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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…

Book of the Week: Runny Babbit: A Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein. Truly a billy sook, perfect for screwing with kids about spelling. It’s a cute affair, filled with Silverstein’s wonderful illustrations of new friends Runny Babbit, Toe Jurtle, Goctor Doose, Ploppy Sig, and others. The book was twenty years in the making apparently, and was finished before he died back in 1999. Runny has several adventures in individual poems, including learning to knit, learning to climb a tree, and learning to share (chicken pox). Great for Silverstein fans (which should be everybody), it’s from Harper Collins. (US)(UK)(CAN)

Audiobook of the Week: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling, performed by Jim Dale. Yeah, you knew this was coming, didn’t you? Jim Dale rocks the house. It’s a simple as that. He’s hands down one of the best audiobook readers we’ve ever come across, because he establishes voices for every character (and seriously, every character) and then remains consistent, even though by now he’s read hours and hours of Rowling’s stuff. This sixth performance is just as solid as all the rest, taking us through year six of the Potter saga. And incidentally, we love Stephen Fry, but his readings just bore us to tears. UK readers should nab this instead of your “Region 2” version. This is from Random House Audio.

Graphic Novel of the Week: Cryptozoo Crew, Vol. 1 by Jerry Carr & Allan Gross. As we’ve discussed before, this series is a helluva lot of fun. Tork and Tara Darwyn are cryptozoologists, and here we get a number of their adventures, including a search for skunk apes, the yeti, and an encounter with lots of monkeys that explains why they’re hanging around all the time. This is the series so far collected in one sweet trade from NBM, and it’s an absolute hoot. Lots of puns, though. Bad puns. But we like those.
(Note: Amazon shows this streeting in September, so here’s the page where you can order it directly from the NBM website. Go nuts.)

CDs of the Week: Motown, Remixed and Unmixed. Well, if you like new school remixes of old school songs, here’s a release for you. And if you are a purist who thinks these young whippersnappers with their house beats and all that shite can go jump, then here’s a release for you as well. Remixes of such classics as Gladys Knight’s version of “I Heard It Through the Grapevine,” Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered…” and the Temptations’ “Just My Imagination” are given new spins. And then the Unmixed disc has all the original versions, though most of you probably already own them in some form or another. Don’t you? Both of these releases are from Motown. Surprise.
Remixed: (US)(UK)(CAN)
Unmixed: (US)(UK)(CAN)