to read. The facts featured are short and sweet, with vocabulary that’s designed to challenge younger readers without overwhelming them. Even for early readers, the illustrations and maps will be engaging.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

The Lost Letter, Image: Perfectly Proper Press
The Lost Letter, Image: Perfectly Proper Press

The Lost Letter: A Victorian Romance by Mimi Mathews

Recommended By: Dakster Sullivan
For: Teens and older
Approximate Cost: $9 Paperback, $3 Kindle
Buy It From: Amazon

The Lost Letter is what you get when you take Pride and Prejudice and combine it with Beauty and the Beast. It’s a charming romance without any sex or over the top love scenes.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

The Force Doth Awaken, Image: Quirk
The Force Doth Awaken, Image: Quirk

William Shakespeare’s The Force Doth Awaken by Ian Doescher

Recommended By: Patricia Vollmer
For: Middle Grade and older
Approximate Cost: $10
Buy It From: Amazon

To BB-8, or not to BB-8, that is the question! If you have been collecting Ian Doescher’s addictive Shakespeare-inspired Star Wars stories, then you probably know that the “part the seventh” was released in October. As always, seeing Doescher’s transformation of Star Wars characters and adventures — in this case, Rey, Finn, and Poe’s — into iambic pentameter is fun and creative. Of particular interest will be the presentation of BB-8. Similar to R2-D2’s dialogue in the original trilogy versions, this is a world where the droid is able to speak in asides to the audience in English, before resuming its bleeps and buzzes to the other characters. But don’t expect as clean a dialogue as R2 was able to present. BB-8 isn’t quite that sophisticated, although, according to Doescher, there’s allegedly a code to its English.

The X-Files: Devil's Advocate and Agent of Chaos, Image: Imprint
The X-Files: Devil’s Advocate and Agent of Chaos, Image: Imprint

The X-Files: Devil’s Advocate & Agent of Chaos by Jonathan Maberry & Kami Garcia

Recommended By: Sophie Brown
For: Teens and older
Approximate Cost: $11 Physical, $8 Kindle
Buy It From Amazon: Devil’s Advocate and Agent of Chaos

Agent of Chaos and Devil’s Advocate star a 17-year-old Fox Mulder and a 15-year-old Dana Scully respectively. Both take place over the same week in the spring of 1979 and follow the two teens as they attempt to uncover the truth about two separate local crime waves that are getting too close to home for both of them. These are two fantastic books that add a lot to the X-Files canon and do what all X-Files stories do best, create more questions than they answer. A fantastic intro to the series for teens and an interesting expansion for existing fans.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

Now We Are Six Hundred, Image: Harper Design
Now We Are Six Hundred, Image: Harper Design

Now We Are Six Hundred: A Collection of Time Lord Verse by James Goss

Recommended By: Lisa Tate
For: Adults
Approximate Cost: $11 Hardback, $7 Kindle
Buy It From: Amazon

This parody of the A.A. Milne poetry collection, Now We Are Six is a fun gift for Whovians, as well as those who love children’s poetry and literature. Goss’s verse is cute, the delightful illustrations are what really make it a fun gift.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

Hand Lettering A-Z, Image: Rockport Publishers
Hand Lettering A-Z, Image: Rockport Publishers

Hand Lettering A to Z: A World of Creative Ideas for Drawing and Designing Alphabets by Abbey Ly

Recommended By: Jenny Bristol
For: Teens and older
Approximate Cost: $10
Buy It From: Amazon

Turn your words into art with Hand Lettering A to Z! Author and artist Abbey Ly takes the reader through all the steps necessary and tools required (fewer than you think) to make your own fancy alphabets. The book has many included alphabets to emulate, if you like, or branch out on your own to create something wholly new.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

Science Comics: Dogs, Image: First Second
Science Comics: Dogs, Image: First Second

Science Comics: Dogs by Andy Hirsch

Recommended By: Rebecca Angel
For: TMiddle grade and older
Approximate Cost: $10 Paperback, $13 Kindle
Buy It From: Amazon

Dogs and comics- what’s not to like? With bright illustrations and engaging text, learning the biology and history of these furry pets is fun with this book. Elementary age kids will be taken on a journey to find out why there is so much variation within the species, famous dog owners throughout history, and more!

Check out the full GeekDad review by Jonathan for more information.

Make: Fabric and Fiber Inventions, Image: Maker Media
Make: Fabric and Fiber Inventions, Image: Maker Media

Make: Fabric and Fiber Inventions by Kathy Ceceri

Recommended By: Rebecca Angel
For: Middle grade and older
Approximate Cost: $12 Paperback, $20 Kindle
Buy It From: Amazon

Get your sewing geek on with this DIY book. Not only is it a guide to sewing and knitting basics, but adds electronic light and sound components to several projects. A scarf that transforms into a mug, a felt light-up keychain, fold-up cloth checkerboard and many more projects for all skill levels. Clear instructions and color photos make this book a winner.

Crotchet Therapy, Image: Abrams
Crotchet Therapy, Image: Abrams

Crochet Therapy: The Soothing Art of Savoring Each Stitch by Betsan Corkhill

Recommended By: Jenny Bristol
For: Teens and older
Approximate Cost: $14
Buy It From: Amazon

Stitching things by hand, whether it be sewing, knitting, or crocheting, can be a meditative experience. Crochet Therapy takes the reader through many crochet projects that will support your mental and physical health, and teach you some new skills in the process. Find more peace in your day through handicrafts.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

Twin Peaks: The Secret History and The Final Dossier, Image: Flatiron Books
Twin Peaks: The Secret History and The Final Dossier, Image: Flatiron Books

Twin Peaks: The Secret History & The Final Dossier by Mark Frost

Recommended By: Sophie Brown
For: Adults
Approximate Cost: $14-18 Physical, $12 Kindle
Buy It From Amazon: Secret History and Final Dossier

If you can only read one book about Twin Peaks, make it The Secret History. The book is made up of a mixture of newspaper clippings, top-secret documents and memos, transcribed telephone calls, and other documents – all stunningly designed to appear utterly realistic – that, when put together, recount a history not only of Twin Peaks and its residents but of much of American history too. The Final Dossier is similarly designed but made up of a series of reports written by Agent Tammy Preston which give more details on all the residents of Twin Peaks over the twenty-five-year gap between season two and The Return. These books are vital for Twin Peaks fans who want to understand more about what they watched this summer.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

Cross Stitch Creations: Star Wars, Image: becker&mayer!
Cross Stitch Creations: Star Wars, Image: becker&mayer!

Cross Stitch Creations Star Wars: 12 Out-of-this-world Patterns by John Lohman and Rhys Turton

Recommended By: Dakster Sullivan
For: Teens and older
Approximate Cost: $15
Buy It From: Amazon

Star Wars and cross stitch. The force is strong with this beginner to advanced skill level title that gives you everything you need to start. Dakster advises the beginner to look up some YouTube videos before embarking on their first pattern as a safety net but cross stitch veterans will enjoy diving in with both feet.

Bookstore Cats, Image: Glitterati Editions
Bookstore Cats, Image: Glitterati Editions

Bookstore Cats by Brandon Schultz

Recommended By: Sophie Brown
For: Middle grade and older
Approximate Cost: $15
Buy It From: Amazon

This book is a photo tour across 23 American bookstores, meeting the cats who live at each one and learning about them and their environment. Each cat is profiled in detail and these profiles are combined with beautiful photographs of the cats inside the bookstores they call home. In between the profiles are various extras including poems featuring cats, lists of cats owned by various groups of celebrities such as famous novelists, and lists of cats who have starred in books from non-fiction to poetry to comics. An excellent gift for both cat lovers and literature lovers alike.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

It's All a Game, Image: Thomas Dunne Books
It’s All a Game, Image: Thomas Dunne Books

It’s All a Game by Tristan Donovan

Recommended By: Sophie Brown
For: Adults
Approximate Cost: $18
Buy It From: Amazon

It’s All a Game explores the history of games from Ancient Egypt to today using each chapter to examine different styles of games. One chapter explores how war games changed the course of history, another how the development of plastic blurred the lines between games and toys. The book also looks at the social history surrounding games and how cultural messages were reflected in popular games of the era. This is a book that will appeal hugely to tabletop gamers, but also to anyone with an interest in modern world history.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains Image: Victoria & Albert Museum
Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains Image: Victoria & Albert Museum

Pink Floyd: Their Mortal Remains by Victoria Broackes and Anna Landreth Strong

Recommended By: Sophie Brown
For: Adults
Approximate Cost: $40
Buy It From: Amazon

The accompanying book from this summer’s Pink Floyd exhibition at the V&A Museum in London, Their Mortal Remains contains previously unseen photographs even for the most die-hard of fans, personal letters, handwritten drafts of songs, and a wealth of details covering every stage of the band’s career. Those new to Floyd will find it contains everything they could want to learn, while old hands will find themselves reminded of details they may have long forgotten. This book delivers everything a Floyd fan could dream of.

Check out the full GeekMom review for more information.