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Monitor picks

From the greenest cities in America to Netflix for books, here are five things we think you'll really like.

Courtesy of David Torch/Beggars

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Netflix for books...

Bookswim.com, launched a year ago and still in Beta phase, lets readers dip into its collection of more than 200,000 titles – including hardbacks, which can retail for $20 a pop. Get two books delivered to your doorstep for $15 a month; keep them as long as your like. For $36, hang onto 11 books.

...AND Netflix for books, Part Deux

Before there was BookSwim, there was BooksFree.com. Started in 2000, the service offers over 87,000 paperback titles with monthly plans ranging from $10 to $38. Or, for $25 and up you can also choose from 18,000 audiobooks.

Heavy Metal

Stephen Malkmus is best known as the frontman of Pavement, a California outfit that more or less pioneered today's "indie rock" sound. When the Pavement finally cracked, in the late 1990s, Malkmus moved on to found the Jicks, which recently released its fourth studio album. Real Emotional Trash is big in every way: big vocals, big melodies, and a whole lot of joyous noise. Looking for a pop single? Look elsewhere. But connoisseurs of edgy rock will be right at home.

the atlantic, in 300 words or less

Struggling to find time to wade through a 5,000-word essay on global affairs? Go the easier route, and check out The Current (thecurrent.theatlantic.com), where Atlantic scribes offer their pithy takes on timely topics.

How Green is your city?

The folks over at Popular Science have put together a list called America's Greenest Cities (http://www.popsci.com/environment/article/2008-02/americas-50-greenest-cities), which ranks cities on everything from electricity use to something called "green perspective." Look for your hometown (San Francisco, left, ranks second on the list) or just look for pointers on how to keep your community going green.


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