Monitor picks

The treasure seekers

If the August blahs have set in, amuse your kids with E. Nesbit. The Edwardian author wrote 60 books and paved the way for writers from C.S. Lewis to J.K. Rowling with classics like "The Five Children and It." Now in hardcover, "The House of Arden" is the story of a brother and sister who search through time – with the help of a magical white mole – for the lost treasure that will restore their family fortunes.

Five-speed fellowship

Like driving stick? Worried that the rise of the continuously variable transmission and Tiptronic-type automatics ("shift" without a clutch!) are pushing true manuals toward extinction? Join like-minded gear-grinders at shiftyworld.com, where registration (free, for now) lets you swap tales, follow industry news, pick up driving tips, and be part of a preservation movement.

The life aquatic

Aquaman, everyone's least favorite superhero, is a running joke on HBO's "Entourage." That's what comes of having a pet walrus and wearing orange shirts and green booties. But the man from Atlantis has been reimagined by the writers of "Smallville" (he now wears regular swim trunks) for a show that, inexplicably, wasn't picked up by the CW network. The pilot is available on iTunes and boasts compelling action, romance, and special effects (pretty sure those are real sharks, though).

Green is the new gold

You know environmentalism is mainstream when high-end design goes green. The September issue of modern-living magazine Dwell (on newstands or at dwell.com) features the new wave of "sustainable" homes, "Flooring With a Conscience," and contemporary treehouse living. Oh, and the issue is printed on recycled paper.

A cool film for a hot day

In a summer of so-so cinema, the most fashionable film turned out to be The Devil Wears Prada. As Miranda Priestly, the imperious editor of Runway magazine, Meryl Streep brings out the haughty in haute couture. As Miranda might say, "See it. That's all."

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