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Weekend Recommendations: Books, Music & More

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…

Firefox Hacks book cover art The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase audiobook cover art Owly: Just a Little Blue book cover art

Book of the Week: Firefox Hacks by Nigel McFarlane. I’m trying to use Firefox as often as possible, though some things I’m stuck with MIE for, for the time being anyway. One thing I like about Firefox is that you can get under the covers with it a lot easier than you can with MIE. There’s things you can do to enhance security, smack up your speed, and more. If you’re like me, and doing stuff like this cranks your tractor, then I strongly suggest grabbing this O’Reilly release. Filled with enough information to make anybody dangerous, and text to keep you out of danger (if you read that far into each hack), it’s chocked full of goodness. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Audiobook of the Week: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: The Tertiary Phase by Douglas Adams, performed by the (mostly) original cast. The third part of the five-part trilogy hit the BBC and now it hits CD in this three-disc set from Audio Partners. Here it’s our heroes trying to stop the lethal armies of Krikkit from, well, being generally lethal about the entire universe. And the audioplay cast is back, including Simon Jones, Mark Wing-Davey, and Stephen Moore (who will always be Marvin, I’m sorry, just deal with it). Also back is the late Douglas himself, as Agrajag. Hellacious fun. Forget the movies and spend your coin on this instead. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Graphic Novel of the Week: Owly: Just a Little Blue by Andy Runton. Cutesy books are a highwire act with us. Because you can very easily fall one way or the other into schmaltz or cheese or both. But Runton creates a story with such adorable characters, that you’d have to put some serious effort into not liking what he’s got going on. Owly and Wormy decide to provide some chow for neighboring birds. However, owls are predators and Owly (though cute enough that he makes A.A. Milne’s Owl look like one of the vultures from Snow White) scares the pants off the birds. How can Wormy and Owly convince the birds they mean them no harm? Thus the plot thickens in this mostly wordless Top Shelf release. Comics for kids of all ages! What a concept. (Buy it from Amazon.)

Case Files: Sam & Twitch #16 comic book cover art Jazz Moods: 'Round Midnight by Aretha Franklin CD cover art Mighty Leaf Tea

Comic Book of the Week: Case Files: Sam & Twitch #16 by Marc Andreyko & E. J. Su. This McFarlane/Image release isn’t exactly strong on dialogue, but that’s not why we picked it this week. We picked it because it’s been too damn long since we saw guys vs. vampires in a Catholic church that used liberal amounts of creativity and humor. Anything can be a weapon in this fight, from the prayer candles to the bigass thing of holy water. And when you see bullets flying along with the undead, dammit, there’s very little wrong with the world at that point, eh?

Music CD of the Week: Jazz Moods: ‘Round Midnight by Aretha Franklin. Ah, Aretha. Excellent. Aretha backed by an orchestra and kicking out some jazz standards? More than excellent, it’s perfect. This Sony Legacy release is from the Jazz Moods line, which we’ve been sprinting through, finding new goodness and rediscovering some favorites. But we went to Aretha first so we could check out “It Will Have to Do Until The Real Thing Comes Along” and “What a Difference a Day Makes,” which we hadn’t heard in way too long. Sure, if you already own all her albums–there’s nothing new on here–but if you don’t and you just need a solid fix, grab it. (Buy it from Amazon.

Drink of the Week: Mighty Leaf Tea. Okay, yes, sometimes even we need a break from full-on caffeinated splendor. And when we do, this will be among the selections on our sizable tea shelf. First up, we dig the mesh bags. That may sound like a nit, but when you’re neurotic and paranoid like me, the last thing you want to drink is tea with objects floating in it. Sure, they look nifty while steeping in a bag, but once they get loose…just say no to gritty tea. These hand-stitched mesh bags don’t let anything through but the taste. And the taste rocks too: our personal favorite is the Chamomile Citrus, which has just about the smoothest bite you could ask for. Perfect blend. We also checked out Orange Dulce as well. Even if you don’t like frou-frou herbal teas, this stuff might make a believer out of you. We’re sold on it.

1 comment

  • Their green tea is also very good. It’s got jasmine in it as well, and it’s very fragrant and tasty.