Monitor picks

Judy, Judy, Judy

Zing went the heartstrings of Judy Garland fans everywhere when this latest compilation of their girl's top 20 songs came out on CD last month. The Essential Judy Garland, a collection of hits from her so-called golden era, a decade of recording with Capitol Records (1955-65), is the perfect summer beach companion. Oh, Judy! You intoxicate our souls with your songs.

Chipping in for a good cause

Golfer Phil Mickelson may always be remembered for his collapse at this year's US Open, but he should also be known for his generosity. For every birdie and eagle he makes, his Birdies for the Brave program contributes education funds for children of fallen servicemen and helps make homes of disabled veterans more accessible. Donate at birdiesforthebrave.org

Natural born storyteller

One of Hollywood's most prolific character actors finally gets his own leading role in Stephen Tobolowsky's Birthday Party. Tobolowsky, a recognizable face from "Groundhog Day" and "Seinfeld," is a raconteur by nature, and this documentary DVD films him telling stories to a rapt group of friends. With wit and wisdom, the actor recounts being held hostage by a gunman in a supermarket and why he failed his audition as Ronald McDonald. Bet he gets invited to plenty of cocktail parties.

New Yorke

Thom Yorke's first solo album outside Radiohead, titled The Eraser, boasts furrowed-brow lyrics – seemingly designed to trigger late-night contemplation – and Yorke's most beautiful singing yet. Album highlight "Harrowdown Hill" questions the mysterious death of Dr. David Kelly, the former United Nations weapons inspector whose findings in Iraq sparked a political scandal in England. Talk about intellectual electronica!

Dog-day travel

Man's best friend has also become man's favorite travel companion. The 3rd edition of Drive I-95 (available at driveI95.com) helps vacationers find Fido-friendly places to stay along the East Coast's biggest thoroughfare. It's also pretty good at helping two-leggers with things like gas, radio stations, and restaurants. Woof!

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