Books About The 80s

Here you will discover a large range of nostalgia books about the 80s, to help you rediscover (or discover) what it was like to grow up in the great decade - including memoirs, "Best of", art and factual publications.

Please note that publication dates, formats and cover art shown may vary between the U.S. and UK Amazon websites.

 

80s Kid by Melanie Ashfield

 

80s Kid

A Memoir of Growing Up in the Last Decade Before Technology Took Over

by Melanie Ashfield

Kindle, paperback (178 pages)

First published: June 21 2021

In this brilliantly written memoir, the author takes us on a nostalgic trip back to the tree-lined roads of 1980s suburbia - South Birmingham to be precise. 80s Kid tells the story of a very different time, when a family meal at a Berni Inn, Wimpy birthday parties and 'proper winters' were the norm, and when kids were exploring the great outdoors on their bikes, rather than perusing the internet on their smartphones. 
Melanie's beautifully descriptive and often amusing memories have an amazing clarity, and they will take you right back to your own childhood. This is a thoroughly entertaining read, and most definitely recommended.

Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran: The Second Edition

 

Beautiful Colors: The Posters of Duran Duran

Second Edition

by Andrew Golub

Hardcover (300 pages)

First published: Jan 1 2021

Seven years after the launch of the original book, the 300 page second edition of Beautiful Colors is a luxurious treat for Duranies, featuring expanded content, new packaging and previously unseen posters. The book has received rave reviews by fans, critics and the band themselves, and includes a foreward by band member Nick Rhodes. A lush and colourful history of the band, this is a superb collector's item that no true fan should be without!

Back to the Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook

 

Back to the Future: The Official Hill Valley Cookbook

by Allison and Matt Robicelli

Hardcover (144 pages) published by Insight Editions

First published: Oct 232020

In this very unique cookbook, you'll travel back in time to all of the periods featured in the Back to the Future trilogy, including 1885, 1955, 1985, alternate 1985 and 2015. Impress your friends and family by cooking up an array of awesome gastronomic delights for each year. Featuring full-colour photography, these delightful recipes include hoverboard cookies, McFly family table tuna casserole, The Starlighters baked alaska, and dozens more besides.

Ghostbusters: Artbook by Insight Publications

 

Ghostbusters: Artbook

By Insight Editions

Hardcover (208 pages)

First published: May 26 2020

The Ghostbusters Artbook is a deluxe, hardcover book featuring hundreds of brand new, unique and beautiful art pieces created by amazingly talented artists from animation, comics, fine art, and beyond. This is an ectoplasmic showcase of art inspired by the classic 1984 movie, featuring all of the best-loved characters including the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man, Slimer, Gozer, and, of course, the Ghostbusters team; Venkman, Stantz and Spengler. The perfect gift for fans of the original film and comics.

80s Redux: Your Favorite Musicians Today

 

80s Redux: Your Favorite Musicians Today

By Mike Hipple

Hardcover (144 pages)

First published: Mar 12 2018

In 80s Redux, photographer Mike Hippie uses portraiture and interviews to great effect, enabling the reader to get a real insight into the influential musicians who helped to create the unforgettable sound of the 80s. Who are these musicians and what are they up to now? 40 U.S. artists are featured in this fascinating book, including Lol Tolhurst from the Cure and Cindy Wilson from the B-52s.

A 1980s Childhood: From He-Man to Shell Suits

 

A 1980s Childhood

from He-Man to Shell Suits

by Michael R. Johnson

Paperback or Kindle (192 pages)

* Bestseller on Simplyeighties.com * The curator of DoYouRemember.co.uk has done a sterling job with this fascinating paperback, A 1980s Childhood, which is packed with childhood memories and written in a very amusing style. The 240 pages explore fashion, music, toys and games, famous people, TV and movies, technology, street life, world events and more. Don't expect lots of pictures, but if you want an enjoyable read then this is a must-have! 

The Nostalgia Nerd's Retro Tech: Computer, Consoles & Games (Tech Classics)

 

The Nostalgia Nerd's Retro Tech

Computers, Consoles and Games

by Peter Leigh

Kindle or Hardcover (224 pages)

Revisit the golden age of computer gaming from Atari to the ZX Spectrum. This very popular and highly rated book is essential reading for anyone who is into retro computers and consoles, and the many video games we played on them. Penned by a guy who is extremely passionate and knowledgeable about old technology. 

Chart Watch UK - Hits of 1988 by James Masterson (paperback)

 

Chart Watch UK - Hits of 1988

By James Masterton

Paperback or Kindle edition (411 pages)

A well-researched and comprehensive A-Z of pop acts and hits from 1988, from AC/DC to Yello. This was a year when musical diversity was king, from the goth rock of Sisters of Mercy, to the quirky house music by Two Men, A Drum Machine and a Trumpet. Penned by the longest-serving online music columnist, James Masterton, who runs the website Chart Watch UK, the book has been beautifully written with great enthusiasm, making for an engaging and essential read.

Chart Watch UK - Hits of 1989. Paperback by James Masterson.

 

Chart Watch UK - Hits of 1989

By James Masterton

Paperback or Kindle edition (448 pages) 

A fascinating A-Z of pop artists (from A-ha to Womack and Womack) and their hits from the last year of a truly great decade for music. The author has thoroughly researched each and every artist, and the book includes essential facts on a wide variety of Top 40 hits, including many forgotten gems. Very well-written and the perfect 30th birthday gift.

Best Movies of the 80s by Helen O' Hara - Carlton Books

 

The Best 80s Movies

by Helen O'Hara

Paperback (176 pages)

Helen O'Hara is a film journalist and editor-at-large for the world's best-known movie magazine Empire. She has spent over ten years interviewing Hollywood's A-list movie stars. In this comprehensive guide, Helen takes a nostalgic trip back to the 1980s, which, of course, was one of the best cinematic decades ever! From Aliens to When Harry Met Sally, you'll discover which films have stood the test of time, and which ones most definitely haven't! The book is also packed with stunning photography and film stills, with sections on the brat pack, the muscle men of the 80’s, the Oscar winners and disappointments, and a whole lot more besides!

Pop Stars in My Pantry: A Memoir of Pop Mags and Clubbing in the 1980s

 

Pop Stars In My Pantry

A Memoir Of Pop Mags And Clubbing In The 1980s

by Paul Simper

Aug 2017

Kindle or Hardcover (288 pages)

Paul Simper is a well-known columnist and TV writer who has written for a huge variety of newspapers and magazines over the years, including The Sun, Melody Maker and Cosmopolitan, as well as for TV shows on Channel 4, ITV and BBC2. This memoir is an account of a wet-behind-the-ears lad from Wiltshire who ventured into the big city (London) when the club scene was exploding. The pop writer had access to the biggest pop stars of the 1980s, and once helped Frankie Goes To Hollywood throw furniture through the windows of a TV studio in Rome! This is a hugely entertaining read from a man who saw it all!

100 Haiku for the 80s Generation

 

100 Haiku For The 80s Generation

by Kerrie L. Flanagan and Dean K. Miller

Paperback (92 pages)

For those of you not familiar with haiku, it's a pleasing and very accessible form of Japanese poetry which uses only 17 syllables, and just about anyone can gain enjoyment from it. This is certainly the only book I have seen that covers the 1980s using haiku, and it would make a unique gift for anyone who grew-up in the great decade. Each poem will ignite a memory, transport you back in time, and have you dancing footloose faster than you can say, "where's the beef?"

Your '80s Movie Guide to Better Living: Volume 1

 

Your '80s Movie Guide To Better Living: Volume 1

by Bryan Krull and Evan Crean

Paperback or Kindle

If you believe that all self-help books are pretty much the same, then think again. Here is a self-help book that will challenge your view! This is a light-hearted guide to living a better life, using advice found in the many films from the 1980s - and why not?
For instance, would you like to avoid the dangers of time travel? Maybe you need to deal with life after college or a romance, perhaps? Using this book, you can tackle just about any challenge that life throws at you. Now there's no need to watch every 80s movie available on Netflix to get advice, just read this book instead!
An ideal gift for film fans.

Life Moves Pretty Fast: The Lessons We Learned from Eighties Movies (and Why We Don't Learn Them from Movies Any More)

 

Life Moves Pretty Fast

The Lessons We Learned from 80s Movies

By Hadley Freeman

Paperback, Kindle, Audio

The overly-long full title of this nostalgic paperback is pretty self-explanatory and a very accurate description of what the book is about. This is a highly-rated read by The Guardian newspaper's columnist and staff writer and is essential reading for anyone who has a deep appreciation for 80s films.

80 From the 80s by Lane Myer

 

80 From The 80s

by Lane Myer

Paperback or Kindle (456 pages)

An in-depth look at 80 movies from the decade that brought the cinema into our homes via video tape. This is a very highly-rated, comprehensive and well-researched book with 456 pages of essential info. One of the best titles available on the subject of eighties films.

Electronic Dreams: How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer by Tom Leah

 

Electronic Dreams

How 1980s Britain Learned to Love the Computer

by Tom Lean

Paperback, Hardcover, Kindle, Audio, MP3 CD (288 pages)

Were you one of the many teenagers who learned to program their ZX Spectrum or Commodore 64 back in the day? Or maybe you preferred to type in BASIC code from listings in magazines, or simply played shop bought games which came on cassette.Maybe you owned a BBC Micro or Acorn Electron? This fascinating book covers every aspect of the 1980s computer scene in great depth, and discusses the people who made it happen.

ZX Spectrum: Great Games From A-Z by Carl Stapleton

 

ZX Spectrum: Great Games From A-Z

by Carl Stapleton

Kindle only (84 pages)

Featuring a generous helping of high quality colour screenshots throughout, this intelligently written book discusses the very best games that were available for the Speccy back in the 1980s - from Action Force II to Zynaps.

Your Eighties by Sarah Lewis

 

Your Eighties

by Sarah Lewis

Paperback or Kindle

The second book in the trilogy (the third is yet to be published) is, once again, an enthralling read, and features observations and memories from an author who is a self-confessed eighties obsessive, including short stories and celebrity interviews. An essential read for anyone who grew up in the UK during the 1980s, and very highly rated by its readers.

An Illustrated History of 151 Videogames by Simon Parkin

 

An Illustrated History Of 151 Video Games

by Simon Parkin

Hardcover (256 pages)

Featuring a colossal 1000 images, this fascinating 256 page hardcover book by the award-winning writer Simon Parkin explores five decades of gaming evolution. Essential reading for all fans of retro computer and video games.

My Family Remembers The 1980s by James Nixon

 

The 1980s (My Family Remembers)

by James Nixon

Paperback or Hardcover (32 pages)

Featuring a generous collection of photos, this book examines the contrast in life between the 80s and now, and the author talks to a number of families who lived through the decade. Features lots of interesting and often humorous quotations from the people who were there (which we can all relate to) such as "the computer games we played were very, very basic" - indeed they were!

The Mousse and the Man from the Michelin: My doomed attempt to become a celebrity chef in the 80s by Kent Austin

 

The Mousse And The Man From The Michelin

My Doomed Attempt to Become a Celebrity Chef in the 80s

by Kent Austin

Paperback or Kindle (350 pages)

When, aged 18, Kent Austin quits his dead-end job selling porn magazines to become a chef at an up-market restaurant. In this is very amusing, laugh-out-loud memoir, Kent pokes fun at pretentious chefs and discusses the pleasantries of grappling with the anal cavities of decomposing pheasants, amongst other things!

My 1980s - Childhood Memories: PART 1 by Steve Watson

 

My 1980'S

Childhood Memories Part 1

by Steve Watson

Kindle edition only (201 pages)

This is a heartwarming and honest read from an author that lived and breathed the 80s. There is no sourcing of endless facts from Google or Wikipedia, instead Steve has written everything from his own personal recollections of the great decade. Packed with childhood memories you will relate to, and highly rated by its readers, this is essential reading for anyone who grew up in the eighties.

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s

 

Mad World

An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s.

by Lori Majewski

Paperback (320 pages)

This book tackles a different subject matter to to many of the other 80s nostalgia books on this page. The author celebrates the new wave music phenomenon that took the world by storm back in the day, and includes 35 new interviews with notable artists from the period. Includes a foreward by Duran Duran keyboardist Nick Rhodes. This is an excellent, in-depth and well-written paperback from an author who really knows her stuff.

Diary Of An 80s Computer Geek: A Decade of Micro Computers, Video Games and Cassette Tape by Steven Howlett

 

Diary Of An 80s Computer Geek

A Decade of Micro Computers. Video Games and Cassette Tape

by Stephen Howlett

Paperback or Kindle (108 pages)

In the 70s, the computer was seen mainly in sci-fi movies, expensive offices and science labs. During the 80s, however, companies such as Sinclair and Commodore brought home computing to the masses. This well-written and enjoyable paperback will transport you right back to the golden days of computing.

Memories of an '80s Kid (1980 - 1982)

 

1980 - 1982 Memories Of An '80s Kid

by L. Gilpin

Kindle only (31 pages)

A short but enjoyable read, this kindle book concentrates on the first three years of a truly magical decade; from the start of 1980 to the end of 1982 in the eyes of a preteen girl living in Great Britain.

Bang!: A History of Britain in the 1980s by Graham Stewart

 

Bang! A History Of Britain In The 1980s

by Graham Stewart

Paperback, Hardcover or Kindle (560 pages)

It was the decade that saw the rise of Thatcherism and the fall of industry. This huge, 560 page book covers not just the main political issues, but also many other defining aspects such as alternative comedy. This is a fascinating, well-written and in-depth analysis of the whole decade that will take you right back so vividly you'll think you're still there! 

50 Years of Jackie (Jackie Magazine)

 

50 Years Of Jackie Magazine

The Best Thing for Girls - Next to Boys

Hardcover book (144 pages)

This fabulous book will take you back to a time when Jackie was essential reading for teenage girls across Britain. Including lots of photos from the magazine which was published from the 1960s until the 1990s. There are 144 pages of nostalgic fun, which includes special articles written by many of the original editors who worked on Jackie. Foreward by Jacqueline Wilson.

We Rocked the 80s (1970s The Retro Years Book 3) by Julie Taylor

 

We Rocked The 80'S

(1970s The Retro Years Book 3)

by Julie Taylor

Kindle edition only (34 pages)

This delightful short book is a brief glimpse into memories from 1979 to 1983 from a teenagers point of view. Another highly-rated read by its readers.

The ZX Spectrum Book by Imagine Publishing (111 pages)

 

The ZX Spectrum Book

A Complete Guide to the Classic 1980s Computer by Imagine Publishing - the makers of Retro Gamer

Kindle Only (111 pages)

A comprehensive and stylish book about one of the best-loved home computers from the 1980s. Articles explore the hardware, classic games and the software houses behind them. 

British and European Trucks of the 1980s by Colin Peck

 

British And European Trucks Of The 1980s

by Colin Peck

Paperback (96 pages)

The follow-up to the 1970s paperback by the trucking expert is every bit as good as its predecessor. It features 120 fantastic images and a wealth of comprehensive information about the British trucking industry in the 80s. There is a perfect balance between text and photos. 

1980s Bumper Activity Book: 52 Grown Up Projects That Look Back to the Future

 

1980s Bumper Activity Book

by Mel Elliot

Paperback (144 pages)

52 grown up projects that look back to the future. This 144 page paperback features fun and quirky arts and crafts projects including Wham! glove puppets, paper dolls of 80s stars, how to make a pac-man cake, pong duvet cover and much more. An ideal gift idea.  

The Great British Tuck Shop by Steve Berry and Phil Norman

 

The Great British Tuck Shop

by Steve Berry and Phil Norman

Hardcover or Kindle (384 pages)

A colourful, witty and irreverent encyclopedia of all the sweets and crisps of your youth. From Mojos to Rainbow Drops, Space Raiders to Trios, Corona to Kia Ora and everything in between. Highly rated by readers on Amazon.

Speccy Nation: A tribute to the golden age of British gaming by Dan Whitehead

 

Speccy Nation

A tribute to the golden age of British gaming

by Dan Whitehead

Paperback or Kindle (124 pages)

Written in a humourous style, this 124 page paperback by veteran games journalist Dan Whitehead looks back at fifty fantastic video games that helped to define the ZX Spectrum.

Wired for Sound: Now That's What I Call an Eighties Music Childhood by Tom Bromley

 

Wired For Sound

Now That's What I Call and 80s Childhood

by Tom Bromley

Paperback or Kindle (416 pages)

There is no doubt that the 1980s was the the perfect time to be a teenager, and this 416 page paperback covers the 80s music scene. It's spot on and explains exactly what it was like to grow-up reading Smash Hits, listening to the chart rundown and watching Top of The Pops etc.  

The Eighties: A Bitchen Time To Be a Teenager! by Tom Harvey

 

The Eighties: A Bitchin' Time To Be A Teenager

A memoir by Tom Harvey

Paperback or Kindle

This coming of age memoir by Tom Harvey is amusing, poignant and accurate. In fact, amusing is an understatement, it's damn hilarious! If you want an 80s encyclopedia then look elsewhere, but if you need a very entertaining read that relates to your childhood or teen years, then this is it!

Match: Best of the '80s: With a foreword by Kevin Keegan (Annual)

 

Match: Best Of The 80s

by Match magazine

Hardcover (144 pages)

With a foreword by Kevin Keegan. Take a fond look back through the Match archives at a decade of big football stories, and even bigger mullets! Would you believe that after all these years, Match remains the biggest-selling football magazine in the UK.

TV Cream's Toys: Presents You Pestered Your Parents For by Steve Berry

 

TV Cream - Toys: Presents You Pestered Your Parents For

by Steve Berry

Hardcover or Kindle (288 pages)

Relive the thrill of running down the stairs and heading straight for the Christmas tree to unwrap your presents. The Hardcover version features 300 colour photos of toys you either received or wish you had received. Includes toys from the 60s through to the 90s.

The Best of My Guy Magazine

 

The Best Of My Guy Magazine

by Frank Hopkinson

Hardcover (144 pages)

PA Collection of the Very Best of Everyone's Favourite Photo-Story Magazine. Photo-story magazines were very popular with young girls back in the 70s and 80s, and My Guy used to fly off the shelves! This book features the best photostories featuring many stars before they were famous - including Hugh Grant, Tracey Ullman, Lesley Ash, Alex Kingston and Tony Hadley.