It sounds like you have a problem with the books' tags. iTunes sees each file--each CD's worth of audio--as a separate item, rather than as part of an "album" of audiobooks.
Select all the tracks of a book, and then press Command-I. If the Info tab isn't selected, click it. Enter the author's name in the Artist field, then the book's name in the Album field. You can enter the author's name in the Album Artist field as well, but that's not necessary. (If you don't, check the box next to that field to clear its contents in case any of the files contain a name in that field.) Click OK, and all the files should be now stored as a single book.
Q: I have a smart playlist that collects my favorite singles from various albums using their star ratings. However, over time, I find myself ignoring the other tunes I have, the ones with three stars or less, which is my default setting. Is there a clever way to collect some of those "side B" songs in a smart playlist or some other list without specifically selecting them beforehand?
Not really, but here's what you can do. Find all the songs you want and add them to a new playlist. Select all the songs, then press Command-I. In the Comments field (see the screenshot above), enter something like Side B.
Next, create a new smart playlist, with the condition Comments contains Side B. This will find all the songs for which you've added that comment.
Q: I've got TV episodes (converted from a Tivo using Tivo Transfer and Roxio Toast) that have filenames in the format of "Series Name [XX]," where XX is just an incremental number added by the conversion process. However in iTunes they have Name, Show, Season, and Episode Number tags. Is there any way to get the files renamed with those tags so that I know which one is which when viewed in the Finder? I want to archive them outside of iTunes and be able to identify them. Something in the format of "Show.S1E5.Name.m4v"
Yes, Doug Adams' File Renamer AppleScript applet (donation requested) can name files using tags they contain. It's highly customizable, so you can choose which tags you want to use in filenames and in which order.
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