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Recommendations: Books & Music

Audiobook of the Week: Mirrormask by Neil Gaiman, performed by Stephanie Leonidas. The DVD hits soon, and you should definitely catch it because the movie is sweet. In the meantime, this fantasy movie about the girl raised in a circus who’s fed the hell up with a fantasy life gets novelized for kids, then gets read by the lead actress as her character Helena. This hits from Harper Audio. (Buy it)

Book of the Week: Aussiewood: Australia’s Leading Actors and Directors Tell How They Conquered Hollywood by Michaela Boland and Michael Bodey. If you like your actors from down under–and seriously, with names like Geoffrey Rush, Nicole Kidman, Frances O’Connor and Heath Ledger on the bill, not sure how you can’t appreciate that goodness–then this is the book for you. Released from Allen & Unwin, it features the stories behind how they made it to where they are today. Interesting cinema reading. (Buy it)

Comic Reference Book of the Week: The Titans Companion by Glen Cadigan. When you want reference books for comics, TwoMorrows is the place to go. Hands down. This time, for the 25th anniversary of the New Teen Titans, you get a look back at the Titans, from the original Teen Titans all the way up through Team Titans. There’s a Volume 2 coming to handle the rest. In the meantime, check out scads of rare artwork, and hey–Geoff Johns takes time off from crippling the DCU to write an intro. Maybe some creativity was saved as a result–bonus! (Buy it)

High Weirdness Books of the Week: History: Fiction or Science? by Anatoly T. Fomenko. This series, of which two volumes are out, was written by a Russian mathematician, and he proposes a new idea of the historical timeline that will blow your wig right off. There were no “Dark Ages.” Not really. Christ was actually born in 1053 C.E. And the reason why history is so long and drawn out is because nation-states made up their own histories and it was simply accepted as fact. We term this as “High Weirdness” not as a slight, because we love this stuff. Charles Fort is one of our wacky heroes. So if you really want to bend your mind around some new theories of history, give it a go. These books are thick, though. You’ve been warned. (Buy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2)

CD of the Week: Sliver: The Best of the Box by Nirvana. If your love of Nirvana is moderate, as opposed to manic, then you might opt for this instead of the mondo CD/DVD boxed set thingamabob. For the most part, this Geffen release has some sweet unreleased and demo material, although a couple of the home demos are of such quality (coupled with Cobain’s screams) to make you want to claw your own face off. But if you can get past those, “Old Age” and a solo acoustic of “Lithium,” for example, are pretty choice. (Buy it)

Soundtrack of the Week: The Matador. It’s a shame that Pierce Brosnan had to play Bond in non-Bond movies, because God knows the Broccoli clan didn’t give him anything to do in the real Bond flicks. Thomas Crown Affair, anyone? Anyway, this time around he smacks around that secret agent image of himself with the excellent Greg Kinnear along for the ride. It’s backed with this choice soundtrack, featuring The Jam, The Cramps, Asia, and more. This hits from Superb Records. (Buy it)