It's almost the weekend and time to relax! Here are the movies, music, and books the Windows Central team is enjoying this week.

The weekend is just around the corner, and you're probably keen to put your feet up and enjoy some downtime. What better way to relax than with some great tunes, a great movie, or a real page turner? If you're looking for some suggestions, we put together a collection of some of the best stuff out there right now.

Movies and TV

Here are some of the movies and TV shows the Windows Central team is enjoying this week.

Lost Highway

Recommended by Jez Corden, Xbox editor

Lost Highway is a hard movie to describe, but perhaps it's enough to say it's directed by David Lynch of Twin Peaks fame.

Lost Highway follows the warped tale of a struggling jazz musician, navigating a nightmarish world of interweaving narratives, haunting imagery and deadly secrets. Lost Highway is almost better described as an experience than a movie; good or bad, it will leave an impression on you.

See at Microsoft Store

Ghost in the Shell

Recommended by Jason Ward, writer

My wife and I love live science fiction. As a matter of fact, it's my favorite book and movie genre. Combine that with non-stop action and a good story and you have a winner. So this week we're watching Ghost in the Shell!

This live-action remake of the anime features Scarlett Johansson as Major, the first human mind inside an artificial body.

See at Microsoft Store

Silicon Valley

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

If you've kept up with the previous three seasons of Silicon Valley, you know the predicament Richard Hendricks and Pied Piper is in. He never seems to be able to get his shit together, and this season is no different. He sets out to create a new internet, one that is decentralized and not beholden to shareholders.

The writing keeps getting funnier, and all of our favorite characters are back, including Gavin Belson (who's often hooked up to a blood boy — you'll see). If you haven't yet started watching Silicon Valley, there's no better time to get caught up.

See at Microsoft Store

Music

Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.

Stony Hill — Damian Marley

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Damian 'Jr Gong' Marley's latest album was just released this week, but some of the singles have been available for more than a month. I've been playing them regularly, because the album is packed with genuine earworms. Like most of Marley's stuff, Stony Hill is composed of tracks that mix traditional reggae sounds with dance hall reggae and hip hop. But his unique voice and intelligent lyrics are what keep me coming back for more.

The standout tracks so far are Medication and Nail Pon Cross, but I'm just starting to listen to the part of the album that wasn't available until yesterday. If you're a fan of reggae or hip hop, give this one a listen. It's perfect for a summer party or just while driving around on a warm, sunny day with all the windows down. Jah!

See at Microsoft Store

Painting With Dreams — Tritonal

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

I'm a big fan of progressive EDM and Tritonal recently popped up on my music discovery radar. The duo's Painting With Dreams album is an absolute beast, sporting killer tracks like Getaway that absolutely require your volume to be turned all the way up to 11.

See at Microsoft Store

Hybrid Theory — Linkin Park

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

It should never take a tragedy to remember a great album or artist, but like millions of others, Linkin Park's Hybrid Theory was the anthem of my adolescence. One of my favorite bands, their debut was and still is exceptional from start to finish. Nothing but memories. We'll miss you, Chester.

See at Microsoft Store

The Trinity Session — Cowboy Junkies

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I'm a sucker for Canadian music; blame it on my birthplace. Cowboy Junkies have been around a long time, delivering their own blend of folk, country, and rock through the beautiful voice of Margo Timmins.

The Trinity Session is probably their most famous album, and what an album it is. They recorded the entire thing around a single microphone in the middle of the Church of the Holy Trinity in Toronto, Ontario. The result is an entire album that makes you feel like you're sitting right there with them while they play.

If you need a song recommendation, their cover of Velvet Underground's Sweet Jane is (almost) better than the real thing.

See at Microsoft Store

Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

The Thirst — Jo Nesbo

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Scandinavian novelist (and economist and musician and all around interesting dude) Jo Nesbo's detective fiction series featuring investigator Harry Hole (pronounced something like "hoolie," get your mind out of the gutter) is one of the most original, creative and downright dark storylines you'll find on the market today.

Translated from Norwegian and set in and around Oslo, Norway, Nesbo's beautiful writing style transports you from wherever you are into the dim, dark and often frigid landscape of Oslo. In the latest installment, the eleventh Hole novel, Harry is hunting the one killer from his past that got away — and who appears to be a sadistic "vampirist," who uses a set of custom-made iron jaws to bite his victim and consume their blood.

Nesbo's penchant for describing gory violence that unplays in totally original and memorable ways sets his novels apart from the seemingly endless stream of half-baked serial killer thrillers that have filled bookstore shelves for years. And The Thirst definitely does not disappoint. (If you want to pick up the story from the begin, grab book one, called The Bat.)

Download the Kindle book from Amazon Download the Audible audio book from Amazon


Final Girls — Riley Sagar

Recommended by Jen Karner, writer

Riley Sager takes the idea of the lone survivor from horror movies and moves it a step further, taking you past the inciting incident to how survivors go on living after tragedy. This thriller is full of twists and turns as you follow Quincy Carpenter's race for survival as other Final Girls are killed.

This thriller is easily going to be one of the most popular books for the genre in 2017, and with a story that will have you racing towards the finish, there is no way to know what is coming next.

Download the Kindle book from Amazon


Blood of Elves — Andrzej Sapkowski

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

If you've played any of the Witcher games on PC or Xbox, you understand the level of immersion they provide. There seems to be such a huge amount of lore behind the beautiful graphics, and you're maybe wondering how to expand on those stories you often only get a glimpse of.

The Witcher games are actually based on a best-selling series of books by Polish author Andrzej Sapkowski. He started with two short-story collections that give an insight into Geralt of Rivia's relationships and exploits, but soon moved into a series of books. That series starts with Blood of Elves, which explains the relationship between Ciri and Geralt. It's a quick read perfect for summer, and, even if you've never played the games, you'll still be enthralled in the enormous fantasy world within.

Download the Kindle book from Amazon Download the Audible audio book from Amazon

Your favorites?

What have you been watching, reading, and listening to this week? We want to know, so drop a comment and share your recommendations.