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Weekend Recommendations: Books & Music

Each weekend,’s staff of whackos will wrack our brains to give you interesting and new things to do over the weekend. Books, movies, whatever. We’ll throw them out, you do with them what you will. And hey…if you have something you want to recommend–whatever it is–drop us a line.

Incidentally, we’ve provided links where we can for you to buy the stuff or find out more if you’re interested, courtesy of those Amazon types, in the US, the UK and Canada.

Hey, come on, we can’t be totally selfless in this, can we? Okay, books and music first…

Based on a True Story book cover art Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson audiobook cover art

Book of the Week:Based on a True Story by Jonathan Vankin & John Whalen. If you’re like me, then you watch these biopics and, well, “Based on a true story” flicks and wonder just how “based” they are. Especially the dreaded “Inspired by a…” films. That’s when you really know they’ve left the path and gone bonkers. But in this book, a hundred films are given the once-over, and you find out exactly where film and reality diverge. Or in some cases, adhere to one another. Let’s face it, not every film is going to have a director’s commentary like Ray, so for many others, you get this release from Chicago Review Press. Recommended. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Audiobook of the Week: Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson, performed by Simon Prebble & Stina Nielsen. Well, it’s not unabridged–our preference, of course, always–but it’s here and it’s tasty. It’s a story that reminds me oddly of The Age of Unreason, with its setting in 17th Century Europe and has a hefty slatering of physics, math, history, science and fourteen or so other disciplines. You hop all over the place, with Simon Prebble providing the heavy lifting and character parts, but Nielsen is on hand to read the letters from the character Eliza. Make sure you pay attention, though, since with the CDs it’s easy to zone and harder to go back and re-read. This is from HarperAudio. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Comic Book Artist Collection, Vol. 3 book cover art Sting's Bring on the Night CD cover art

Graphic Collection of the Week: Comic Book Artist Collection, Vol. 3 by Various. TwoMorrows continues to bring the good stuff that nobody else is. Here, issues seven and eight of Comic Book Artist hit, bearing a slew of interviews with creators like Steve Rude, John Byrne, Howard Chaykin, Scott McCloud and more. There’s coverage of both monster comics and indie books, plus the veritable cornucopia of never before seen artwork that you’ve come to expect from these mad geniuses. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Music CD of the Week: Bring on the Night by Sting. I used to like Sting a lot. The Police, of course, and his early solo stuff. Hell, even though Three Penny Opera on Broadway sucked, he was great in the lead role. This two-disc live remastered release from A&M takes me back to when he was still able to kick it to a great degree, before he completely went to the Easy Listening Dark Side. Why? Because with musicians like Branford Marsalis and other jazz monsters backing him up, it’s kinda hard to blow it. “Consider Me Gone” is always a favorite, otherwise check out the “One World/Love is the Seventh Wave” that kicks off the second disc. (Buy it from Amazon.)