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For Your Consideration 

NBA Playoffs, Daily Rituals and a tribute to John Denver

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If you missed the regular season, don’t worry — the real action is now, during the two months of the NBA Playoffs. Already, the story lines are stacking up — the Lakers’ epic fail, LeBron’s quest for a repeat, the rise of Steph Curry, Golden State’s amazing sharpshooter. (Zags fans remember him.) With giant egos, huge contracts and natty suits, it’s a lot like a soap opera for dudes. Oh yeah, and there’s dunking, too. To make sense of it all, tune into the post-game show on TNT featuring Charles Barkley. Never at a loss for words, Sir Charles now has Shaquille O’Neal to spar with on set. They were some great ballers, but they might be better comedians.

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Where do books come from? From blogs, of course! And here’s another one, this time from Mason Currey, who spent two years looking into the processes of some of his favorite artists and thinkers and then blogging about them. Now he’s collected — and expanded — on those posts in the clever little book Daily Rituals. You’ll be surprised how many great artists were drunk or high on amphetamines. And there are oddities, like Victor Hugo, who started each day with an icy bath and two raw eggs. But more led surprisingly pedestrian lives. The chapters are short — vignettes, really — making for a casual read, perfect for procrastinating in between your own bursts of actual work.

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Used to be you had to apologize for admitting you loved John Denver — “No, really, he’s awesome if you just give him a chance!” Apparently a lot of music’s hipster class is ready to stop apologizing with the new John Denver tribute album, The Music is You. I saw John Denver live in Riverfront Park; he died in a plane crash not long after that — loved that show! He made it cool to be sentimental. Old Crow Medicine Show, Train and Josh Ritter all offer up their tributes here, but My Morning Jacket’s take on “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane” is a highlight, sweet and slow. Allen Stone’s “Rocky Mountain High” will just make you miss him even more.

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