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Weekend Recommendations: Books

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?

Art Book of the Week: The Art of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire, edited by Brian Wood. If you haven’t read this series, then what the hell is wrong with you? Book Four is out…rejoice. And for those who have already inhaled the book and are now jonesing for Book Five, then Fantasy Flight Games has a nifty little hardcover that might help tide you over. For a few days at least. Included are a crapload of mostly excellent works of art spotlighting all the various locales and characters that make up Martin’s saga. I recognized John Howe and Charles Vess, but there’s plenty of different artists on display here, with the badass cover pic of Joffrey on the Iron Throne just the beginning. The comic strips in the back are a nice dessert treat as well. (Buy it)

Biography of the Week: Cary Grant by Marc Eliot. Cary Grant was one of the coolest men to ever live. It’s just that simple. And this biography, released in paperback by Three Rivers Press, does nothing to dispel the coolness. If anything it helps you understand what was going on under the cool: his childhood, his relationships, and the turmoil. His progression from Archibald Leash to Grant is a fascinating one and one that, once you’ve finished the tale, will simply endear him to you more. Excellent read for fans. (Buy it)

Book of the Week: How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker: The Wisdom of Dickie Richard by Penn Jillette & Mickey D. Lynn. Chazzie-nominated author Penn is back with a book that’s not really a how-to but instead a “life and times” of an accomplished card cheat. Sure there’s some advice in here, but for the most part this St. Martin’s release is a bio of a guy whose name has been changed to protect the guilty, and how he shafts people any way he can. Though there’s plenty of pointers for the bastards among you. (Buy it)

Comic Reference Book of the Week: The THUNDER Agents Companion, edited by Jon B. Cooke. This spy/superhero hybrid has probably gotten missed by a lot of folks my age. Think of it as Stormwatch: Team Achilles’ grandfather. The book is from TwoMorrows, so it’s everything you would expect: everything you’d want to know about the Wally Wood-created group, from interviews with the creative team’s members, unpublished stories, gobs of artwork and more. Catch it now before an upcoming issue of Infinite Crisis has them all revealed to be raving lunatics who shoot at puppies. (Buy it)