This week in popular culture: John Grisham, Alejandro and “Inferno!”

“The Whistler” by John Grisham (Doubleday). In the newest by legal thriller savant John Grisham, an investigator for the  Florida Board on Judicial Conduct gets a top about a corrupt judge from a sketchy lawyer and gets pulled into a world of Native American casinos, the Gulf Coast mob and deadly secrets. (Oct. 25)

detail “Vision” #12 by Tom King and Gabriel Hernandez Walta. (Marvel). Here it is, the long-awaited conclusion to the year’s most emotionally affecting series from Marvel.  King and Walta have crafted one of the all-time great superhero fables. Look for writers to be ripping off this series for years to come.

Neil Diamond, “Acoustic Christmas” (Capitol). The Jewish Elvis is still out there, making that music. Mazel tov, Santa! (Oct. 28)

“Inferno.” The third movie in the Dan Brown series, following “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons,” wherein Tom Hanks again plays Dr. Robert Langdon and Ron Howard directs him once again (likely) giving a whole lot of exposition about vast conspiracies. (Oct. 28)

Nina Diaz, “The  Beat Is Dead” (Cosmica). Girl In A Coma’s solo joint is more of a big-beats-n-bigger-guitars rock album than Coma’s punkish roar. Not too shabby. (Oct. 28)

Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein, “Stranger  Things (A Netflix Original Series) – Volume Two”  (Lakeshore). Another volume of soundtrack work from two Austinites in S U R V I V E. (Oct. 28)

Alejandro Escovedo, “Burn  Something Beautiful” (Fantasy). Peter Buck and Scott McCaughey helm the NOW DALLAS-BASED rock icon’s new album. YES, HE LIVES IN DALLAS NOW, PEOPLE. (Oct. 28)



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