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Down and Nerdy: 33 1/3 Books and The Andy Rooney Game

IN WHICH books that celebrate records are read and enjoyed, and creative editing to a popular television curmudgeon results in much laughter for some.

Briana's pick: 33 1/3 Books

Truth be told, I seem to READ more about music lately than I LISTEN to it. Weird, huh? One of my favorite music-related reads (and another good gift idea for the music nerd in your life) is the 33 1/3 series of books.

Each book in the series focuses on one album by one artist written by one author. The albums tend to be historically significant (i.e. totally awesome) and are written by authors with varying degrees of accreditation. Some are music critics, some musicians, some are poets, but all are fans. A number of the books include facts and stories about the inspiration behind and making of each album (my friend Dan says he learned more from the 33 1/3 book on Joy Division's "Unknown Pleasures" than in all his years of super-fandom research). Others, like Kate Schatz book on PJ Harvey's "Rid of Me," are several short stories based around lyrics from the album.

The books are cheap too (most are in the $9.00 range) and will look good as a complete set on your book shelf. Some people might even think you're cool for knowing so much about all that music. But let's face it. You are a fact nerd and these little books will give you an insight into the inner workings of some of your favorite music. AND it’s because you're obsessed. Just like me.

Check out the 33 1/3 blog here.

James' pick: The Andy Rooney Game

OK, so file this one under "I don't know why this makes me laugh, and it probably shouldn't, but it does," which, frankly, is a file of mine that has an alarming number of things in it … whatever, anyway, I digress. Here is the premise of The Andy Rooney Game, in its entirety:

Take an Andy Rooney commentary, and remove everything but the first and last sentence.

Yeah, I know, it's stupid. But the results are often really, really funny in that absurd fashion that appeals to me so. A few samples for your enjoyment:

Also, can I take a moment here to express how big of a crush I have on Leslie Stahl? I mean, seriously.

[podcast]http://archive.wfpk.org/Podcasts/20091218-nerdy.mp3[/podcast]