Tuesday, December 21, 2010

10 Last-Minute Holiday Gift Ideas!

OK, it's time for my completely self-indulgent guide to holiday gifts for the shopper who's left things for the last minute. And... it's mostly going to be completely selfish suggestions from me here. ;) But hey, I've spent the year entertaining you here for my own fun and pleasure, and because I turn down all ad opportunities (much to my husband's chagrin), the only way I can make money off this blog is if you click those little buttons on the side. So here we go!

Suggestion #1:

Finding Lost: Season 6
So far I've gotten 13 great reviews on Amazon.com and I'm so proud of them and grateful to everyone who's left one there! (And if you've recently ordered something from Amazon and have read my book and enjoyed it, please go and leave a comment there. Thank you!!) It's the biggest of the books, with the exception of the first one (which covered two seasons, so it's understandably bigger) and it not only covers all of season 6 and puts it all into perspective for you, but I go back and show the threads that stretch back from this season to the earlier ones. So it was a LOT of work covering all of that, going back to previous books mentioned on the show (hey, check out the reference to Slaughterhouse-Five in season 6 that was also made explicit in season 4 and here's how it ties in!). As I've said ad nauseum (because I'm just so damn proud of it!) my chapter on the finale, with a complete explanation and analysis of it that is sure to give you a different understanding of it, is over 50 pages long. It also includes chapters on Paradise Lost and The Stand, and shows how these two books were huge inspirations for the series. How do God, Lucifer, Adam and Eve, Trashcan Man, and a worldwide plague all come together on Lost? Find out in this book! It includes great behind-the-scenes photos of how they built the sets throughout season 6, as they were building them. It's a great price at Amazon, so I suggest grabbing it there. :) The Kindle is available here.

Suggestion #2:

Finding Lost: Season 5
Oh come on, you didn't think I'd recommend a different book, did you? Go back to this book after seeing season 6 to rediscover the path of John Locke and how he became the Man in Black, where Jacob factors in, the early questions about Richard Alpert that led to the man we finally met in season 6. It contains complete explanations of the time travel and how Miles's wonky explanation actually made sense, and looks at seminal works of fiction mentioned on the show (many of which, as I was analyzing them, I was actually coming close to what ultimately happened in the finale in season 6!) It's also available on Kindle here.

Suggestion #3:

The Complete Buffy Collection
OK, I'll move away from Lost for a second (but not for long) and suggest that if you're going to be joining us for the Great Buffy Rewatch of 2011 (beginning on January 4th!!) you have to pick up a copy of this DVD set. I'm watching season 1 right now and loving it as much as I did the first time around. No, actually... more. Much more. You all know how much I love Lost. Well... I think Buffy is still #1 in my heart. Find out why. And please join us for the Buffy rewatch. It's going to be awesome.

Suggestion #4:

Finding Lost: Season 4
What? Yes, of course. Season 4... this is the season that had The Constant, The Shape of Things to Come... amazing, amazing season. And this book contains my analysis of Slaughterhouse-Five, one of the two books I believe are essential to read outside of the series to gain a full understanding of what was really going on. I almost wish I could go back and rewrite these books all in light of the finale, but alas, I cannot. Instead they are meant to be read as you watch, but when I went back recently to flip through them and look at what I'd written based on our discussions here, I was surprised to see how far we were getting in actually figuring things out early on. That's because we rock. For some reason, I think this is my favourite of all of the Finding Lost books. I really enjoyed writing this one; it was also the only one written off-schedule so it ended up coming out in mid-season 5... and as a result I don't think it sold as well as the others. But it's still my favourite one of the bunch. Kindle is here.

Suggestion #5:

The Lost Encyclopedia
Yep, everyone's asking for my review of this one, and it's coming tomorrow (for sure... it's already been pre-posted to go live tomorrow as this week's Lost-Anon) and I think it's fantastic. Yes, it's got its problems, and I'll address those, but I don't think you should let those problems overshadow the awesomeness of this book. And... I have one to give away. I'm just trying to figure out some sort of contest. But I'll add that to the bottom of tomorrow's post.

Suggestion #6

Finding Lost: Season 3
What?? How'd THAT get in there. (Yeah, you're not buying my mock humility, are you?) Typically the least favourite of seasons for Lost fans (that or season 2), I thought season 3 rocked, especially if you watched it back-to-back on DVD. I remember writing this one and once again really enjoying it. The books that went with season 3 were great, and this is the season that contained the already classic The Man Behind the Curtain. And probably the saddest death scene of the series. Well... tied with the death scene in season 6 that I can't even mention by name. Sniff... I'm pretty proud of this book, even if it's my least favourite of the covers (I prefer conceptual ones). Kindle is here.

Suggestion #7

Breaking Bad: Season 1
If you haven't watched this show, watch it. I've spent the holiday parties and get-togethers trying to convince people to check out this show, and I've been faced with a lot of blank stares. "Let me get this straight... chemistry teacher finds out he has cancer... and he doesn't have enough money so he begins cooking meth to build up money to leave his family when he dies... and you say it's FUNNY?" Yes, it is. It's SO funny. Watch this show. I adore it.

Suggestion #8

The Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark
I haven't talked about this book on here at all, but this is a novel that I acquired and edited, and I loved it (and the author, Christopher Meades). If you're looking to take a chance on a quirky, edgy, funny little novel, this is the one. When Henrik Nordmark, a 42-year-old security guard, almost gets hit by a car one day, he realizes he won't be remembered after he dies because he's never done a single unique thing in his life. So... he sets out to become unique. If only those three elderly assassins from the local nursing home hadn't accidentally fingered him as the superspy they've been hired to kill. Surreal, funny, and insane. Please check it out... you won't be disappointed. Kindle is here.

Suggestion #9

Room by Emma Donaghue
You thought I was going to say my first Finding Lost book, didn't you? Room was haunting... I'd read other books by Emma Donaghue but her other books didn't even hint at the heights she achieved in this one. There's a scene in this book that will make you hold your breath until it's done... I was so on the edge of my seat that my husband wandered into the room to ask me something and I just screeched, "NOTNOWGOAWAYINEEDTOFINISHTHISSCENEGOAWAY!!!" and my palms were literally sweating while I was reading it (and my heart was beating inordinately fast). Since then, other friends have read it and the moment they get to that scene they send me emails saying, "OH MY GOD I know EXACTLY what scene you meant! I thought I was going to faint." This is the story told from the point of view of Jack, a 5-year-old who has lived his entire life in an 11-square-foot shed in the backyard of the man who kidnapped his mother years earlier and has been repeatedly raping her. It's the story of what a mother will do to keep the horrible world from her child, as she plays games with him day after day and loves him and shelters him from the horrors of what happens at night. I loved it so much I've bought it for several people for Christmas. It's amazing... and if you're worried that, as a parent, you wouldn't be able to stomach it, I can tell you that because it's told from the boy's point of view -- a boy who thinks his life is perfectly normal and happy, thank you very much -- it distances you from the pain the mother feels and makes it more palatable. And... she lives in my hometown! Even better.

Suggestion #10

Finding Lost: Seasons 1 & 2
Like I was going to leave off this one. This is obviously the one that started the series, and if you have a friend you've convinced to watch the show from the beginning for the first time, get them this book! Or get it yourself if you haven't. This contains the analysis for the OTHER book from the series that I think is essential outside reading -- The Third Policeman. It also looks at the character development throughout the first season and how it changed in the second. It focuses on how Lost was a character-driven show in the first couple of seasons and its strengths and weaknesses, and going back to it now you can see where all of the seeds for everything in the later seasons can be found. There's nothing spoilery in any of my books... if you're watching for the first time, you can read that episode guide and it won't spoil you for later seasons. Kindle is here.

And that's that! Amazon can ship you things the next day, so if you're looking for suggestions that will allow you to avoid the malls, look no further. Buy the complete Lost set (or many sets!) for a friend or yourself, and check out some of my other suggestions. Because hey, I'm here to help. ;)


Gerald Orr said...

Great list Nikki. I already know that I'll be receiving Finding Lost Season 6 and Lost Encyclopedia due to my grandma not having a computer and I wanted to get her the best deal even though I know hse got it for she said "It doesn't matter because you haven't read or seen inside the book and its contents so it is still a surprise". She is 86 and her favorite character is Hurley. Happy Holidays to you and yours. Take care.

Gerald Orr said...

Meant to type - i know she got it for me she said . Darn fat digits.

JS said...

Hey Nikki - Great list! :)

I am re-watching and up to Season 2 now, and am happy to have my Finding Lost companion to remember what we thought we knew, compared to what we know now, and answering the questions. I am reading the Third Policeman now, and read Slaughterhouse five (and a bunch of the other books), and of course it has changed my understanding of LOST, so I would recommend those two, and The Stand, at minimum to anyone who is a fan.

We got my brother-in-law the complete LOST DVD set, and started him with your first Finding LOST book, for his birthday. This is the guy who thinks they all died in the plane crash after seeing the finale, so he needs your guidance.

I have read ROOM, and feel the same way. It was a page clicker (on Kindle) and I read it beginning to end within 48 hours. I haven't heard of the Three Fates of Henrik Nordmark, so I'll be picking that up. I look forward to finally watching Breaking Bad, and have cued up BTVS on Netflix.

Thanks for the list!

Marebabe said...

Nikki, there's one thing that you left off your list: Bite Me! I received my brand new copy yesterday, along with the Lost Encyclopedia, so I'm all set. (And I had no idea that the Lost Encyclopedia would be a coffee table book!)

The Question Mark said...

WOOOOOOOO! I want to buy all of those things! LoL
By the way everybody, I've discovered a VERY funny comedy series called "Community". It's halfway into its 2nd season now, but check it out, it's freaking hilarious! Chevy Chase & Betty White are in it, which sealed the deal for me!

yourblindspot said...

My wife surprised me a few nights ago with the Complete Collection on Blu-Ray, and it's been 'All LOST, All The Time' at my house since. Now I have to resist the urge to start an immediate rewatch. (I understand that I'm supposed to be doing that with some other series soon, as apparently there are in fact other television series out there...)

Speaking of which -- just four episodes into 'Breaking Bad' since they started rebroadcasting a couple of weeks ago here in the US, and it is so very, very good. Sad and hilarious and awesome. How far along are you guys?

MJCarp said...

Hi Nikki.

Is there a bundled options for Finding Lost?

Nikki Stafford said...

Good question! I was just talking to my publisher about this earlier in the week and he was saying that doing a box set of the series would be a tough sell to the market, but that if anyone contacted ECW directly, they could work out some sort of deal. So if you're interested in buying all of them, I'd suggest contacting ECW Press and asking them if they would do a deal with a box set. You can email info@ecwpress.com and it'll go to the right person. ;)

MJCarp said...

e-mail away. tks.


Blam said...

TQM & YBS: Community and Breaking Bad and both Great Televison Shows. I've been watching Bad from the start, based on good reviews and the high quality of Mad Men; Community fell victim to Thursdays last year, but I've been catching up with Season One on DVD while loving Season Two — which just had a fun Lost joke in the Christmas episode.