10.4: It is perhaps not as nouveau as it used to be, but breathless dreamers can still catch the buzz when Jean-Michel Frodon, director of Les Cahiers du Cinema and film critic for Le Monde, discusses The New Wave, Past and Present at Alliance Francaise (in English). 7:00pm, $15.
10.5: The konundrum engine will likely be firing on all cylinders as K.E.L.R. editor Pitchaya Sudbanthad hosts a reading, featuring writers Daniel Alarcon, Samantha Hunt, and Tobias Seamon, and music by James Tramarco, a banjo lover, just like the rest of us. 8:00pm, FREE.
10.6: Ilan Stavans, editor of Isaac Bashevis Singer: Collected Stories, discusses the assorted ladies in the writer’s life, in a talk at The Mercantile Library as part of The Singer Centennial. Entitled “The Women of Isaac Bashevis Singer,” the lecture will no doubt include characters both real and imagined. 6:00pm, FREE; Reservations required.
10.7: Colm Toibin (in the running for the Booker Prize) reads from The Master, his novel that imagines the five years between failure and fame in the life of Henry James, at NYU’s Glucksman Ireland House. 7:00pm, FREE.
10.8: “Oh Tiffany, I always have such wonderful energy with Aquarians.” Michelle Tea and Laurenn McCubbin bring the party to Lucky 13’s Atomic Reading Series in celebration of their new illustrated novel, Rent Girl, which explores the treats and travails of tricking while offering an irreverent, often hilarious, and totally fresh take on an old profession. 8:00pm, $5.
10.9: The brand-new Rubin Museum of Art kicks off its “Hollywood in the Himalayas” film series in old-school, cabaret style with a screening of the 1937 Frank Capra-directed classic, Lost Horizon, “based on James Hilton’s romantic novel of the discovery of the lost valley of Shangri-La.” 7:00pm; admission to the film is free, but there is a $12 cafe-bar minimum.
10.10: The iconography of Che Guevera, the man who inspired a million middle-class marxists, is a continent away from the youthful dreamer who set out on the brilliantly overlarge adventure chronicled in The Motorcycle Diaries. See the gorgeous, visually arresting film and wonder if leaving the comfort of your immediate environs would radically change your view of the world, too. Times vary.
The Smart Set is a weekly column, edited by Lauren Cerand, that appears Mondays and highlights the best of the week to come. Special favor is given to New York’s independent booksellers and venues, and low-cost and free events. Please submit details to firstname.lastname@example.org by the Thursday before publication for consideration.