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Fri, 4 Jan '13

The Nerdist News Book Club: Marvel Secrets, Raiders and More

Let's read them together, shall we?

Between comic books, video games and movies, we talk about a lot of properties that are adapted from books, but it seems like we may occasionally not see the forest for the trees. We started the year off by doing some literary reconnaissance and brought our favorite titles back to you. Here are four books to catch you up on the literary side of geekdom. Pay attention and you may even learn something that will come in handy at bar trivia night.

Raiders! - When two kids from Mississippi bonded over their love of Raiders of the Lost Ark, they had no idea how their friendship and fandom would affect their lives. Together, Chris Strompolos and Eric Zala made a scene-for-scene recreation of Raiders. The fan film was so intricate and dedicated to reproducing the movie as they saw it, filming took over seven years. Through the process of making the film they almost burned down a house, nearly got Eric killed and visibly aged throughout the movie. But it may have been worth it as they also found a fan in one Steven Spielberg. This book will give insights as to how and why they made the movie, but also delve into the notoriety and careers the movie kickstarted for the men. Will your Howard the Duck fan film get you as far?

Marvel Comics: The Untold Story - We've heard the tales of how Stan Lee and his artistic partners came up with characters for Marvel comics time and time again. As long as someone is asking, Stan is answering. But the question that may have been glossed over more often than not is how did Marvel come to be and how did Stan Lee, Steve Ditko, Jack Kirby and so many others come to work for Marvel? These questions and so many more that you never thought to ask are answered in the very thorough history of Marvel in Marvel Comics: The Untold Story. Culled from hundreds of interviews and hundreds of thousands of pages of research, the book takes an unflinching look at the House of Ideas and just how it was built.

Star Wars: Scoundrels - With sequel films coming in 2015, everyone on the planet that loves Star Wars is tearing through the Expanded Universe books to see what storylines might get plucked for use in a future movie. Time and again, fans keep coming back with the same question, "Why don't they just adapt the Zahn books?" Timothy Zahn's now infamous Grand Admiral Thrawn trilogy about the Imperial enemy that would rise up to fill the void left by Palpatine and Vader has been a gateway drug for readers looking to continue their love affair with the trilogy from long ago and far away. This month sees a new Zahn book in Scoundrels. Set immediately after the Battle of Yavin and the destruction of the first Death Star, the book follows Han as he tries to make good on his debts to Jabba and deal with being one of the heroes of the Rebel Alliance. This novel may be the perfect partner to Brian Wood's upcoming Star Wars ongoing from Dark Horse.

Legend of Zelda: Hyrule Historia - If you ever wondered what a Hyrule highschool yearbook would look like, this is about as close as you're going to get. A complete history of the Zelda franchise as well as their canon timeline are laid out in this epic tome from Dark Horse Publishing. The book is neither graphic novel or artbook, but it does contain development and character art as well as an exclusive comic. Whether you're a long time enthusiast who's played every game or a casual fan that just wants to fill in the gaps on the games you missed, this book has answers to almost every question you could have about Hyrule. Except maybe the story about how Ganondorf was kicked off the equestrian team for making his horse evil.

Got a book you want to recommend for the Nerdist News Book Club? Let us know via our Twitter, Facebook or Google + page.

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