ABC’s Gift Ideas: Sports, Street Art, Tattoo

The gift-giving season is upon us – hooray!

The ABC Staff has rummaged through their sections and order lists, and come up with another year’s worth of wonderful gift ideas for you: from fiction to history to cookbooks to children’s books to travel to non-books and onwards.

In a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month, you will find what we think will make great gifts, whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas or just like giving books to people. And since we’re a bookstore, these posts will be alphabetical by subject. 🙂

Today you’ll find gift ideas for Sports, Street Art and Tattoo as picked out by section buyers Martijn and Paul. Bear in mind that this is just the tip of the iceberg – come to either one of our stores to browse many, many more titles in any of these subjects.

We are ready as ever to be your personal shoppers again this year, and hope you will find our selections useful and inspiring!

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit pas 2013), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


Running with the Mind of Meditation: Lessons for Training Body and Mind – Sakyong Mipham

As a Tibetan lama and leader of Shambhala (an international community of 165 meditation centers), Sakyong Mipham has found physical activity to be essential for spiritual well-being. He’s been trained in horsemanship and martial arts but has a special love for running. Here he incorporates his spiritual practice with running, presenting basic meditation instruction and fundamental principles he has developed. Even though both activities can be complicated, the lessons here are simple and designed to show how the melding of internal practice with physical movement can be used by anyone – regardless of age, spiritual background, or ability – to benefit body and soul

Ebook available here.

Stillness and Speed – Dennis Bergkamp

Viewed by many as one of the most influential figures in Premier League history, and scorer of the goal that Arsenal fans voted the best in the club’s history, Dennis Bergkamp is a true giant of the game. Few footballers’ books make you think anew, but in Stillness and Speed Bergkamp presents a new vision for the game and how it might be played. He was a player like no other; his story is told like no other. It is a book that will inspire football fans everywhere, whatever their allegiance.

Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success – Phil Jackson & Hugh Delahanty

During his storied career as head coach of the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, Phil Jackson won more championships than any coach in the history of professional sports. Even more importantly, he succeeded in never wavering from coaching his way, from a place of deep values. Jackson was tagged as the “Zen master” half in jest by sportswriters, but the nickname speaks to an important truth: this is a coach who inspired, not goaded; who led by awakening and challenging the better angels of his players’ nature, not their egos, fear, or greed.

Street Art

Painter – Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman

Niels ‘Shoe’ Meulman graced ABC Amsterdam once again with his presence this summer.  A video of one of his calligraffiti pieces can be seen here.

Niels Shoe Meulman revolutionized the art of writing with Calligraffiti, an art form that fuses calligraphy and graffiti. He launched this movement in 2007 with a successful solo exhibition in Amsterdam. Since then, his Calligraffiti pieces (signed NSM) have been shown in various international exhibitions and are part of several museum collections. His recent painting style can be described as Abstract Expressionism with a calligraphic origin.

Giant: Eternal – Mike ‘Giant’ Lesage & Roger Gastman

International icon of black ink, artist Michael (GIANT) LeSage incorporates a broad swathe of influences and skills in the creation of a singular, unmistakable aesthetic. Mike’s central practice, drawing, is informed by his training in architectural drafting, his illustrious career as a tattooist and worldwide exploits writing on walls. In his latest and most complete monograph, the reader will enjoy photos of perfectly executed tattoos, page after page of Mike’s inscrutable tattoo flash, hand lettering nonpareil, and tons of drawings, graffiti pieces and action shots. GIANT’s worldwide travels – inking people, places and finer drawing paper around the world from Amsterdam to London, Thailand, Toronto, New York and back home to San Francisco are also given due prominence. Buddhism, track bikes, designing for apparel brand Rebel8, and painting fill Lesage’s hours, but at the end of the day, it all comes full circle, back to his unwaveringly mindful solid black lines.

Mission Miami: Art4space Project – Dimitri Salmon

Invader is an internationally recognized French artist, known for his placement of mosaics inspired by the 1970s computer game Space Invaders. This book charts just a part of Invader’s project – started over a decade ago – which has spread to more than 40 cities around the world, including London, Paris, Berlin, Cologne, Amsterdam, Brussels, Sao Paolo, Mombasa, Bilbao, Los Angeles, Manchester, Istanbul, Vienna, Newcastle, Tokyo, Bangkok and Melbourne. Exploring the nature of a discreet invasion of the urban landscape, this publication is a fascinating and meticulous documentation of a phenomenon of international proportions. It includes extensive photography of mosaics and surrounding areas. Highlights include several anecdotes about the mosaics by the artist himself as well as other projects that happened in Paris. This guide relates to the ‘invasion of Miami’ and ‘Art4Space’. Made by the artist himself, this book presents the two waves of the Invasion of Miami compiling pictures of all the mosaics he put in the city landscape, locations maps, and a great many stories about this journey.


Forever: The New Tattoo – R. Klanten, R. & F. Schulze

Tattoos now have mass appeal, but beyond the mainstream, a new tattoo underground has developed. It is as innovative, diverse, inspiring, and controversial as the motifs it creates. Forever is a stunning documentation of this dynamic current scene.

Forever showcases key tattoo innovators and a broad range of fresh styles. The book explores how today’s tattoo culture is strongly influenced by art, fashion, and contemporary visual culture as well as traditional tattoo art—often in surprising ways.

Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia Postcards – Danzig Baldaev & Sergei Vasiliev

This beautifully produced boxed set of 53 postcards contains stunning images from the bestselling Russian Criminal Tattoo Encyclopaedia series of books. These hugely popular and influential books document the Russian criminal tattoo, revealing its hidden meanings. The motifs depicted represent the uncensored lives of the criminal classes, whose tattoos were a secret tribal language, a method of showing status within the prison system. By turn they are extraordinary, artful, explicit and sometimes just strange, reflecting as they do the lives and traditions of this previously hidden world.

Oriental Tattoo Art: Contemporary Chinese and Japanese Tattoo Masters – Du Ying

Oriental Tattoo Art explores how traditions going back thousands of years have directly informed the development of the prevailing aesthetics in the East. Twenty contemporary artists from China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan talk about their understanding of and practice within the tattoo realm and their finished masterpieces feature prominently. Tattooed sleeves and suits are a mainstay as are traditional motifs, including dragons, chrysanthemum flowers, koi, and dramatic landscapes and natural scenes. Historically, tribal, religious and sacrificial motivations informed the earliest tattoos in the Orient, but over time these influences have developed into a fascinating modern discipline.