Apparently this week is "awesome book week" because three of our picks come from trees, while another is based on a book. Okay, it's possible we're just attempting to show off the fact that we have the ability to read, but even so, a book from our last president, a comic collection from one of the best in the business and a new novel from one of New York's most beloved authors round out our picks for this week.
5. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (DVD, Blu-Ray)
Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is by all accounts a clear example of the fact that geeks are slowly taking over the world. Based on a comic book by the same name, the movie combines video game references and flashy music-video jump cuts to create one of the most enjoyable movies of the year. Sure, it's not bound for the Oscars for being heartbreaking or beautiful, but sometimes good old-fashioned movie fun is all we really want. A nice bonus for Xbox owners too -- the game based on the movie is on sale for $5 (400 MS Points) this week.
4. Decision Points by George W. Bush
Regardless of your political stance, Dubya's new Decision Points is going to provide insight into the madness. There are a lot of interesting revelations throughout the book, from the fact that he considered firing Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld to his lack of regret for the use of waterboarding. Hell, he even considered not asking Dick Cheney to return on the his second bid on the White House. Oh, and let's not forget his claim that the most painful moment of his presidency was when Kanye West said that he "doesn't care about black people."
3. The Sly Collection (PS3)
Unlike other media, video games aren't archived well. While you can pick up nearly any album ever even if it was released only on 8-track, on modern formats, video games don't always have that luxury. Case in point: The Sly Cooper games were originally released on the PS2. Eight years after their initial release they're still a blast to play. Platforming, sneaking and high-end heists don't get much better than this.
2. Sunset Park by Paul Auster
Paul Auster is one of very few literary novelists that get it: Books can have a sense of humor and still be literary fiction. That isn't to say that Sunset Park is a funny book -- it isn't. Or at least it's not about being funny. Funny things happen. The premise is kind of funny. But more importantly, it feels human. It's a book that feels like a New York story without feeling like you've read it before. Four misfits attempt to find themselves while squatting in an abandoned house. Simple enough -- but the way Auster weaves the story, it reads like nothing else before it.
1. Acme Novelty Library #20 by Chris Ware
Chris Ware is, by many accounts, one of the most interesting graphic novelists working in the field today. His stories aren't about superheroes or fantasies or science fiction, they're about people -- or at least they're kind of about people. Similar to the likes of Charles Burns or Seth, Ware's art and narrative style are based on the comics of the past, but comprise stories of the present. They're also, without a doubt, the most beautifully packaged pieces of art you'll ever find in a bookstore.