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Shelf Life: Media from Then and Now for Readers in the Sacramento Region

12/31/2015 02:36PM ● Published by Sharon Penny



 The Basement Tapes Complete: The Bootleg Series Vol. 11 (Deluxe Edition)—Bob Dylan and The Band

Hopefully you’ve rewarded your Bob Dylan-loving friend or family member with this box set; if you haven’t, bookmark it for a birthday because it’s a gift that will keep on giving for a Dylan nerd. I am one such nerd, and it’s the audio equivalent of sitting in the room while Bob and The Band jam together…in a not-boring-at-all way. 




Tusk (Deluxe Edition)—Fleetwood Mac 

Santa didn’t judge you for wishing for a five-disc deluxe edition of an album you already own and know inside out. Why? Because there’s an “Alternate Tusk” disc—a different take of each song from the original track listing, plus two CDs of live, unreleased material. You’ll need at least all of 2016 to enjoy it fully. 




Rum Punch by Elmore Leonard

If there was ever a perfect marriage in book adaptation, it’s Elmore Leonard’s Rum Punch. Leonard’s love of language and character study paid off hugely in the hands of Quentin Tarantino in 1997’s Jackie Brown. His rhythm slowed Tarantino’s frenetic storytelling to a slow, easy groove; and the collaboration elevated both the book and the movie to new heights. 



American Blood by Ben Sanders

The publisher has described American Blood as dropping “a Jack Reacher-like hero into the landscape of No Country For Old Men.” Sold! That, my friends, is how you get people clamoring to read your upcoming novel. And obviously it delivers on this promise because it’s already been optioned for a film and is currently attached to Bradley Cooper for the starring role. Double sold! 




Animal Kingdom

There are so many great performances in this movie that I don’t even know where to start. Loosely based on actual events that took place in Australia, Animal Kingdom sets the tension to 10 and slowly turns it up to 11. Incredible performances by Australian actors Jackie Weaver and Ben Mendelsohn will make you wonder how you missed them until now. 



Mississippi Grind

Mississippi Grind is a fine, gritty film about the unglamorous, unglitzy world of actual gambling. It showcases the acting talents of two of my favorites: Ben Mendelsohn, a talented Australian who can break your heart and make your skin crawl (often simultaneously), and Ryan Reynolds who has just the right amount of sarcasm and charm to spark off Mendelsohn. Don’t miss this one! 

By Sharon Penny

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