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

The summer is flying by and most of us are enjoying hot weather. Whether you want to lie out in the sun with a good book or stay inside and soak up some A/C, you're probably looking for some quality media recommendations. To help you out, 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.

Back to the Future Trilogy

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

I don't think you ever really need an excuse to watch the Back to the Future trilogy, or at least, I certainly don't. I lost count how many times I've seen this time-traveling trio of movies many years ago, but if I had to only watch these movies for the rest of my life, I could live with that.

Mean Girls

Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor

Are you a huge fan of Lindsay Lohan? If you are, chances are you've seen the only movie of hers worth watching, Mean Girls. But hey, it's available on the Microsoft Store, so why not watch it again?Mean Girls is a weird movie that harks back to a time before it looked like WW3 was around the corner, and the biggest thing millennials had to worry about was how they were perceived by their peers. Mean Girls is a typical teen comedy about peer pressure, bitchiness, and social redemption. Don't you miss those simpler times?

The Vietnam War: A Film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I'm a big fan of the documentaries that Ken Burns and Lynn Novick produce, and now that The Vietnam War is widely available, I've gone back to rewatch it. This is more than 15 hours of content that examines the war in Vietnam, social tension in the U.S. and around the world, and the civil unrest that followed.Once you start watching this documentary you'll be hard-pressed to stop, despite each episode clocking in at well over an hour. Its pacing is perfect, the archival footage is astounding, and the interviews with Vietnamese and American soldiers alike will leave you wondering why there was a war in the first place.


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

Changes — Charles Bradley

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

I stumbled upon Charles Bradley's soulful rendition of Black Sabbath's "Changes" a couple of weeks ago and I was immediately awestruck. I've probably listened to that single track several dozen times since, but it's also part of a larger album of the same name, and so I've immersed myself in it this week.Bradley is full of such raw and ragged emotion on Changes, wailing in a way that immerses the listener in both his pain and joy. The title track, an ode to Bradley's mother's passing, delivers a gut punch with every word. But the album has its energetic tracks as well, with Bradley delving into upbeat, driving funk and soul hooks reminiscent of James Brown ("Ain't It A Sin" is a phenomenal example of this).Sadly, Bradley left this world in 2017, but he left a legacy of absolutely amazing soulful music that's going in my library of favorites.

Trans Am — VHS Dreams

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Summer is here and there's no better way to appreciate the heatwaves and Vitamin D than by turning up the volume in your car on the way to the beach and pump out some synthwave tunes. Trans AM by VHS Dreams is an excellent collection of beautifully-crafted tracks that get you into the relaxing mood.

Lateness Of Dancers — Hiss Golden Messenger

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I spent last week at Winnipeg's Folk Festival, and one of the performers there who I saw play a couple of times was Hiss Golden Messenger. Hailing from North Carolina, the band is led by MC Taylor and his silky-smooth voice.This is beautiful folk music mixed with blues, Americana, and country, bringing catchy lyrics and licks alike. This was definitely one of my favorite performances of the week, and I've been listening heavily ever since.


Here are the books we're reading this week!

The Wasp Factory — Iain Banks

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

I only just started ready The Wasp Factory by Scottish author Iain Banks, but already I can see why it garnered so much praise and controversy. It's violent, it's funny, it's sad, and there's plenty of foreshadowing about what's to come.Frank Cauldhame, the narrator and protagonist, lives with his father on an island connected to the mainland by a bridge. His half-brother, Eric, has escaped, and he's intent on coming back home …

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

Remik Szul