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Buzzworthy book, DVD, and Blu-ray releases for the week of October 31

Here are some of the hottest, most buzzed-about books this week. Download them on your Kindle, read them on your iPad, or go to a bookstore if you like to keep things old-school.

Blue Nights by Joan Didion

Joan Didion is without a doubt one of the most powerful writers of our time; her 2005 memoir (The Year of Magical Thinking) about her life, marriage, and the unfortunate death of her fellow-writer husband won the National Book Award. In this sequel of sorts, Didion writes about and thinks on the death of her ill daughter Quintana Roo, the trials of parenting, and the lessons we learn as we age. 

 

The Time of Our Lives: A Conversation About America by Tom Brokaw

This book, by one of the greatest journalists of the current era (if not all time), asks some tough questions about how the America that Tom Brokaw used to know turned into a country that is divided, cynical, and heading downhill. Combining stories from his South Dakotan upbringing, tales of other Americans who are doing something to make a difference, and his own thoughts on our history and current problems, Brokaw brings important questions and thoughtful answers to the question “How did we get here?” 

Is Everyone Hanging Out With Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

You probably know Mindy Kaling from her role as Kelly Kapoor on NBC’s The Office, but the comedienne and Dartmouth grad has a solid history of work including off-broadway roles and playwright gigs before she made it big as a comedy writer and actress. This humorous book (thoughtfully punctuated with stopping points for bathroom breaks and phone calls) gives us Kaling’s take on everything from guys, best friends, and Hollywood, to why guys put their shoes on so slowly. 

If you’re looking to add to your movie collection, we’ve selected a few of the best titles coming out this week on DVD and Blu-ray.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

This romantic comedy isn’t like all the rest for several reasons, including great acting by Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling, and up-and-comer Emma Stone, several intriguing plot twists, and well-built characters who end up interacting in a way you never thought they would. We see the story of a long-married dad (Carell) who ends up in the dating ring after he’s blindsided by divorce, the story of a content bachelor (Gosling) who gets shaken up and falls for a fearless redhead, and how the two stories intertwine. 

Water for Elephants

In this adaptation of the well-loved and bestselling book, Robert Pattinson stars as the struggling veterinary medicine student who stumbles into an equally struggling circus. Pattinson’s character falls for the beautiful platinum-blonde equestrian (Reese Witherspoon) who is married to the Ringleader. The rest of the story unwinds as the woman’s horse falls ill and Pattinson’s character is enlisted to train her new elephant. He finally steals a kiss, but it may come with trouble. 

Californication: The Fourth Season

In another compelling series from a premium cable channel, Showtime’s Californication sees David Duchovny as a bad-body novelist who struggles with demons and relationships when he moves his longtime girlfriend and their daughter to California. His inability to resist sex, drugs, and alcohol creates drama while the character tries to remain a good father. Season four lands Duchovny’s character in jail and on the hot-list of Hollywood authors.