In the second week of October, the entertainment folks have apparently come back from peeping the leaves, and are refreshed with a veritable grab bag of options. Lil Wayne wants to remind you he’s human (or actually that he’s not) with a new album recorded just before ducking into jail. Meanwhile, both the Dalai Lama and Russell Brand come out with their latest outlining of their philosophical outlooks. There’s even the latest from the writer of The Reader. So, without further ado:
Ethiopian-born Chicagoan Dinaw Mengenstu has earned a reputation among the literary world as one of the more intriguing and innovative novelists on the rise. How To Read the Air — a book Publishers Weekly called “elegant and unusual” in a rave review — should do nothing to impede his ascendancy as the author tells the story of a man and woman at a dinner party weaving well-crafted lies about the latter’s father. For fans of Junot Diaz and Gish Jen.
More Fiction Suggestions:
If you dig dystopian universes as seen through younger eyes (as in the worlds of Suzanne Collins and Catherine Fisher), you night like James Dashner’s second volume of the Maze Runner trilogy, The Scorch Trials.
If you’re hunting down a big time thriller in the mode of Tom Clancy and Frederick Forsyth, you might like the master John Le Carre’s latest, Our Kind of Traitor.
When Mike Birbiglia first emerged on the comedy scene, there was little to hint that he would be more than a standard, if funny, stand-up. However, with his online (secret public) journal, and his critically acclaimed 2008 off-Broadway play Sleepwalk With Me, the Shrewsbury, Massachusetts native developed into an ace storyteller in the style of Spalding Gray. More than a companion to his stage piece, the book Sleepwalk With Me continues to build Birbiglia’s rep for turning his neuroses and disorders into something beautiful. For fans of Gray or either Sedaris sibling.
More Nonfiction Suggestions:
If you heart-ed the 80s, and/or dug the remembrances of its pop stars such as Pat Benatar and Belinda Carlisle, you might like Rick Springfield’s Late, Late At Night.
If you need some cute and you love cats and specifically the late star of Dewey, The Small Town Library Cat Who Touched The World, you might like the latest in that series, Dewey’s Nine Lives.
Clint Eastwood’s come a long way from those minimalist “Man Without A Name” days. Now a full time director inching into his octogenarian years, Eastwood thrives in exhilarating landscape films — however, never at the expense of the plot. Hereafter is no exception as Matt Damon brings to life a former psychic who merely wishes to escape his past (but, as is always the way, he cannot). For fans of The Fisher King and The Sixth Sense.
More Movie Suggestions:
If you’re looking for some let’s-get-the-team-back-together action in the spirit of The Losers or Ocean’s Eleven, but with Oscar winner Helen Mirren toting one of the machine guns, you might like Red.
If you’re itching to fight the system like the heroes of Erin Brockovich or The Rainmaker, you might like Conviction.
Dar Williams has been plying her brand of gentile, yet often caustic brand of indie folk for almost twenty years now. On Many Great Companions, the singer-songwriter gathers a host of musical genius friends she’s met along the way to rerecord many of her best concoctions. The two-CD collection hits a peak on an elegant duet (with album producer, Jayhawks’ Gary Louris) of her classic “As Cool As I Am.” For fans of Ani DiFranco and Jonatha Brooke.
More Music Suggestions:
If you feel like reliving your youthful television viewing over music reminiscent of the playful pop-infused ska of bands like Reel Big Fish and Goldfinger, you might like veteran Florida act Less Than Jake’s TV/Ep.
If you desire wistful modern baroque pop to whisk you away from it all (to go with that Stars and Broken Social Scene marathon you’re planning), you might like the latest for the ever-reliable Scots Belle & Sebastian, Write About Love.
If Leaves of Grass has the gleefully absurd feel of a Coen Brothers film, it’s not too surprising as director Tim Blake Nelson is a frequent denizen of Ethan & Joel’s world. With Edward Norton playing opposite Edward Norton (as two vastly differing twins), the misunderstandings fly, the baddies chase, and a fun little romp ensues. For fans of The Darjeeling Limited, Adaptation, and pretty much any Coen Bros film.
More DVD Suggestions:
If you enjoy a clever comic book inspired film such as Sin City or Watchmen, you might enjoy Jonah Hex.
If you’re looking for an intelligent, unusual children’s film in the vein of Ponyo or The Incredibles, you might like How To Train Your Dragon.
It’s been 16 years since we’ve last seen an official volume of the adventures of Sonic — the spunky blue rodent who curls into a ball to take down all comers and collect as many coins as humanly (or hedgehogly?) possible. Over the years, however, that simple formula became complicated. The first episode of Sonic the Hedgehog 4 takes the game back to the simple side-scrolling, one-protagonist structure which made many a game-player delighted in the early 90s. For fans of Mario Kart and Spyro.
More Video Game Suggestions:
If you feel like flamboyantly taking out your aggression in the virtual ring with a game akin to WWE Smackdown Vs. Raw or UFC Undisputed, you might like Lucha Libre AAA.
If you’re looking for a wholesome video fighting obsession for your kids similar to Bakugan Battle Brawlers or Ben 10 Alien Force (or just wish relive your days caring for your Tamagotchi), you might like Invizimals.