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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. 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.

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

Book of the Week: Super #1 Robot: Japanese Robot Toys, 1972-1982 by Tim Brisko, Matt Alt & Robert Duban. Do you dig Japanese toys? Did you grow up with stuff like Shogun Warriors and Gundam and such? Take a stroll down memory lane with an absolute buttload of pics of ten years of classic imported robot toys. A brief amount of text is included, but after reading that, this Chronicle Books release will have you flipping pages–for every few that make you scratch your head, you’ll be going, “Oh hell, I know that one!” (Buy it)

Audiobook of the Week: Haunted by Chuck Palahniuk, performed by various. A group of folks who want to be writers go on a writer’s retreat but it turns into something sinister and deadly. Whatever: that’s the narrative that binds these stories together…and it’s weak. But the stories themselves are the freaky weird “did I just read that?” Palahniuk we’ve come to love. A full cast takes on the book in this Random House CD release, which is unabridged just like we like it. (Buy it)

Graphic Novel of the Week: The King by Rich Koslowski. This Top Shelf book is a very interesting meditation on faith that’s disguised as a book about The Second Coming of Elvis. When an individual calling himself The King shows up in Vegas and converts the masses to believing that it’s really Him come back for real this time, a former tabloid reporter is called in to make heads or tails of the story for Time Magazine. The story says a great deal about why people feel the need to believe in things with no proof, and why such a thing is even important in this age of science and logic. Definitely worth a read. (Buy it)

Comic Reference Book of the Week: The Justice League Companion. Tired of watching the DCU devolve into a morass of rape, maiming, betrayal and death? Yeah, us too. However, if you want to go back to a time when the books didn’t suck, check out TwoMorrows’ latest Companion book, this one covering the Silver Age JLA. You get the standard-issue impressive array of stuff, including interviews, previously unpublished artwork, cartoon episode guides and an index for the 1960-1972 issues. Fans, and those wishing for a return to quality (or at least sanity), should own. (Buy it)

Comic Book of the Week: Strangehaven #18 by Gary Spencer Millidge. We’re big fans of this book, just because every issue it’s another round of WTF. Alex winds up in the titular town and can’t seem to leave…then doesn’t want to leave. The town is filled with twins, ghosts, High Weird Shit, and a strange secret society…which Alex has now joined. And for your bonus weirdness for the issue…a murder. Maybe. Trust me, it all makes sense when you read it. Mostly. This from Millidge’s own Abiogenesis Press. Check out his website here.

CD of the Week: No Direction Home: Bob Dylan. Give Sony Legacy a ton of credit. Rather than just repurpose stuff that we’ve already got on multiple copies of the man’s greatest hits albums, they’re putting out this Bootleg Series of rare and never before released stuff. This one forms the soundtrack for the Scorsese docu, and it’s twenty-eight tracks across two discs. There’s alternate takes and outtakes, plus “When I Got Troubles,” which is supposed to be the first-ever recorded Dylan track. A no-brainer for the hardcore fan. (Buy it)