Best of the Week: Our Picks for October 19-23, 2015

This week, celebrate Back to the Future Day, see Amanda Palmer at the Boston Book Festival, and more.

Welcome to Best of the Week, our recommendations for what to check out around town this week. If you’re wondering what to do in Boston this week, check out these events.

Clockwise from upper left: Joyce Carol Oates, Bob Woodward, Amanda Palmer, Chelsea Clinton, Patrick Kennedy

Clockwise from upper left: Joyce Carol Oates, Bob Woodward, Amanda Palmer, Chelsea Clinton, Patrick Kennedy (see credits below)

Monday, October 19
Boston Book Festival Week

Boston bookworms, get ready for the literary hurricane that’s about to sweep through town—every single day this week, there’s an A-lister speaking somewhere. On Monday, find out where Joyce Carol Oates got her gothic leanings, as she discusses her new memoir, The Lost Landscape: A Writer’s Coming of Age. On Tuesday, journalism rock star Bob Woodward, one of the reporters who broke the Watergate scandal, drops by to talk about The Last of the President’s Men. But what about all the ex-presidents’ relatives? On Wednesday, Chelsea Clinton comes to the Harvard Book Store to sign It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired & Get Going!, a new book aimed at kids; and on Thursday, Patrick Kennedy formally presents A Common Struggle, the new memoir that’s allegedly been ruffling feathers in the Kennedy compound for its depiction of family alcoholism. And for the crowning glory of this lit-centric week, Friday and Saturday bring us the return of the Boston Book Festival, with a lineup of more than 150 authors taking over Copley Square for two days of free events and keynote author appearances from the likes of Margaret Atwood and locals Atul Gawande and Amanda Palmer (with Neil Gaiman in tow).

For more details, visit and

18th-century tavern

18th-century tavern scene from Sons of Liberty

Tuesday, October 20
“Thanks for Mutton: The Archaeology of Food and Drink at the Colonial Tavern”

This week, hop into ye olde time machine and take a trip back to Charlestown’s Three Cranes Tavern, which became one of the area’s first hotspots, starting in 1635. The building itself is long gone, burnt down 240 years ago in the skirmishes that led up to the Battle of Bunker Hill. But for one night, it’s coming back to life at the Tap Trailhouse. As part of its 40th anniversary festivities, the Boston Landmarks Commission is winding down Massachusetts Archaeology Month with “Thanks for Mutton: the Archaeology of Food and Drink at the Colonial Tavern.” Join city archaeologist Joe Bagley and explore the Three Cranes artifacts he’s been unearthing, while feasting on period food and drink that will be available for purchase.

Free, October 20, 6 p.m., Tap Trailhouse, 19 Union St., Boston. RSVP at

Back to the Future Day 2015

Still from Back to the Future Part II

Wednesday, October 21
Back to the Future Day” Screenings

But we’re not done time traveling yet: Twenty-six years ago, Marty McFly and Doc Brown rode to the future world of October 21, 2015—and now we’re living in it. To mark this long-awaited “Back to the Future Day,” some of our favorite movie theaters are celebrating. So wolf down that dehydrated pizza, strap on your self-tying shoes, Ride your hoverboard to our beloved Coolidge Corner Theatre, where they’re showing a special 30th anniversary screening of the first Back to the Future at 7 p.m. (which they’re encoring on Thursday), followed by Back to the Future Part II at 9:30 p.m. Arlington’s Capitol Theatre takes things a step further, screening the first Back to the Future at 6 p.m., part two at 8:10 p.m., and part three at 10:10 p.m. (see all three for just $10). Repeat after us: This is heavy.

Films screen at Coolidge Corner Theatre, 290 Harvard St., Brookline, 617–734–2500,; Capitol Theatre, 204 Massachusetts Ave., Arlington, 781-648-4340,

Sounds for Hounds

Flyer for “Sounds for Hounds”

Thursday, October 22
7L & Esoteric present “Sounds for Hounds”

Local hip-hop heads know Esoteric best in his collaboration with 7L (who recently went into Voltron mode with Wu-Tang’s Inspectah Deck and become trio Czarface). But this longtime figurehead of Boston indie-rap royalty isn’t just about spitting tight, lightning-fast rhymes—the MC/producer also has a soft and fuzzy side, at least when it comes to canines. “I love all dogs,” told writer Martin Caballero in a Boston Herald interview. He added, “My wife is the voice of reason. If it was up to me, I would have 100 dogs.” Which is why the dynamic duo are hosting “Sounds for Hounds,” a fundraiser for the Animal Rescue League of Boston. Hear their ruff cuts this week at Brick & Mortar.

October 22, 8-10 p.m., Brick & Mortar, 567 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, 617-491-0016.

Friday, October 23
Post-Meridian Radio Players’ Monster in the Mirror

With Halloween (and the many spooky events it brings lurching into Boston) almost upon us, we’re in the mood to hear things that go bump in the night. What kind of things, you may ask? Oh, clompy shoes, plungers in Jell-O, maybe some eggplants smashed with mallets—if you’re attending a Post-Meridian Radio Players show, that is. You see, the PMRP specialize in old-timey radio dramas, where the live-performed sound effects are just as much the stars of the show as the actors. For their Halloween show Monster in the Mirror, they’re performing their adaptation of two classic monster tales in “The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll & Miss Hyde” and “The Frankenstein Murders.”

$15 ($12 for students and seniors), October 23-24 and October 29-31, Responsible Grace, 204 Elm St., Somerville,

Credits for photo collage: Joyce Carol Oates via Wikimedia Commons, Bob Woodward photo by Miguel Ariel Contreras Drake-McLaughlin on Flickr/Creative Commons, Amanda Palmer Photo by Joshua Smelser on Flickr, Chelsea Clinton photo via Shutterstock, Congressman Patrick Kennedy at the 2008 Inauguration by George Miller via Flickr/Creative Commons.