Movies, music, and books we're into this week September 29

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!. What better way to relax than with some great tunes, a quality movie, or a real page turner? If you're looking for suggestions, we put together a collection of some of the best stuff out there right now. (And we have really good taste ... or at least we like to think so.)

TV and movies

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

Lost

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

It began in 2004 and wrapped up in 2010, yet people still talk about the TV phenomenon that is Lost. I never watched Lost when it aired, nor have I really paid attention to the plot, other than that it's very confusing. I also know how it ends.

That hasn't stopped me from tackling it from the start. My part of Canada has been cold and rainy, and a lengthy television series is quite appealing. From the start, Lost sucks you in with a gigantic, unseen threat stalking the jungle, a transceiver that's picking up a distress signal that's been running for 16 years, and a convict on the loose.

I'm still very near the beginning, but I can already see why Lost was so popular. Grab all six seasons in a bundle and binge away!

See at Microsoft Store

Music

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

Near to the Wild Heart of Life — Japandroids

Near to the Wild Heart of Life — Japandroids

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

I've been a fan of Japandroids' signature wall-of-guitar-and-drums sound since I was introduced to the band with its last album, Celebration Rock. The latest album, January's Near to the Wild Heart of Life, largely sticks to the same youthful, anthemic tone solidified by Celebration Rock, but with a more polished feel.

As excellent as Near to the Wild Heart of Life is, it feels like it's missing the punkish angst that gave the band its almost-hopeful sound and edge on past albums. Still, Japandroids has a knack for songwriting, and this latest effort doesn't disappoint on that front.

See at Microsoft Store


Coming To You Live — DPR LIVE

Coming To You Live — DPR LIVE

Recommended by Matt Brown, writer

DPR LIVE recently announced a concert in London, and ever since, I've been listening to his first full album Coming To You Live. The rapper and singer has been best known for the creative aesthetic of his music videos over the years and the title track of his latest releas, 'Know Me,' builds on this legacy.

As a part of the Dream Perfect Regime crew, DPR LIVE delivered five unique music videos alongside the seven-part album. While for the full experience I recommend checking out these pieces, with a strong set of collaborations, the album also stands strong on its own.

See at Microsoft Store

Wonderful Wonderful — The Killers

Wonderful Wonderful — The Killers

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Until last week, The Killers hadn't released a 'real' new album in five years. (That crappy Christmas album and greatest hits compilation don't count.) And the new album, called Wonderful Wonderful came close to never happening — apparently in-fighting within the band is the reason why it's been so long since they released an album, and the members reportedly almost broke up. I'm really glad they didn't. Because Wonderful Wonderful is gooooood listenin'.

The singles have been available for a few weeks now, including the undeniable earworms 'The Man' and 'Run for Cover.' And though I'm not a huge fan of the random remixes of the former track that are a part of the album, the title track is also playing on loop in my head this week. Seriously, I can't stop mentally singing "wonderful, wonderful" over and over again.

The Killers have always been great at creating ballads with choruses that grip you and don't let go. Wonderful, Wonderful is jam-packed with tracks that fit that bill. Give it a listen. I bet you'll catch an earworm, too, soon enough.

See at Microsoft Store


Trouble — R3hab

Trouble — R3hab

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

R3hab isn't new to the EDM scene, but in his debut album, Trouble, it's easy to get lost in the great vibes, smooth melodies and excellent collaborations. Names like Vérité, Quintino, Rynn, and Khrebto are also featured.

See at Microsoft Store


Hallelujah Anyhow — Hiss Golden Messenger

Hallelujah Anyhow — Hiss Golden Messenger

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Hailing from North Carolina, Hiss Golden Messenger is a band that's been around since 2007. Fronted by lifelong musician MC Taylor, the band has included many other musicians, both in studio and on tour.

The blend of folk rock is at times heavy, at times light, but always we hear Taylor's voice shining through. That's not to put down the musicians in the background; every album has been a multi-layered project that you can listen to repeatedly and still hear new little riffs you didn't hear the last time.

The latest album, titled Hallelujah Anyhow, is on the lighter side (but, I mean, it's folk rock), and is one of those albums you won't mind listening to from start to finish. If you love soaring harp solos, be sure to listen to the sixth track, 'Gulfport You've Been on My Mind.'

See at Microsoft Store


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

The Names of the Dead Girls — Eric Rickstad

The Names of the Dead Girls — Eric Rickstad

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I'm a big fan of dark, twisty-turny thrillers, and Eric Rickstad's latest novel, The Names of the Dead Girls, is just that. Rickstad's novels are set in rural Vermont, in an area along the Canadian border called the Northeast Kingdom. And the beautiful, desolate setting — along with the unpredictable weather — plays an important role in creating the foreboding mood in Dead Girls, as well as in the first book in the ongoing series, called Silent Girls.

The novels follow former cop and private investigator Frank Rath as he recovers for a horrific crime he personally experienced, while trying to prevent other similar injustices and catch perpetrators who are still on the loose for related unsolved crimes. Dead Girls is well-paced, expertly-plotted and gorgeously-written, and Rickstad's examination of extreme violence in settings that are otherwise seemingly serene creates a memorable and unique take on the detective genre, which often feels repetitive and stale these days.

You'll want to start the series fresh with the first novel. But you won't be able to put it down, I promise, and when you're done, you'll have no choice but to pick up the sequel, The Names of the Dead Girls. (Full disclosure: I'm friends with the author's wife, but I've never met the man, and I would not recommend the book if I didn't thoroughly enjoy it.)

Download the Kindle book at Amazon Download the Audible audio book at Amazon


Magicians of the Gods — Graham Hancock

Magicians of the Gods — Graham Hancock

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Magicians of the Gods is the sequel to Graham Hancock's 1995 Fingerprints of the Gods, which laid out what Hancock sees as evidence of a prehistoric intelligent civilization that was wiped out by a cataclysmic event.

Much more evidence has emerged since Fingerprints of the Gods was published, which Hancock has included in this new book. Places like Gobekli Tepe, Baalbek, Giza, and Sumer are seen by Hancock as evidence of this forgotten civilization being able to pass down some knowledge following a comet strike that ended the last Ice Age.

Whether or not Hancock's hypotheses are true, they certainly are interesting to read. If you enjoy fringe history, give either book a go.

Download the Kindle book at Amazon Download the Audible audio book at 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.

If none of these recommendations strike your fancy, check out a list of all of our past recommendations. We promise you'll find something you'll like.

Tons more recommendations from Team Windows Central