TV, music, movies, and books we're into this week

Another week has come and gone, and you're no doubt getting ready to enjoy some me-time. If you aren't living in a place where spring has yet sprung, you're probably looking for some great tunes, a quality movie, or a real page turner to get you through. Need some suggestions? We've put together a collection of some of the best stuff out there right now.

TV and movies

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

Ghostbusters

Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor

Few sci-fi comedies can claim to be as amazing as Ghostbusters. That's why if you haven't seen it, you really need to do yourself a favor.

Set in New York, three washed-up paranormal psychologists stumble upon the beginnings of a city-wide ghost pandemic, and quickly set up a private company to tackle the problem.

Ghostbusters is as outlandish as it is hilarious, featuring whimsical '80s practical effects and timeless writing. Unmissable.

Harry Potter

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

After deciding to jump into a TV show I'd missed out on a couple of weeks ago (The Office), I decided this week I'd start on the same journey with a series of movies I had somehow managed to avoid thus far: Harry Potter.

For some reason, I never quite fell into Harry Potter when it was all the rage. I think I was too busy diving into Lord of the Rings and the lingering effects of the initial Pokémon craze. I did end up going to see the final movie in IMAX with a girlfriend back in the day, so I basically spoiled the whole story for myself already. But a bazillion years later, I've found the urge to knock the series off of my bucket list for some reason, if only to not look like a total pleb as references to Voldemort and Death Eaters completely fly over my head.

Who knows, by the end of this, I may have to give the books a quick read as well.

The Jungle Book

Recommended by Matt Brown, Xbox editor

The Jungle Book definitely doesn't fall under movies I'd usually find myself watching but has ended finding a place as my media recommendation for this week. After being pulled into watching this live-action adaptation from 2016, I came away having enjoyed this light-hearted take on a classic. With stunning vistas and interesting animals along the way, this is a great pick for you or the kids.

Music

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

4x4=12 — Deadmau5

4x4=12 — Deadmau5

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Returning to 2010 in the height of Nokia and Windows Phone (relatively speaking), I was introduced to Deadmau5 at a live event in London after the company teamed up with the music producer. His sound is as insane as the mask and 4x4=12 is one of my all-time favorites.


Layers of Us — Mimicking Birds

Layers of Us — Mimicking Birds

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I'm preparing for a trip to the U.S. Pacific Northwest next week, so I'm doing my best to get into the spirit by listening to all my favorite PNW tunes, and that definitely includes Mimicking Birds. This Portland, Ore., band's music captures the sleepy, slow, often gloomy and wet feeling of that city perfectly. And its latest album, Layers of Us, is in my regular rotation, even when I'm not headed out west.

Like all their music, this album is packed with catchy tunes that are also somewhat ethereal and almost creepy. The songs are at turns soothing and unnerving, due to the singer's unique and echoing, synth-sounding voice and calming guitar riffs. My favorite tracks are 'Sunlight Daze' and 'Belongings,' but the album is a good listen from start to finish.

The band and the music are both unique, if nothing else, which is one reason I'm a fan. This album will surely be playing as I drive along the Oregon coast during my upcoming vacation.


MTV Unplugged In New York — Nirvana

MTV Unplugged In New York — Nirvana

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

After hearing an acoustic version of Lead Belly's "In the Pines" while playing Far Cry 5, I began thinking about Nirvana's amazing acoustic album that features a version of the same song under the title "Where Did You Sleep Last Night."

Recorded in 1994 at Sony Music Studios, this full-length album has a few other covers and, of course, some of Nirvana's most beloved tracks. Whether or not you're a fan of Nirvana's usual brand of music, this album can be appreciated by just about anyone.


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

Palace of Treason — Jason Matthews

Palace of Treason — Jason Matthews

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Author Jason Matthews's Red Sparrow trilogy is getting a lot of attention these days. That's because it's a series of great spy novels centered around espionage between the U.S. and Russia, written by a former U.S. CIA agent and published at a time when tensions between America and Russia are heating up. It's also being made into a few big budget movies featuring Hollywood sweetheart Jennifer Lawrence, which doesn't hurt.

Palace of Treason is the second book in the series, following Red Sparrow, and it picks up right where the first one left off, with a Russian double agent, who's committed to working with the U.S. to bring down Russian President Vladimir Putin in revenge for a set injustices perpetrated against her, doubling down on the pledge after her predecessor is killed in a double cross. (Yeah, that's a lot of 'doubles,' I know.)

Matthews's real-world knowledge of international espionage shines through and makes this a unique and interesting read. It's fast-paced, well written and packed with lots of funky Russian phrases, colloquialisms, recipes, and jokes, which I appreciate. You definitely want to read the first book before picking up Palace of Treason, though.


Atonement — Ian McEwan

Atonement — Ian McEwan

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

My girlfriend picked up reading as a serious habit a couple years ago, and she's quickly surpassed me both in quality and number of books read. Despite having my ego bruised, this does have its benefits, as there are always a number of extra books lying around that I might not have otherwise picked up.

This week it's Atonement by British author Ian McEwan, a story that divides its time between the 1930s, 1940s, and present day. It's apparently (I've only just started) all about a big mistake made when just a child and how it follows the woman through life. It's one of McEwan's most celebrated books, and I'm excited to jump in fully over the weekend.


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

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