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Headsup: We Love Lucy And Several Audiobooks

An ongoing attempt to make sense of the onslaught of new swag that people want you to buy. Should you? I’ll try and help.

I Love Lucy: The Complete Series DVD cover art

First up, a boxed set that fills me with untold amounts of glee. It’s I Love Lucy. And if you don’t love Lucy, then I highly recommend ECT as soon as possible, because you’ve got some serious issues. And did I say it was all of Lucy? Because it is. Thirty-four freaking discs of the entirety of the run. Nine seasons. Close to 200 episodes. Now, some people are going to get upset because they bought all the season releases only to find this huge set from Paramount with all of that and a bag of chips–and they are now devoid of chips. But those people are probably surprised when the sun goes down each night as well. The new special features on this set include the I Love Lucy: The Movie with never before seen scenes, I Love Lucy at the 1954 Emmys, highlights of the 1949 first joint television appearance of Lucy and Desi, and more. My favorite bit is that they’ve recreated an episode of I Love Lucy that was broadcast in color but the color version wasn’t extant–so based on color photos, they’ve gotten the episode colorized to match what it would have looked like had you seen the episode at the time–nifty. Make no mistake, it’s not cheap–Amazon lists it as $190 as I write this–but it’s worth every penny. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline Audiobook Cover Art
Devil's Corner by Lisa Scottoline Audiobook Cover Art
Dirty Blonde by Lisa Scottoline Audiobook Cover Art

These three releases are out from Harper Audio, and I believe they’ve been re-released (at a reduced price) due to Edgar Award winning Lisa Scottoline‘s latest book, Lady Killer, hitting just this past month. A former lawyer she’s written these thrillers that have as their protagonists a female judge, a female prosecuting attorney and a female law professor. I know, that’s a huge surprise. Next thing you know I’ll break the news to you that Stephen King writes a lot of stories featuring writers. Each of these are abridged and clock in at six hours a piece (five discs a piece as well), so they’re quickie listens if you’re into that particular type of book: the sort of thing you buy to read on the beach somewhere. (Click here to buy Lisa Scottoline stuff from Amazon.)

Juno Soundtrack CD Cover Art
TwoMorrows Rough Stuff #7 Cover Art

Well, every so often a smaller film like Juno gets Oscar consideration and when it does, we should all sit up and take notice, because for one of these smaller films to get enough inertia to break through and be undeniably one of the best films of the year (so that not even the Academy can deny it), that’s saying something. Also saying something is the excellent soundtrack out from Rhino. Music is important to the film, so if you liked the film, you’re going to love this: music from The Kinks, Buddy Holly, Belle & Sebastian, Cat Power, The Moldy Peaches and lots more. As I write this, it’s less than $10 on Amazon. How can you miss with it? Answer: you cannot. P.S. Is it cool as shit that Kitty Pryde is nominated for an Oscar, or what? Click here to buy it from Amazon.

Also, since we’re talking a slight tangent into comicsville, there’s nobody we like tangenting that way with better than TwoMorrows. Here’s the latest issue of Rough Stuff (#7, the winter issue), and if you’re an aspiring comic book artist (or just like seeing the behind the scenes stuff like myself–I can’t even draw a freaking straight line–with a ruler!) then this is a no-brainer. Dan Jurgens provides commentary for a bunch of his work, both finished and unfinished. Also on hand are Sandy Plunkett, Chris Samnee, an interview with Marie Severin, an interview with Tim Townsend, and more. (Click here to purchase via TwoMorrows.)

The Devil's Bones by Jefferson Bass Audiobook Cover Art
Gang Leader For a Day by Sudhir Venkatesh Audiobook Cover Art
Atomic Lobster by Tim Dorsey Audiobook Cover Art

Definition of a sweet gig: you’ve got a profession that you and a co-writer can write up in a non-fiction book. Then go and take the same ideas and turn them into crime thriller fiction. Then you write sequels to both. Rinse and repeat. Nice, huh? Well, that’s the deal with Dr. Bill Bass, founder of The Body Farm–where they let corpses rot in order to study how the process works. Jon Jefferson is his co-conspirator and they write together as Jefferson Bass. It’s sort of like a literary Voltron but with only two people involved. This latest book, The Devil’s Bones, deals with a forensic anthropologist trying to unravel the story behind the burnt corpse of a woman. If a crime thriller written by two guys who know what they’re talking about appeals to you, you might want to give this a listen. Abridged, it’s six hours of listening across five discs, performed by Tom McKeon. From Harper Audio. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

We dig Freakonomics. In fact, we gave it a Chazzie a couple of years back. One of the stories that sticks with you once you’ve read that book is a young sociologist who got inside a gang of crack dealers and got them to open up their books and doors to him. So consider Gang Leader for a Day a spinoff, if you will. Sudhir Venkatesh was that sociologist, and here he tells the full story about what he learned once he got inside this gang. Fascinating stuff. If you liked Freakonomics, you’re going to want to snag this. This one is unabridged, clocks in at eight and a half hours across seven discs, and is read by Reg Rogers with bits read by Venkatesh himself and a foreword read by Freakonomics co-author Stephen J. Dubner. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

How could we not feature an audiobook with a name like Atomic Lobster? Sadly, it’s not a giant lobster attacking Florida story, but it’s the next best thing: a crime caper story featuring Tim Dorsey’s mad protagonist, Serge A. Storms. If you’d like to know more about Serge, check out his non-blog. NSFW potential there, BTW. Anyway, take psychological conditions, mix in murder, drugs, smuggling, the elderly, killers, and comedy, and you’ve got a nice cocktail. Fans of Dorsey’s or twisted crime humor will want to give this a listen. Also from Harper Audio–unabridged, ten hours across nine discs. Read by Oliver Wyman. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Darjeeling Limited DVD Cover Art
Dedication DVD Cover Art

It’s no secret that I was a bit heartbroken after the mess that was Life Aquatic. I know, I know. A lot of you folks out there dug the hell out of it and more power to you. But I’m looking forward to this new Wes Anderson film, The Darjeeling Limited, which streets February 26th. Veterans Owen Wilson and Jason Schwartzman are joined by Adrien Brody as they trek through India in search of their estranged mother (Anjelica Huston). Another askew family comedy that leans more towards Royal Tenenbaums than Aquatic? Count me in. This release from Fox will sport alternate scenes, deleted scenes, behind the scenes stuff, and “Hotel Chevalier,” a bonus short starring Schwartzman and Natalie Portman which is a prologue to the film. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)

Now you might asking: Widge, a Mandy Moore film? Huh? Well, granted, but it first drew our attention because it has Needcoffee faves Billy Crudup and Tom Wilkinson. Not to mention Dianne Wiest and Bob Balaban. And they’ve got to eat. But upon further reflection, we saw that Dedication is by Justin Theroux (cousin of Louis, yes) and it’s a dark comedy about a children’s author (Crudup) having to deal with a new illustrator (Moore) for his latest book in order to meet his latest deadline from the publisher. So it’s not your typical Moore flick, for which we are grateful. This is out from The Weinstein Company in a bare bones release. (Click here to buy it from Amazon.)