Each month, we’re rounding up a selection of the best new podcasts, e-books, TV shows and music for you to preload into your device before you board your flight.
With an arsenal of entertainment at your command, you’ll be prepared for all possibilities: unexpected stopovers, exhausting the in-flight entertainment, and downtime in your new destination.
Books and audio books
What Happened by Hillary Clinton (audio book, Audible)
Narrated by the woman herself, What Happened is a revealing look at what went down during one of the most controversial presidential elections of all time. Clinton tells her story of being the first woman ever nominated for President in the United States and of what it was like to wage an election campaign against an opponent like Donald Trump.
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan (Hachette)
The much-anticipated new work by Jennifer Egan, whose 2010 novel A Visit from the Goon Squad won a Pulitzer Prize, Manhattan Beach takes place in WWI-era New York City. Young Brooklynite Anna Kerrigan supports her mother and disabled sister by working as the only female diver at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (Simon & Schuster)
A prequel to 1995’s Practical Magic (made into a 1998 film starring Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock), this novel observes the strange childhoods of two sisters who, thanks to a curse placed in 1620, must never, ever fall in love.
World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews (Simon & Schuster)
Back in New York City, only this time circa WWII, this novel takes readers on a boisterous ride from the smoke-hazed jazz joints of Harlem to the Plaza Hotel through the eyes of distinguished Scotsman Sir Angus MacFarquhar who, it emerges, is neither aristocratic nor Scottish but a bog-Irish shyster, Francis Dempsey.
Courtney Barnett and Kurt Vile – Lotta Sea Lice
Melbourne’s Courtney Barnett and Philadelphia’s Kurt Vile recorded their new album in an ad hoc style, exchanging witty, wordy lyrics over email and recruiting mates to form the band.
Andrew Bird – Echolocations: River
Andrew Bird’s new album is the second instalment in the violinist’s Echolocations series. The eight-track instrumental album was recorded while the musician stood in the Los Angeles River beneath the Glendale-Hyperion Bridge.
Wu-Tang Clan – The Saga Continues
It’s been 24 years since Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers); we’ve lost ODB but Wu-Tang lives on with RZA, Method Man, Raekwon et al return, spitting rhymes dealing with, among other things, one Martin Shkreli. Listen to new single People Say.
Beck – Colors
In 2014 American musician joined the ranks of artists who have had their Grammys acceptance speeches interrupted by Kanye West on behalf of a bemused Beyoncé. Unfazed, he releases his 13th studio album on October 13. Colors was recorded with producer Greg Kurstin between 2013 and 2017 and has spawned two singles already: Dreams and Wow.
The Pack A.D. – Dollhouse
Two people can create a hell of a lot of sound, as demonstrated on the Pack A.D.’s new album, an explosive example of Becky Black and Maya Miller’s raw garage-rock style.
Jessie Ware – Glasshouse
English singer Jessie Ware’s third album brings more of her sumptuous, sophisticated pop stylings. Created in a hurry before the birth of her first child, Glasshouse is an ode to family, change and love.
The Good Place seasons 1 and 2 (Netflix, September 21)
Kristen Bell and a snowy-haired Ted Danson star in this amiable comedy about what happens when you die. For Eleanor Shellstrop (Bell), it means, thanks to her earthly good deeds, a spot in The Good Place. It’s a heavenly existence of frozen yoghurt joints, tailored homes and best of all, a soulmate for everyone. The twist? Eleanor Shellstrop was, in life, spiteful and unscrupulous. There’s been a mistake.
Stranger Things season 2 (Netflix, October 27)
The spooky second season of Stranger Things comes out just in time for Halloween. Will we find out what is going on in The Upside Down? And where, oh where, is Barb?
Rick and Morty season 3 finale (Netflix, October 7)
Landing on Netflix just a week after airing in the US, the final episode of the cult cartoon featuring mad, bad scientist Rick and his long-suffering grandson Morty is called The Rickchurian Mortydate – and that’s all we can tell you about it.
Will & Grace (Stan)
The sitcom about best friends and flatmates Will Truman (Eric McCormack) and Grace Adler (Debra Messing) and their flamboyant friends Karen Walker (Megan Mullally) and Jack McFarland (Sean Hayes) ran for eight seasons and now, after 11 years, it’s back. The 16-episode ninth season has begun; a new episode will premiere on Stan every Friday from September 29.
Riverdale season 2 (Netflix, October 12)
Catch up with the crew from the Archie Comics in the second season of the hit Riverdale. This season, our Archie is on a hero’s journey through dark themes of revenge and violence.
Super Monsters season 1 (Netflix)
The children in this animated series not only have to face the pressures of starting preschool – they also have to master their magical superpowers.
How Did This Get Made?
If you were one of the few people in the world who saw the Ben Affleck/Jennifer Lopez clunker Gigli, you may have wondered, “How on earth did this get made?” This hilarious podcast seeks to answer this question for that film and other cinematic works such as The Last Airbender (the question is not how but why?), Glitter (Mariah Carey gets what Mariah Carey wants) and The Room (a film so egregious it’s now a classic of the bad-movie genre).
How Do You Sleep at Night?
Hosted by Hack on Triple J’s Sarah McVeigh, How Do You Sleep at Night? explores our moral codes and how people live in the face of societal judgement. McVeigh speaks to Charlie, who stabbed and killed two innocent men; Len Ainsworth, whose billion-dollar fortune was built on the profits from pokie machines; and Big Tobacco lobbyist Patrick Muttart, among others.