Let us be your personal shoppers!
ABC’s booksellers don’t just sell books: as well as being voracious readers, almost everyone you’ll meet at the cash desk at ABC is personally responsible for buying the books for one or more sections in the store. That means you’ll always find someone who can put exactly the right book in your hands when you need it. We asked our buyers for their tips for the best gifts for Christmas, and they came up with some crackers: a sackful of ideas to suit every taste and budget. There are new books, classic books, magazines, games, puzzles, and even cuddly toys. Here are just a few of their ideas. Follow the links to find more ideas on:
Or, to see all of our gift ideas for 2011, see the other posts!
Wreck This Journal – Keri Smith
We can’t get enough of Keri Smith, and really, it all started with this ingenious book that encourages you to think outside the box and let your creativity flow. You’ll abuse this book in the best possible way.
Martha Stewart Living magazine
Never mind the prison stint, she’s still the MacGuyver of crafty ladies. Each issue is crammed with oodles of tips and surprisingly make-able projects. It’s a good thing!
Has it arrived? Check here.
Burda Style magazine
The only magazine with patterns! This magazine is older than we are, and has reinvented itself in recent years, along with the resurgence of crafts. Every issue has something you want to make straight away. Sewing is hip!
Has it arrived? Check here.
Queen of Crafts – Jazz Domino Holly
Jazz Domino Holly’s book is a one-for-all guide to everything crafty. You’ll be hosting the perfect tea party, organizing a bake-off and setting up your own knitting circle in no time.
All Wound Up – Stephanie Pearl-McPhee
The Yarn Harlot presents her latest book! Full of not only knitting goodness, but lots of advice on life, the universe, and everything. Her way with words will have you chuckling and itching to cast on any number of projects. Not to mention trying your hand at Kinnearing.
Crochet Compendium – Connie Ellison
The all-in-one guide to crochet, starting from the cast on and ending with that perfect edging. A treasure trove of tips and tricks.
Manga Cross Stitch – Helen McCarthy
How can you not love this book? It combines the visual explosion that is manga with the visual artistry that is cross-stitch! From school girls to brooding ronin to over-the-top robots. CD with patterns included.
Big Ass Book of Crafts 1 and 2 – Mark Montano and Auxy Espinoza
If ever there were books meant for a rainy day (and as you know, there are many rainy days in the Netherlands), it’s these two. Chock-full with craft ideas, from making jewelry to making furniture, from paper crafts to creating lighting.
Custom Knits 2 – Wendy Bernard
I loved Custom Knits, and part 2 is equally as good, with projects designed to make you want to cast on immediately. Again she provides lots of ideas and tips on how to customize the design to your taste or shape. Highly recommended!
I Want My Hat Back – Jon Klassen
The bear’s hat is gone, and he wants it back. Patiently and politely, he asks the animals he comes across, one by one, whether they have seen it. Each animal says no, some more elaborately than others. But just as the bear begins to despond, a deer comes by and asks a simple question that sparks the bear’s memory and renews his search with a vengeance. Told completely in dialogue, this delicious take on the classic repetitive tale plays out in sly illustrations laced with visual humor and winks at the reader with a wry irreverence that will have kids of all ages thrilled to be in on the joke.
The Pop Up ‘Guess How Much I Love You’ – Sam McBratney
One of the most loved picture books of recent years has finally been turned into a pop-up edition, and with eye-popping paper engineering it certainly doesn’t disappoint. This is the perfect way to introduce the story of the two nutbrown hares to a new generation of little readers.
My First Gruffalo Touch and Feel Book – Julia Donaldson
Touch the Gruffalo’s terrible tusks, feel his knobbly knees and tickle his purple prickles in this bold, eye-catching book with touch-and-feel elements on every page. Part of the exciting new MY FIRST GRUFFALO series featuring all your favourite characters from the Deep Dark Wood.
Dear Noisy Zoo – Rod Campbell
Lift-the-flaps and press the 8 interactive sound buttons to see what the zoo has sent: the perfect pet — in the end! This amazing, interactive play-along edition of Dear Zoo brings the classic story to noisy life: hear the lion roar and the puppy bark! Sure to keep your little ones entertained for hours this noisy book is a must for all Dear Zoo fans.
The Pop Up Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle
Presents the caterpillar story in an interactive way as the intrepid caterpillar literally pops off the page, crawling along branches, munching through food and, finally, turning into an extraordinary butterfly. This title tells this story across seven engineered pop-up spreads with tabs to pull, dials to turn and flaps to lift.
Where’s Waldo: The Ultimate Travel Collection – Martin Handford
The essential travel companion! Now Waldo can wander everywhere his fans do, thanks to a compact bind-up of five classic adventures in handy, smaller – and therefore more fiendishly difficult – editions!
With such a wealth of Waldo at hand, even the most restless travelers will be entertained for hours on end. Don’t leave home without it!
Elmo’s Big Lift and Look Book
Illustrated in full color. Turn playtime into learning time with lovable Sesame Street Muppet Elmo and the biggest flap book ever! Toddlers can lift alphabet blocks to find a word beginning with each letter, open doors and windows on Sesame Street to count objects from one to ten, lift flaps that reveal opposites, and help Elmo find his teddy! More than 60 sturdy flaps are part of the page, not glued on, and are made to stand up to the repeated wear and tear kids are sure to inflict with lots of lifting, looking, seeking, finding, and fun!
A Pond Full of Ink – Annie M.G. Schmidt (We also stock two Jip and Janneke books and Tow-Truck Pluck in English)
A collection of wonderful poems written by the Netherlands most beloved author, Annie M.G. Schmidt. This edition is translated by David Colmer - the award winning translator of The Jip and Janneke books - and illustrated by Sieb Posthuma.
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: The Classics
The Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien
The first ever illustrated paperback of the critically acclaimed and beloved children’s classic, featuring 26 colour paintings and over 30 pencil drawings by Alan Lee.
The Hobbit will be a two-part epic fantasy film, directed by Peter Jackson. The first film is scheduled to be released in December 2012.
Under Heaven – Guy Gavriel Kay
The latest book by this respected fantasy author was nominated for several fantasy awards this year. Tigana was published over a decade ago but is one of those classics you just need to read.
A Game of Thrones: 4-Book Boxed Set – George R. R. Martin
George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series has become, in many ways, the gold standard for modern epic fantasy. Martin – dubbed the “American Tolkien” by Time magazine – has created a world that is as rich and vital as any piece of historical fiction, set in an age of knights and chivalry and filled with a plethora of fascinating, multidimensional characters that you love, hate to love, or love to hate as they struggle for control of a divided kingdom.
A Game of Thrones became a world wide bestseller again this year after the first book aired as an HBO mini series. Part 2 is also going to be a mini series and features our very own Carice van Houten. This box contains the first four books in the series: A Game of Thrones ; A Clash of Kings; A Storm of Swords; A Feast for Crows.
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Also published over a decade ago and an ABC Evergreen. Tom Hanks’ Playtone Productions is producing a whopping six seasons of Neil Gaiman’s earthbound-deities novel American Gods for HBO (due in 2013). Hope it will be as good as the adaption of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones.
Snow Crash – Stephenson, Neal
Also an ABC Evergreen. Neal Stephenson surprised and awed us this year with Reamde, but this fast paced cyberpunk novel became an instant classic when it was first published in 1992. With heavy doses of satire and black humor, this is not an easy read. However, it seems to transcend the sci-fi genre by captivating a wide audience, including people who do not normally read sci-fi.
The Vampire Chronicles Collection – Anne Rice
And yes another ABC Evergreen. Anne Rice already wrote vampire bestsellers long before Stephenie Meyer came along.
The hypnotic, deeply seductive novels of Anne Rice have captivated millions of fans around the world. It all began a quarter of a century ago with Interview with the Vampire. Now, in one chilling volume, here are the first three classic novels of The Vampire Chronicles.
Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror: New and Notable
A Blight of Mages – Karen Miller
Do give Miller a try. You will not be disappointed. This is her latest Mage novel but we usually also have all of her other (paperback) books in stock.
Dorana is a country ruled by a rigid class system based upon magical aptitude and the right pedigree. While all Doranens have mage ability, some are more blessed than others.
Morgan is one of the powerful ruling elite, fanatically devoted to enforcing the regulations and maintaining the purity of mage bloodlines. When he falls in love with Barl, a woman of inferior breeding who possesses astonishing mage powers, he sets himself upon a dangerous course.
A terrible mage war erupts when Morgan becomes unstoppable, driving Barl to lead a small pack of survivors into the distant mountains. When they arrive, their welcome is not what they expected, and Barl must embark upon a desperate course to protect and preserve her people until they may be needed once again…
Prince of Thorns – Mark Lawrence
A stunning fantasy debut from a major new talent!
When he was nine, he watched his mother and brother killed before him. By the time he was thirteen, he was the leader of a band of bloodthirsty thugs. By fifteen, he intends to be king…
It’s time for Prince Honorous Jorg Ancrath to return to the castle he turned his back on, to take what’s rightfully his. Since the day he was hung on the thorns of a briar patch and forced to watch Count Renar’s men slaughter his mother and young brother, Jorg has been driven to vent his rage. Life and death are no more than a game to him-and he has nothing left to lose.
But treachery awaits him in his father’s castle. Treachery and dark magic. No matter how fierce, can the will of one young man conquer enemies with power beyond his imagining?
Our You Reviewer Gabriëlle found the book disturbing and awesome – and can’t wait to read what happens next!
The End Specialist – Drew Margary (book is also known as The Postmortal)
A gripping, compulsive thriller set in a future where the cure for ageing has been discovered… to devastating consequences
John Farrell is about to get “The Cure.” Old age can never kill him now. The only problem is, everything else still can . . . Imagine a near future where a cure for ageing is discovered and – after much political and moral debate – made available to people worldwide. Immortality, however, comes with its own unique problems – including evil green people, government euthanasia programs, a disturbing new religious cult, and other horrors. Witty, eerie, and full of humanity, The End Specialist is an unforgettable thriller that envisions a pre-apocalyptic world.
Zoo City – Lauren Beukes
Winner of the 2011 Arthur C. Clarke Award!
Set in a Johannesburg not unlike our own, the novel features Zinzi December, an underclass tough-chick with a witty mouth, and a sloth on her back, who pulls 419 scams for a living. She also occasionally finds lost things, for a fee of course. When she is hired to do her least favourite of jobs, finding a missing person, she is pulled deeper into the festering world of the slums where criminals rule with their animal companions. And in this environment, twisted by crime and magic, she has to confront the dark secrets of her past.
The Alloy of Law : A Mistborn Novel – Brandon Sanderson
Sanderson’s latest. The author who was chosen to finish Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series has become a fantasy icon himself. We also stock all of his other books – and love it when his fans bring him to the store for an impromptu visit!
Three hundred years after the events of the Mistborn trilogy, Scadrial is now on the verge of modernity, with railroads to supplement the canals, electric lighting in the streets and the homes of the wealthy, and the first steel-framed skyscrapers racing for the clouds.
Kelsier, Vin, Elend, Sazed, Spook, and the rest are now part of history—or religion. Yet even as science and technology are reaching new heights, the old magics of Allomancy and Feruchemy continue to play a role in this reborn world. Out in the frontier lands known as the Roughs, they are crucial tools for the brave men and women attempting to establish order and justice.
One such is Waxillium Ladrian, a rare Twinborn, who can Push on metals with his Allomancy and use Feruchemy to become lighter or heavier at will. After twenty years in the Roughs, Wax has been forced by family tragedy to return to the metropolis of Elendel. Now he must reluctantly put away his guns and assume the duties and dignity incumbent upon the head of a noble house. Or so he thinks, until he learns the hard way that the mansions and elegant tree-lined streets of the city can be even more dangerous than the dusty plains of the Roughs.
Ready Player One – Ernest Cline
At once wildly original and stuffed with irresistible nostalgia, Ready Player One is a spectacularly genre-busting, ambitious, and charming debut – part quest novel, part love story, and part virtual space opera set in a universe where spell-slinging mages battle giant Japanese robots, entire planets are inspired by Blade Runner, and flying DeLoreans achieve light speed.
It’s the year 2044, and the real world is an ugly place. Like most of humanity, Wade Watts escapes his grim surroundings by spending his waking hours jacked into the OASIS, a sprawling virtual utopia that lets you be anything you want to be, a place where you can live and play and fall in love on any of ten thousand planets. And like most of humanity, Wade dreams of being the one to discover the ultimate lottery ticket that lies concealed within this virtual world. For somewhere inside this giant networked playground, OASIS creator James Halliday has hidden a series of fiendish puzzles that will yield massive fortune – and remarkable power – to whoever can unlock them. For years, millions have struggled fruitlessly to attain this prize, knowing only that Halliday’s riddles are based in the pop culture he loved – that of the late twentieth century. And for years, millions have found in this quest another means of escape, retreating into happy, obsessive study of Halliday’s icons.
Like many of his contemporaries, Wade is as comfortable debating the finer points of John Hughes’s oeuvre, playing Pac-Man, or reciting Devo lyrics as he is scrounging power to run his OASIS rig. And then Wade stumbles upon the first puzzle. Suddenly the whole world is watching, and thousands of competitors join the hunt – among them certain powerful players who are willing to commit very real murder to beat Wade to this prize. Now the only way for Wade to survive and preserve everything he knows is to win. But to do so, he may have to leave behind his oh-so-perfect virtual existence and face up to life – and love – in the real world he’s always been so desperate to escape. A world at stake. A quest for the ultimate prize. Are you ready?
Pathfinder – Orson Scott Card
The first book in the Serpent World series draws readers into the world of Rigg, a teenager who possesses a secret talent that allows him to see the paths of people’s pasts. Rigg’s only confidant is his father, whose sudden death leaves Rigg completely alone, aside from a sister he’s never met. But a chance encounter with Umbo, another teen with a special talent, reveals a startling new aspect to Rigg’s abilities, compelling him to reevaluate everything he’s ever known. Rigg and Umbo join forces and embark on a quest to find Rigg’s sister and discover the true depth and significance of their powers. Because although the pair can change the past, the future is anything but certain..
Blackout and All Clear – Connie Willis
Both novels won the Hugo and Nebula Awards this year!
In her first novel since 2002, Nebula and Hugo award-winning author Connie Willis returns with a stunning, enormously entertaining novel of time travel, war, and the deeds – great and small – of ordinary people who shape history. In the hands of this acclaimed storyteller, the past and future collide – and the result is at once intriguing, elusive, and frightening.
Oxford in 2060 is a chaotic place. Scores of time-traveling historians are being sent into the past, to destinations including the American Civil War and the attack on the World Trade Center. Michael Davies is prepping to go to Pearl Harbor. Merope Ward is coping with a bunch of bratty 1940 evacuees and trying to talk her thesis adviser, Mr. Dunworthy, into letting her go to VE Day. Polly Churchill’s next assignment will be as a shopgirl in the middle of London’s Blitz. And seventeen-year-old Colin Templer, who has a major crush on Polly, is determined to go to the Crusades so that he can ‘catch up’ to her in age.
But now the time-travel lab is suddenly canceling assignments for no apparent reason and switching around everyone’s schedules. And when Michael, Merope, and Polly finally get to World War II, things just get worse. For there they face air raids, blackouts, unexploded bombs, dive-bombing Stukas, rationing, shrapnel, V-1s, and two of the most incorrigible children in all of history – to say nothing of a growing feeling that not only their assignments but the war and history itself are spiraling out of control. Because suddenly the once-reliable mechanisms of time travel are showing significant glitches, and our heroes are beginning to question their most firmly held belief: that no historian can possibly change the past.
From the people sheltering in the tube stations of London to the retired sailors who set off across the Channel to rescue the stranded British Army from Dunkirk, from shopgirls to ambulance drivers, from spies to hospital nurses to Shakespearean actors, Blackout reveals a side of World War II seldom seen before: a dangerous, desperate world in which there are no civilians and in which everybody – from the Queen down to the lowliest barmaid – is determined to do their bit to help a beleaguered nation survive.