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Weekend Recommendations: Books & CDs

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.

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.

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

Book of the Week: The Art of Batman Begins by Mark Cotta Vaz. If you dug the movie like we did, then you’ll probably be interested in checking out an absolute crapload of photos, concept art, bits on the history of the character, segments on costume and set design, storyboards, evolution of the Batmobile, and on and on and on. This Chronicle release takes you through everything, including some sweet interviews with folks from behind the scenes. And hey, folks! No nipples or neon! Again, rejoice and hug your families. (Buy it)

Audiobook of the Week: The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova, performed by various. A young woman stumbles upon a story from her father’s past, one that involves her parents, European history, and Dracula…who may still be jaunting around someplace. And if he is, does he want to be found? Three interlocking storylines pepper the book, and are brought to life by some excellent readers, headed up by Joanne Whalley. This abridged release hits from Time-Warner Audiobooks. (Buy it)

Graphic Novel of the Week: Tricked by Alex Robinson. We’ve liked Robinson’s work ever since Box Office Poison. But that’s not news. Everybody who wasn’t on board jumped on board with that release. But here we get another graphic novel that would stop a bullet, as he takes us into the lives of six individuals who have no connection with each other, but the whole while they are hurtling towards a violent point of singularity. If you’re late to the party, check out this Top Shelf release. You won’t be disappointed. (Buy it)

Comic Art Book of the Week: Secrets in the Shadows: The Art and Life of Gene Colan by Tom Field. Colan is a classic artist. If you’re like me, you probably recognize his work best from Marvel’s rendition of Dracula. But after six decades, he’s been all over the place and drawn many, many things. But trust me, you flip through this book and you’ll realize you’re familiar with him, if you’ve been reading comics for any length of time. Like most TwoMorrows releases, this is a motherlode of artwork, talks with other artists on Colan, a new portfolio of collaborations with other artists and extremely rare illos from his early days. You owe this book a place in your comic archives. (Buy it)

CD of the Week: The Best of Shel Silverstein. Silverstein was a twisted genius. If you have any doubts, then pick up this CD. Not only do you get his whimsical stuff for kids like the classic “Sarah Cynthia Sylvia Stout Would Not Take The Garbage Out,” but there’s whacked out songs like “Freakin’ At The Freakers’ Ball” as well. If you’ve only read Silverstein’s work, you’re missing out. And if you can listen to his reading of “Peanut Butter Sandwich” and resist smiling, you’re probably not human. I personally think “Smoke Off” should have been on here as well, but c’est la guerre. This hits from Sony Legacy. (Buy it)