Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros

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Ever since it was announced on Matthew Reinhart’s Facebook page, “Game of Thrones: A Pop-Up Guide to Westeros” has been an exercise in EQ (of the “Shut up and take my money!” sort), so when I finally saw it today at the bookstore, I was powerless to resist.

Paper engineered by Matthew Reinhart, with illustrations by Michael Komark, this deluxe pop-up book is an incredible volume that  takes the reader through Westeros and beyond, featuring five spreads of key locations in the series and over thirty smaller pop-ups, folding out into a 46″x30″ map of the kingdom.

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Vintage Novelties


I don’t often read non-fiction, and when I do, they’re mostly palate-cleansers, e.g. books I read in between books when I get bogged down by lengthy reads, and more often than not, they’re either trivia books or novelty books.

Now, I can never resist pretty books, and I love vintage art, so I’ve got a growing collection of novelty books that feature vintage ephemera. Four more were added to my collection recently: Cheap Laffs: The Art of the Novelty Item by Mark Newgarden and Picture Box, Inc., which I recently unearthed from my TBR (bought it two years ago, it was still wrapped in its plastic casing); Let’s Be Safe by Benjamin Darling (via BookMooch); Fireside: A Family Companion by Janice Anderson (book sale bargain bin, for P25); and What the Doctor Smokes and other inspiring adverts through the ages by Kate Parker and the Advertising Archives (Powerbooks Book Barter).

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Grocery lists and breakfast cereal


After a tumultuous January, I’m now back to regular blogging, hoping to make up for lost time and eventually clear the blogging backlog, which is now down to twenty books, including those from January!

It’s been a while since I’ve done a foodie review (I really enjoy foodie books!), so today’s review covers two delightful foodie books I enjoyed last year: Milk Eggs Vodka: Grocery Lists Lost and Found by Bill Keaggy and The Breakfast Cereal Gourmet by David Hoffman (books 132-133 for 2009).

Both are fully illustrated foodie books that were awesome bargain bin finds, each of them roughly P70 (less than US$1.50).

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This Book Will Change Your Life

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Have you ever wondered what would happen if one day you waged war on a foreign country; secretly raised a dirty finger at everyone that passed you by; wrote the opening sentence to your debut novel; agreed to meet a stranger in ten years’ time; ordered an impossible pizza (with bananas, peas, ice cream, etc.); sent a message in Morse code from your window to see if anyone responds; or wr0te your last will and testament?

These are only some of the instructions to be found in the series This Book Will Change Your Life (subtitled 365 daily instructions for hysterical living). Each book in the series is a journal type book with daily instructions for 365 days of the year, on lavishly-designed pages, with an area allotted for your notes after you’ve fulfilled the task.

I’ve been fascinated with the concept of This Book Will Change Your Life, and last year I managed to get two of them — the original This Book Will Change Your Life and This Book Will Change Your Life Again — one from my favorite bargain bookstore, and another from Flipper friend Marie last Christmas. I flipped through the pages last December in preparation for 2010, as I’ve always meant to work on the books, although I tend to pick random pages on random days over the year.

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Funny Famous Faces

famous facesImpulse buying at the bargain bookstore has gotten me a lot of books I have no earthly use for (as you probably know), but I like buying them anyway (as you probably also know).

This is another one of those books — Famous Faces by Norman Messenger (#174 for 2009).  I found among the stacks of children’s books at my favorite bargain bookstore, and it was a bit more than I’d normally spend at the store (well, fine, it was P120 — a little over US$2) because it was a bad day and I needed some cheering up (haha!).

Famous Faces (#174 for 2009) is a novelty book featuring celebrity faces such as  Groucho Marx, Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable, Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher, Charlie Chaplin, Elvis, and even Prince Charles and Princess Diana (before they separated).

(Incidentally, I found out this book has been a collector’s item after Diana’s death!)

Each face is divided into four flaps – hair, eyes, nose and mouth, and clothes. You can mix and match these celebrity features to create new faces — e.g. Chaplin’s hat, Marilyn Monroe’s eyes, Diana’s smile, and Margaret Thatcher’s clothes — and get absolutely hilarious results!

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