Beacon Quick Picks

by Alexandra leach

AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS; RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, AVAILABLE NOW

In Augusten Burroughs’ popular and entertaining memoir Running with Scissors, the word “family” takes on a whole new meaning. In the book, Burroughs describes the escapades of his alcoholic father and unbalanced mother.,LITERATURE

by Alexandra leach

AUGUSTEN BURROUGHS; RUNNING WITH SCISSORS, AVAILABLE NOW

In Augusten Burroughs’ popular and entertaining memoir Running with Scissors, the word “family” takes on a whole new meaning. In the book, Burroughs describes the escapades of his alcoholic father and unbalanced mother. And things get really interesting when the author’s increasingly unstable mother gives her son over to her therapist for adoption. The author then spends his days in the company of the therapist’s bizarre family, and though he could easily despair over his fate, Burroughs always looks at his troubled life with a sharp sense of humor. Look for the film version of the book in theatres now.

DAVID RAKOFF; DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE, AVAILABLE NOW

David Rakoff’s newest book boasts a title that says it all: Don’t Get Too Comfortable: The Indignities of Coach Class, The Torments of Low Thread Count, The Never-Ending Quest for Artisanal Olive Oil, and Other First World Problems. Fans of the essayist and GQ writer will love his latest, which, as the title suggests, pokes fun at the good life and everything from European fashion show designers and expensive South American resorts to plastic surgery and elitism. As with the author’s past satirical works, Rakoff’s originality and dry humor make this one a can’t-miss.

FILM

by harry Vaughn

LITTLE CHILDREN; IN THEATRES NOW

Just before you thought director Todd Field couldn’t get any more pretentious with In the Bedroom, in storms Little Children, a painfully misguided sophomore effort by one of the most tasteless directors to come around in years. Sure it looks pretty, but when your characters feel as dimensionless and flat as the brainless plot line involving a child molester in suburbia, attractive cinematography doesn’t stand a chance. If the lesson of the movie is to stay away from the suburbs, do yourself a favor and stay away from Little Children.

OLD JOY; AT KENDALL SQUARE NOW

It’s a quiet and unglamorous indie film, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t as powerful as an epic mainstream movie. Old Joy, a story about two friends wandering through the forest on a backpacking trip, feels contemplative in its passivity without seeming manipulative. From the look of its preview and the outstanding critical reception it has been receiving, Old Joy may end up being this year’s Junebug if it’s as moving and unforced as it appears to be. If you’re feeling a little drained from one-note entertainment like The Prestige, see Old Joy and it might give you that movie-going satisfaction you’ve been yearning for all season.

MUSIC

by jonathan gabso

ISOBEL CAMPBELL; MILKWHITE SHEETS, AVAILABLE NOV. 7

It’s difficult for an artist to pursue greener pastures after being a prominent vocalist and cellist on five Belle Sebastian albums. Isobel Campbell served as the dainty partner in crime to indie-pop piano man Stuart Murdoch, helped to lift the band to U.K. cult-star status and then broke free from the groupthink chains in 2002. Luckily, she has done a nice job of standing on her own two feet as a solo artist. The wispy-voiced crooner returns with her second solo effort, an attempt to continue the artistic momentum from last year’s alt-country Ballad of the Broken Seas.

TALIB KWELI; EARDRUM, AVAILABLE NOV. 7

Riding the momentum from its thumping lead single, the Kwam