I’ll admit. I read a lot more before I got my Nintendo Switch but I did manage to read some fascinating books this year as well as add to my coffee table collection.
Pour yourself a glass of whiskey and top it with a cinnamon stick and get ready for a winter of reading.
Here are the best books you can curl up with and read this winter.
Please note all prices are in Canadian dollars and based on Amazon’s pricing.
Extra Lives – $18.76 CAD
In just a few decades, video games have grown increasingly complex and sophisticated, and the companies that produce them are now among the most profitable in the entertainment industry. Yet few outside this world have thought deeply about how these games work, why they are so appealing, and what they are capable of artistically. Blending memoir, criticism, and first-rate reportage, Extra Lives is a milestone work about what might be the dominant popular art form of our time.
Assassin’s Creed Origins Desert Oath – $12.99 CAD
A novel written by Olivier Bowden, in collaboration with the game’s developers, drops the reader into the events that transpire ahead of the story in Assassin’s Creed Origins. The book retraces the history of Bayek, as a young man, while following in the footsteps of his father and leaving his hometown Siwa in search of answers.
I read this book prior to playing the amazing Assassin’s Creed Origins and it really helped flesh out the backstory.
Blood Sweat and Pixels: The Triumphant, Turbulent Stories Behind How Videos Games Are Made – $13.38 CAD
Developing video games—hero’s journey or fool’s errand? The creative and technical logistics that go into building today’s hottest games can be more harrowing and complex than the games themselves, often seeming like an endless maze or a bottomless abyss. In Blood, Sweat, and Pixels, Jason Schreier takes readers on a fascinating odyssey behind the scenes of video game development, where the creator may be a team of 600 overworked underdogs or a solitary geek genius. Exploring the artistic challenges, technical impossibilities, marketplace demands, and Donkey Kong-sized monkey wrenches thrown into the works by corporate, Blood, Sweat, and Pixels reveals how bringing any game to completion is more than Sisyphean—it’s nothing short of miraculous.
Jason is one of the best games journalists out there and you should follow him on Twitter.
Ultimate LEGO Star Wars – $52.00 CAD
The definitive guide to the LEGO® Star Wars™ universe, showcasing the vast collection of LEGO Star Wars sets and minifigures released over the last 20 years.
This is a complete, unrivaled encyclopedia of the LEGO Star Wars theme. Fans will have an all-encompassing companion to the LEGO Star Wars cultural phenomenon. Produced in large format and featuring beautiful imagery, this is an indispensable guide for young fans and a stunning reference work for adults. With behind-the-scenes material, it tells the complete story of LEGO Star Wars, from the earliest concepts in the late 1990s to the creation of the most recent sets for The Force Awakens™ and Rogue One™. Created with the LEGO Star Wars team.
Here’s my review. I adore this book.
101 Video Games To Play Before You Grow Up – $12.99 CAD
Each page in this interactive handbook offers behind-the-scenes tidbits and trivia about the games that belong on your bucket list, along with parental rating guidelines, series background information, and storyline previews. Gamers can record their personal ratings of each series as they play their way through the list, making notes and critiquing the best and worst parts of each game.
The Complete Calvin and Hobbes – $100 CAD
Join Calvin and Hobbes on all their adventures in this four-volume collection of every comic strip from the comic strip’s eleven-year history (1985 to1996).
Calvin and Hobbes is unquestionably one of the most popular comic strips of all time. The imaginative world of a boy and his real-only-to-him tiger was first syndicated in 1985 and appeared in more than 2,400 newspapers when Bill Watterson retired on January 1, 1996. The entire body of Calvin and Hobbes cartoons published in a truly noteworthy tribute to this singular cartoon in The Complete Calvin and Hobbes. Composed of four paperbacks, four-color volumes in a sturdy slipcase, this New York Times best-selling edition includes all Calvin and Hobbes cartoons that ever appeared in syndication. This is the treasure that all Calvin and Hobbes fans seek.
Honestly, I bought this for myself as an early Xmas gift and couldn’t be happier with it. It’s gorgeous.
LEGO Absolutely Everything You Need To Know – $25.99 CAD
The ultimate collection of LEGO facts and Minifigures in brick-sized bites of trivia.
Can you believe that a wooden duck was one of the LEGO Group’s first toys? Or that 68,000 LEGO pieces are created every minute? Did you know that the evil Overlord is the only NINJAGO Minifigure to wear a skirt? Or that you’ll find a LEGO croissant piece inside 44 LEGO sets? This book is crammed full of fun and fascinating trivia for LEGO fans of every age. From minuscule Minifigure mugs to the largest LEGOLAND model, it covers all the places, populations, pieces, and themes that make up the LEGO world. Produced in collaboration with the LEGO Group.
Console Wars – $12.22 CAD
Following the success of The Accidental Billionaires and Moneyball comes Console Wars—a mesmerizing, behind-the-scenes business thriller that chronicles how Sega, a small, scrappy gaming company led by an unlikely visionary and a team of rebels, took on the juggernaut Nintendo and revolutionized the video game industry.
Gamer’s Survival Guide – $12.99 CAD
Full of fun fitness and lifestyle tips, this humorous guide will also give genuine advice to improve your gaming experience. Find advice on how to engage maximum comfort levels for a perfect day of gaming; one-handed snacks that won’t get your console greasy; and exercises to improve your dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Unwind with some gaming-friendly yoga poses, and read about the top 10 games to play before you die. From cosplay and consoles to eSports and gaming communities, Gamers’ Survival Guide will tell you everything you need to know to gamify your life!
This book is super important. If you aren’t taking care of your body you’re going feel like shit. I try and exercise 5-6 times a week to truly feel alive. And remember those sugary energy drinks that all the eSports players use are rubbish and you should avoid those at all costs.
Happy reading my friends!