Back To School

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By JP Sarni

Well, kids, fall is officially here. The smell of Trapper Keepers and saddle shoes is in the air, and a flurry of tasty new treats have flooded into the shops for our entertaining pleasure. Sure, it’s good to study for your classes, but in the years after school has ended, the rest of us do need a little summin’ summin’ to look forward to as a little nip makes us pull out the layers of new fall fashions.

The JoyHog staffers got together over Brie and a bottle of wine on a recent afternoon and we piled up some of the goods that having been coming in over the last few weeks. While nothing is quite as sexy as the “banned books” list from the local church, these little delights should be enough to tide us over until the Holiday movies come busting out all over…

BOOKS

“The 9/11 Report: A Graphic Adaptation” by Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón
I first heard the FSG was publishing this book back in the spring, and I must say, it’s quite clever. Adapting the 9/11 report as if it were “The Matrix” or something… There was certainly something about that day that made it seem very fantastical, so this volume only accentuates that.

“500 Great Books for Teens” by Anita Silvey
Yes, these books ARE great for teens, but I must admit that I was at the local IHOP, when I should having been pawing through some of the classics, so it works for the Generation Y set as well. From “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings,” “Lord of the Flies” and “A Separate Peace” (duh) to stuff like “Atonement” and “The Shadow of the Wind.” A very contemporary list, but good to have at the ready.

“Aftermath: Unseen 9/11 Photos by a New York City Cop” by John Botte
These gritty black and whites show the images of the day in a manner that doesn’t make you look away. Not quite as disturbing as the colour shots printed in the weekly glossies just after the 11th, but these are still pretty effective. A beautifully printed book, Botte offers a few sentences here and there, but mostly lets the pictures tell the story.

“Paint it Black” by Janet Fitch
From the author of “White Oleander” comes a new novel about a lost love and a dreamer searching for the life she almost had. Sounds about as cheerful as the last one, but we’ll have to see for ourselves, won’t we?

“The Town that Forgot How to Breathe” by Kenneth J. Harvey
Add this one to your list for Halloween reading. The title is, in fact, what the story is about, but then you’ve also got lots o’ creepiness washing up on the shore. Cool.

DVD

“Arrested Development – Season Three”
Might as well throw this great show a little cash since the network has stopped doing so. One of the best shows on television now only exists as paper and plastic. Now we can collectively watch the feature, “The Last Day on Location” as a nation, and collectively sigh and weep.

“Grey’s Anatomy: The Complete Second Season Uncut”
Okay, so I’m about a year behind with this show. Don’t tell me what happens! This is the must-own out of the whole spread…

“House: Season Two”
Ah, yes, the season of Sela Ward! For my primetime slots, this show takes a while to suck me in. Perhaps I am one of the few viewers who are immune to the charms of Mr. Hugh Laurie. Medical shows still rule though. Cops and doctors always save the day in tv-land.

“LOST: The Complete Second Season”
While the second season started to wear thin a bit, I must admit that I am ready for season three (as is my DVR). My review

“My Name is Earl: Season One”
You have to hand it to NBC. They delivered a truly original show with a stellar cast. 24 episodes of this concept about making right the wrongs is a little much, but the wonderful folks that tell the stories make it worth it (especially the sassy Ms. Jamie Priestly).

“The Office: Season Two”
While it may not be the BBC original, this show quickly found its feet and Steve Carell has officially entered the school of can-do-no-wrong.” Please note: Supporting cast is also brilliant.

ALSO…

L.L. Bean’s Heatwave Messenger Bags
For boys and girls, you can customize the colours on this stuff and make it your own. They’ve got lots o’ pockets and nooks and crannies on the inside for the various bells and whistles of back-to-school.

Happy Shopping!