Autumnal Attractions

An author and a composer pinpoint the most interesting media picks this fall—from movie sequels to guilty pleasures.

Zhena Muzyka, author


Current endeavor: 

Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-Filled Life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success—Zhena’s story of how she went from being a struggling single mom to owning a multi-million dollar tea enterprise.


Movie you are looking forward to this fall? 

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1. Katniss is an inspiration. And I love that we finally have a super-heroine who will inspire young women and girls to be in their power.


Music you’re loving right now? 

Lykke Li. I learn about a lot of music from my 14-year-old. We do a sort of “battle of the bands” with our Spotify accounts, and on this one, he won. 


Book that made you want to be an author? 

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle. I read it in third grade. L’Engle’s ability to transport pedestrian, seemingly everyday lives into the imaginative was the medicine I needed growing up in a very rough neighborhood. 


TV guilty pleasure? 

Scandal, like everyone else. But this last season was hit-and-miss for me—too much yelling and not enough tenderness.


Charles Fox, composer


Current endeavors:  

A stage musical version of The School for Scandal—an 18th-century play—and a musical called Cherry with Charles’ longtime writing partner Norman Gimbel and David Seltzer. 


Next movie you’d like to see?

Get on Up based on the life of the “Godfather of Soul,” James Brown. 


Best book you’ve recently read?

The Bully Pulpit by Doris Kearns Goodwin—a study of the relationship of two great presidents, Theodore Roosevelt and William Taft. It was fascinating to see the side-by-side growth, evolution and eventual breakup of their friendship. 


On your nightstand now? 

John Adams by David McCullough. A fascinating account of John Adams; it is also about the beginning of our country. It’s interesting to see his relationship with his wife, Abigail, via correspondence because of his constant traveling. 


What are you loving listening to these days?

I still find the great works of Stravinsky, Britten, Mozart and Puccini as fresh and contemporary to my ears as I always have. They continue to be my favorites.


How do you listen to music?

It is never background music. I sit and listen to music. It captures all of my attention and interest. I will usually listen through a CD player in my home studio or on Sirius radio in my car.