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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: Ian Fleming and James Bond: The Cultural Politics of 007, edited by Edward P. Comentale, Stephen Watt & Skip Willman. On one hand, when you see that this book is a release from the Indiana University Press, you’re going to assume that it’s a very academic look at Bond. And rightly so. But this, compiled from a conference on the subject from 2003, is filled with a variety of essays that with titles like “Lesbian Bondage, or Why Dykes Like 007” and “Why Size Matters” (which probably has the best opening line of an essay ever: “Despite the connotations of my title, this chapter is not about James Bond’s penis”) is still an entertaining read for any fan of Bond, literary or cinematic. (Buy it)

Audiobook of the Week: Busting Vegas: The MIT Whiz Kid Who Brought the Casinos to Their Knees by Ben Mezrich. Semyon Dukach was a guy who came up with a system to smack down the casinos, and as a result, the casinos worked to ban him from their floors. So he and his friends who developed this system moved from place to place, raking in cash. Mezrich’s book (which he reads) details how they were able to legally beat the house and even adapt their technique so that Dukach could do it alone if necessary. This Harper Audio release makes for a good weekend listen. (Buy it)

Boxed Set of the Week: The Motown Box. For those that crave stereo mixes of Motown classics, they’re here in this set–seventy-two tracks across four discs. A lot of them are extended or alternate mixes, but if you want to grab a bunch of these at one go, this is the way to do it: a crapload of Motown classics, with Marvin Gaye, The Four Tops, Martha and the Vandellas, The Temptations, The Supremes, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight and more. (Buy it)

CD of the Week: Mirrormask Soundtrack. As I stated in my review of the film, the score is magnificent. From the closing credits song, written by Gaiman and McKean, “If I Apologised,” to the “Rabbit Band” played during the pop-up book/library sequence, to the cover song that is really just goddamn nightmarish, it’s all here. And it’s all excellent. This release is from La-La Land Records. (Buy it)