Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the category “Books”

Book Review: SNES Omnibus Volume 2

As I’ve previously stated, the Super Nintendo is my all-time favorite video game system. Last year, author Brett Weiss released The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 and I said how it was “an excellent tribute to an iconic system and video game library.” The same holds true for its sequel, which is coming out very soon. The SNES Omnibus: Volume 2 covers games N through Z, along with various essays about different aspects of the Super Nintendo, such as The Super Game Boy and The Super Scope 6. If you’re a video game fan, love Nintendo or simply want to take a deep dive into the golden age of 16-bit gaming, The SNES Omnibus: Volume 2 is a must-buy. It’s an excellent book and I highly recommend it.

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Book Review: WWE Greatest Rivalries

WWE Greatest Rivalries is the newest hardback book from DK and it’s available March 5. This 200-page tome is dedicated to all of the timeless superstars, epic battles and bitter feuds from the classic, attitude and modern eras of WWE. Below is my video review of this new book.

Book Review: 27 by Gene Simmons

Boring. That’s not a word typically associated with Gene Simmons. Unfortunately, it’s the best one to describe his new book, 27: The Legend and Mythology of the 27 Club. I went into this book wanting to enjoy it, as I have with his other literary work. However, I just couldn’t get into this one and found it to be dry compared to the charismatic and compelling style found in his other books.

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Positively Unstoppable by Diamond Dallas Page

I’ve been listening to several audiobooks lately and the newest is Positively Unstoppable: The Art of Owning It by Diamond Dallas Page. I recently interviewed Dallas, and he was a pleasure to speak with. I’ve been eagerly anticipating his book for a while now, and I devoured it in record time. As expected, it’s excellent. From the foreword by Mick Foley to the fitness and nutritional recommendations, Positively Unstoppable is jam-packed with useful information that will educate and inspire you to live your best life.

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Live Long And . . .: What I Learned Along the Way by William Shatner

I love William Shatner. He’s a brilliant actor, incredibly funny and an inspiring person because of the longevity and diversity of his career. He’s never slowed down and along the way he’s embodied iconic roles that millions of people know and love. He’s also written numerous books that are charming, humorous, and insightful, including his newest memoir – Live Long and…: What I Learned Along the Way.

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The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Creating a Champion

Dark Horse is back with another beautiful hardcover book celebrating The Legend of Zelda. Entitled Creating a Champion, this oversized tome is the ultimate companion to the award-winning video game The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild and includes material from both of its DLC packs. This book features nearly fifty pages of sketches and official illustrations from Takumi Wada, two-hundred and ninety-six pages of design artwork and commentary about the making of the game from the creators, a fifty-five-page historical section that divulges the history of Hyrule as it is known in-game, and interviews with key members of the development team, including Hidemaro Fujibayashi, Satoru Takizawa, Takumi Wada, and Eiji Aonuma.

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Book Review: Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia

Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia covers the first 30 years of the most well-known video game franchise ever. This book was originally released in Japan three years ago and it is now finally available in an English translation. Unfortunately, it doesn’t cover any Super Mario games beyond it’s original publication date: 2015. So, you’re not going to get any info about Super Mario Odyssey or any other recent titles in this 255-page tome. Another strange omission is there’s no essay from Shigeru Miyamoto, the visionary producer and director of the original Super Mario Bros. game and a constant creative force in the franchise. Instead, we get an introduction by Takashi Tezuka, one of the designers from the original game. Sure, his insight is interesting. But I would have preferred an introduction by Shigeru Miyamoto and an afterword by Takashi Tezuka, since Miyamoto is more important and well known. Aside from these gripes, there’s plenty to enjoy in this book. It covers all of the major games from the original Super Mario Bros to Super Mario 3D World. This beautifully bound book will let you track the evolution of the Goomba, witness the introduction of Yoshi, and relive your favorite levels. It also includes tips to help you find every coin, star, sun, and mushroom, and it even provides explanations for glitches. Overall, Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia is an excellent book that fitingly pays tribute to my favorit video game character of all time. It’s a reminder and celebration of the magical characters and games that only Nintendo can create.

Book Review: The World Of The Rock

DK Publishing is back with another new hardback WWE book: The World of the Rock. Is it worth buying? Below is my video review of this 160-page book, which is available now.

Why Did James Patterson’s BookShots Fail?

On June 7, 2016, I reported that James Patterson, the world’s best-selling author, set out to start a revolution in the publishing industry with the launch of his BookShots line. These bite-sized books were marketed as being 150 pages or less and they were priced at $4.99. Patterson said, at the time, that he had 117 ready to go and planned on releasing 50 in 2016. As of right now, only 66 have been published over the past 16 months and there hasn’t been a new thriller in the line since December 2017’s Avalanche. With all signs pointing to this revolution not succeeding you might be wondering, why didn’t BookShots take off the way James Patterson had hoped? Let’s take a look.

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Book Review: SNES Omnibus Volume 1

The Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES) is my all-time favorite video game console. I have fond memories of playing Ken Griffey Jr. baseball, Donkey Kong Country, Super Mario World, a variety of WWF pro wrestling games, and more. I’d play these games solo, as well as at my cousins’ house during sleepovers or down the shore in the summer. It was a fantastic system, which is why I was eager to check out The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 by Brett Weiss. This beautifully produced hardback book is 416 pages and it’s the first in a two-part series that analyzes all of the games you love or, perhaps, hate from the SNES library. This tome alphabetically covers games A through M and its sequel will be comprised of the rest. At least a page is dedicated to each game, including box art, screenshots, a synopsis, a review excerpt, and insights. It can be read cover to cover or as a reference book where you jump from game to game however you like. I chose to jump around, looking up games I owned and reading about ones I always wanted to play or was curious about. It made for a highly enjoyable read and I plan on revisiting this book many times, as I’m sure you will too. The SNES Omnibus: Volume 1 by Brett Weiss is an excellent tribute to an iconic system and video game library, and I can’t wait to read Volume 2.

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