December 17, 2012
One hobbit to rule them all. At least in the case of box office numbers, there is one hobbit to rule them all. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" made its debut in U.S. cinemas last Friday, and as expected, the film ruled the weekend box office. Coming in just below "The Hobbit" is "Rise of the Guardians," which is now on its fourth week, followed by "Lincoln," which is still going strong on its sixth week. "The Hobbit" has also emerged victorious in the iBookstore Best of 2012 catalog recently released by Apple. The movie's official movie guide, aptly titled "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide," is listed as one of the best multi-touch books made with iBooks Author. Incidentally, "Rise of the Guardians" and "Lincoln" also have their own iBooks tie-ins. And while they're not officially recognized by Apple as two of this year's best iBooks gems, they are nonetheless worthy of consideration. So, for this week's Shelf Control feature, let us consider them alongside the "one iBooks gem to (sort of) rule them all," shall we? Written by Brian Sibley, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide" shows and tells what went on during the production of the first installment of Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit" trilogy. The book includes exclusive interviews with the movie's principal cast, including Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen, and crew, including Jackson himself. The interactive multi-touch book also features illustrations and behind-the-scenes photos of the actors, locations, sets, creatures, and costumes. Viewable in iBooks 3.0 or later on an iPad running iOS 5.1 or later, "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide" is available in the iBookstore for $9.99. For its part, the primary iBookstore entry of "Rise of the Guardians" is "Rise of the Guardians Movie Storybook." Essentially the iBooks version of the native iOS storybook app of the same name, "Rise of the Guardians Movie Storybook" is a retelling of the movie incorporating narration and animation. Enhanced with highlighted read-along text, genuine movie character audio, and page after page of animations, the interactive storybook invites readers to discover the story of Jack Frost and his fellow Guardians. Viewable on iBooks 1.5 or later on an iPhone, iPod touch, or iPad running iOS 5.0 or later, "Rise of the Guardians Movie Storybook" is available in the iBookstore for $3.99. To "discover the story" is also the main invitation of the interactive companion book of "Lincoln," titled "Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film - Discover the Story." Like "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Official Movie Guide," "Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film - Discover the Story" was created using iBooks Author. Unsurprisingly, the book is filled with photos, music, and other types of content, all of which are used to great effect in telling the story of Abraham Lincoln's journey as President of the United States. Viewable in iBooks 3.0 or later on an iPad running iOS 5.1 or later, "Lincoln: A Steven Spielberg Film - Discover the Story" is available in the App Store for free. As a matter of fact, it is the top free book in the Arts & Entertainment category. So, that concludes this week's installment of Shelf Control. I hope you'll have a great time at the movies … without having to leave iBooks. If you have other iOS-exclusive book recommendations, or if you have general suggestions for Shelf Control for that matter, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or simply leave a comment below.