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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?

Audiobook of the Week: Cell by Stephen King, performed by Campbell Scott. All of these studies about, well, is it safe or not to have a cell phone up to your head…they’ve left out one important question: will it or won’t it turn me into a raging mindless zombie-like creature that wants to stomp ass? Well, where science leaves off, King picks up the slack, thankfully. For sheer pulp horror-thriller mayhem, you can’t go wrong. And really, after his ballsy end to Dark Tower, he’s earned the right, I would think. This fresh off the audio presses from Simon & Schuster. (Buy it)

Book of the Week: The World of Kong : A Natural History of Skull Island by WETA Workshop. If you’re like me…well, if you’re like me, God help you. But let’s put that aside for a moment. If you’re like me solely in the respect that you dug the Skull Island sequences of Kong but before and after that part your ass fell asleep, this Pocket Book release is right up your ravine. It’s chock full of details and killer art about the island, including sweet bits like a 50-foot aquatic killer called a Piranhadon. And did I mention the art? Dinosaur fans will inhale this readily. (Buy it)

Graphic Novel of the Week: Owly, Vol. 3: Flying Lessons by Andy Runton. This Top Shelf release contains the further adventures of Owly, Wormy, and amigos as they run into another flying critter and learn valuable lessons about friendship. Because the story is told almost 95% in pictures–even the word and thought balloons are filled with graphics and symbols rather than words–it truly is an all-ages book. And, well, if the story and character were any cuter, it would be illegal. (Buy it)

CD of the Week: Nina Simone Sings the Blues. Sorry, but this album has the sincere potential to blow your hat off. From the opening of “Do I Move You?” (“The answer better be…yes!”) to the barn-smoldering rendition she gives of “The House of the Rising Sun” and the finishing salvo of “Whatever I Am (You Made Me),” it’s stacked from end to end. Look for this one from RCA. (Buy it)

Soundtrack of the Week: Sweeney Todd. The Len Cariou/Angela Lansbury original production is obviously a big favorite–big ginormous blood-spattered spectacle that it is. This revival goes in different directions: the ten-person cast is also the orchestra. Patti LuPone’s Mrs. Lovett is less brash and Cerveris’ Todd is much more insular and less bahhhh-in-your-face. That makes it a very interesting listen and, in many ways, a helluva lot creepier. This hits from Nonesuch. (Buy it)

Postcards of the Week: The Art of Pixar. The biggest problem with this release from Chronicle Books is that you’re not going to want to send any of the damn things…because let’s face it: for those of us who couldn’t make it up to the MOMA for the Pixar exhibit, this is at least something to make us feel better. So buy two of the damn things and have one to keep for yourself and one to send to people through the regular post…assuming you still use the regular post. (Buy it)