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Recapture Your Glory One Brick at a Time

Lego Adventure Book Vol. 2 (9781593275129) By Megan H. Rothrock No Starch Press
Lego Adventure Book Vol. 2 (9781593275129) By Megan H. Rothrock No Starch Press

If you are anything like me, as a youngster you probably thought of yourself as an amateur architect. I, for one, could work miracles given enough time and the right resources. These resources were a giant Rubbermaid bin of Lego bricks, and a rec room floor to dump it all over. But I will admit that I was always better with a good set of instructions at my fingertips.

Whenever I reminisce about “the good old days” I often lament the fact that I no longer build things like I used to. My lamentations were brought to an all time high when I laid my eyes on The Lego Adventure Book Vol. 2. After flipping through the pages, I knew I had to reclaim my former glory and find a floor to spread my Lego over once more.  This book is full of impressive designs and tons of the easy-to-follow instructions that transform me from a mere mortal into a Lego god. Do gods crawl around on all fours and paw through giant piles of Lego? They do now!

From space ships, to dragons, to Tudor Mansions and entire city blocks, this book has something for every Lego enthusiast to enjoy. So, pick up your own copy of The Lego Adventure Book Vol. 2 from No Starch Press and join me in the ever growing pantheon of Lego superstars!

About the author

Megan Rothrock is a former set designer for the LEGO Group whose models have been displayed at ComicCon and at LEGO events across Europe. Rothrock enjoys meeting builders at LEGO fan events and hopes that her book will inspire the LEGO builders of tomorrow. Originally from California, she currently lives in Denmark where she works as a freelance toy designer.

Check out all of No Starch Press' Lego titles here!

Stocking Stuffer Guide!

It's that time of year again: making merry at holiday parties, trimming the tree, wearing the ugly Christmas sweater, listening to the dulcet crooning of Nat King Cole or the upbeat melodies of the Boney M Christmas album. Whether your an uber organizer with all the presents bought and wrapped, sitting snugly under the tree (give the rest of us a break, will you?), still scrambling to buy everyone presents (that's more like it), or the person who hasn't even started shopping yet (eeeek), chances are stocking stuffers are the last thing on the list and the last thing on your mind. So, to keep you a) stress free and b) from re-gifting last years sundry trinkets and hotel soaps, we here at Manda have created a rockin' Christmas guide to soothe your stocking stuffer blues. We have something for everyone!

The Hipster

Too cool for traditional stuffers? For even the TRENDIEST hipster: the Great Moustache Magnet Set (The Unemployed Philosophers Guild) is for anyone missing the funny facial hair that was rampant in 'Movember.'

The adorable Little Book of Vintage series carries horror, crime, combat, romance, love, sci-fi, and sauciness titles (Ilex). These authentic vintage comics and old print advertisements are hilarious, awesome, and come in miniature with a rockin' retro fridge magnet in the back!

And for good measure, why not throw in the small format book by Ryan Mecum, Dawn of Zombie Haiku (How Books, 1440312869). It's a short fiction narrative haiku that is ugly-cry in public funny. "Shall I compare thee to a luscious frontal lobe? If so, thou shall LOSE." Good to know zombie. Inspiring. Really.

The Sweet Grandma (Or Gran, Nonna, Oma, etc)

I don't know about your grandma, but mine really likes to knit. I'm planning on rolling up some of D&C's Simple Knits pattern booklets to put in the stocking opening. Cushions & Pillows has some really nice patterns.

Christmas Joy by Susan Branch (Little Brown, 0316106828) is a small book brimming with holiday spirit. It is everything Christmas, and a perfect reminder of what makes the season so special (there might also be a few delicious cookies that my Grandma is sure to want to add to her repertoire.)

A beautiful deck of cards always comes in handy, especially if your grandmother likes to invite friends over for bridge and Bellini nights! Pomegranate makes some beautiful decks, and these ones, modeled after Charley Harpers Under the Sweetgum Tree (9780764960277) are particularly delectable.

Throw in a beautiful art cube puzzle by Made in Museum and you are good to go. The Splendors of Portuguese Ceramics puzzle is really beautiful.

The Adorkable Darling

(aka nerd, gamer, pop-culture fanatic, perpetual child, 0r actual child)

Oh Doctor Who mug. What else can I say?

Oh wait... The tardis will dissappear and transport into deep space when this ingenious Unemployed Philosophers Guild mug has hot liquid in it? NO WAY. All it takes is a cup of coffee for you to become the next time traveling Doctor Who. Now the question is are you a Matt Smith or a David Tennant kind of Doctor?

If your stocking owner hasn't quite reached THAT level of nerd yet, then a great alternative is the Game of Thrones coffee mug that Dark Horse produces. Whether the dork in your family is a fan of the television show, the George R.R. Martin books it is adapted from, or both, the mug will be a big hit.

 MiniMates are another fail proof option. Little kids, big kids, and kids at heart all love to play with these Lego-like figurines. Cult favourites include Spider man, Iron man, Thor, Captain America, the X-men, and even some feature characters from the video game Halo. Diamonds got both comic book aficionados and gamers covered.

 And an adorkable stocking would not be complete without the Marvel Star Wars Millennium Falcon bottle opener produced by Diamond Select Toys.

The Alcohol Enthusiast

Start the stocking off right with Jiggle Shots, a little book by Abrams Image that helps get the party started with delicious and hazardous recipes.

And for the connoisseur?

A 2013 Wine Calendar in extra small by Andrews McMeel Publishing that has a years worth of tips and facts about wine. 

 If you want to top your drinks off with the perfect garnish, try DC's Darth Vader, Batman, or Superman shaped ice cubes. Nothing says your drinking a Darth Vader cocktail like his ice cube likeness floating in your glass.

Last but not least, the hilarious pocket book 50 ways to Cure a Hangover (Octopus Publishing Group, 9781846014055) is the perfect stocking stuffer for the morning after the party is over. Written by Cara Frost-Sharatt and illustrated by Jason Ford this cute little book proves that a little laughter is always the best cure.

 

ANGRY BIRDS: BIG DOODLE BOOKS

Angry Birds fans can now indulge their creative side with the Angry Birds Big Doodle Books!

Each book features 100 unfinished drawings of the Angry Birds and their enemies, the Bad Piggies, and the young (and the young at heart) can complete the drawings then color them with crayons or markers. The Angry Birds: The Big Red Doodle Book has the Angry Birds and the Pigs in settings from the game, while the Angry Birds: The Big Green Doodle Book takes the Angry Birds and Pigs on vacation to a tropical destination! All of your favourite characters from the game are present, now it’s up to you to finish their adventures and color them in!

Both Angry Birds Books scheduled to ship in late November, just in time for the holidays.

BIG GREEN DOODLE BOOK: Diamond Book Distributors, ISBN: 978-952-276-003-6, CAN: $12.50

BIG RED DOODLE BOOK: Diamond Book Distributors, ISBN: 978-952-276-002-9, CAN: $12.50

Guinness World Records 2012 Available Now!

The 2012 edition of Guinness World Records is now available everywhere books are sold! Highlights include Most Dogs Skipping, Biggest Afro, Tightest Parallel Park, updated new records on classics like Longest Fingernails, and over 4000 more. In addition to 900 eye-popping photos, this year's edition offers hidden augmented reality technology: see the pictures come alive! Visit the GWR website for more details and a sneak peek...

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Wimpy Kid 6 Announced!

Diary of a Wimpy Kid 6Get ready for an avalanche of Wimpy Kid excitement this fall! Amulet Books has announced the sixth volume in Jeff Kinney's bestselling Diary of a Wimpy Kid series will go on sale in November 2011. The author gives us a hint of what to expect:

"I'm very excited to be writing the sixth Diary of a Wimpy Kid book, which features the Heffley family being snowed in," said Jeff Kinney. "Having just experienced an epic winter in New England, I've had plenty of inspiration to draw from."

Expect a blizzard of publicity beginning with a re-launch of the Wimpy Kid website next month. And if you REALLY can't wait to find out more, check out the trailer below for a preview of the Wimpy Wonderland island on Poptropica!

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