The Thin Man, Dashiell Hammett.
The last novel published by Dashiell Hammett, The Thin Man gave rise to a media phenomenon including movies, tv shows, and more. For a GM, The Thin Man shows how a mystery can be structured as well as providing key insights to classic whodunit scenes that Hammett mastered. The mystery itself is layered under a comedy of manners populated with interesting characters including Nick & Nora Charles who became icons of the genre itself. While Sam Spade is more widely recognized, Nick & Nora are more beloved for a very good reason.
We’re With Nobody, Alan Huffman & Michael Rejebian
This first hand look at political opposition research reveals a fascinating story of how “the sausage is actually made.” Moreover, it is chock full of little details that can help a GM bring a political or intrigue story to life. If you are considering running a game or campaign where political intrigue, machinations, and the mysteries surrounding politicians play a role, this book is something to provide you with an invaluable reference of how the craft of opposition research is practiced as well as the sorts of things that can be uncovered.
This Land is Their Land, Barbara Ehrenreich
While a lot of people like to claim we currently live in a futuristic dystopia without the “cool” trappings, Barabara Ehrenreich has been reporting on and describing the situation on the ground for decades. Best described as a social critic with a satiric and biting wit, This Land is Their Land is a collection of essays and writings rooted in observing the divided nation in last half of the first decade of this millennium. If you want to get into the mindset of the working class facing an uphill battle or unfair standards or to understand the undercurrent of a disaffected population’s critiques of an exploitive system, This Land is Their Land will provide that with an unflinching eye.
The Necronomicon Don’t use this book as a real thing but it is cool to grab lots of crazy magical things. Be it for the bad guys for an NPC. There are “Magical” sigils and incantations spread throughout the text.
The Villain’s Guide to Better Living This is a very fun and cute way of looking at villains and the ways that they work and how you can see and mess with all the tropes. Or how you can lean into them hard.
The Action Hero’s Handbook This book is a bit of a guide for being an action hero. It includes fun stuff like how to beat up a shark and how to jump off a moving train. As a GM you could have the villian do things like this to get away from the PC’s.
The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook This book is a hilarious yet practical guide to survival in the most strangest of circumstances. From fighting off a shark to surviving an avalanche, this book details how to survive extreme situations. No secret agent gadgets or ultimate survival training needed.
Way of the House Husband The way of the house husband is the same as the way of the Yakuza. Tatsu gives up his life as the “Immortal Dragon” to become a house husband. But it’s hard to shake old habits and mannerisms. Everything from exercise to housecleaning is tackled with single minded determination, and thinly (and not so thinly) veiled references
Bach, Beethoven and the Boys: Music History as it Ought to be Taught This book combines humor of the punny and absurd with the often dry and ironically lifeless history of music. Shows that sometimes world building doesn’t always need to be bereft of humor. Imagine what the history books would be like if Mel Brooks wrote em 🙂
Extra Credit Book-
Consent in Gaming Because you should always have safety tools in games.
Previous Books & GM Library Episodes:
Episode 114 (Also includes Movies & TV Shows)
Sphere, What If?, The Complete Sonnets and Poems of William Shakespeare,
The Gazetteer Writer’s Manual, Norse Mythology, The Once and Future King, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind: Watercolor Impressions: Armegeddonquest, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead, Pinnochio, Vampire Slayer, Tension City, Trouble for Trumpets,
Dragonlance Chronicles, Shaken and Neat, SlaughterHouse 5, Eastern Philosophy, Imajica, Philip K Dick Reader, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail 72, The Poetics
Art of War, Classical Western Myth, Art Books, Bad Ass, The Thing Explainer, Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes
Frankenstein, Far Eastern Myth, Dune, Stephen King, Hitchhikers Guide, Big Sleep, Extra Credits, Fables, Book of Fables
Zendead – Moon Knight– Ok I know it is just starting but it is really cool between the
visuals and the presentation of things in the world of Moon Knight and Oscar Issacs
seems to be doing a really good job with this version of the character.
Joules – Elden Ring. Probably the best FromSoft game to date. (or 2nd best… Bloodborne is still awesome) The music, the scenery and how open world is handled is simply breathtaking
Guard-a-Manger – Teen Titans. HBOMax has the Teen Titans cartoon that gave rise to their resurgence. Teen Titans GO is fun and quick, but it only works 100% if you’ve seen the strong characterization and narrative skill of the Teen Titans cartoon.
Music is courtesy of Sim on Twitter you can find him at @TheSimulacrae
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