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

While a massive heatwave blasts much of the world, you're probably eager to take your mind off of the sweat collecting on your brow. Whether it's an interesting book to read, a catchy album to listen to, or a great movie or TV show to watch, we've put together a list of recommendations that's sure to please.

TV and movies

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

Back to the Future

Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor

I had a pretty horrendous travel related day this week and one thing managed to relieve the stress and foul mood: Back to the Future. It's impossible you haven't seen this time-travelling classic by now, but there's never a bad time to watch it and you're never going to have a bad day when you do. If I had to choose one movie to watch for the rest of my life, this would be it.

Get Out

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Get Out was one of my favorite movies from 2017, and is easily one of my all-time favorites. More of a thriller than horror, this movie tackles racism in a way that will leave you suspended in a tense state with a few twists that will take you by surprise. Also helps that Daniel Kaluuya is in the leading role and completely sells it.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor

Jurassic World was a fun trip down memory lane for many, with hapless humans making the same mistakes time, and time again, presuming they can control and monetize resurrected dinos via the medium of advanced cloning. The film's sequel, Fallen Kingdom, pretty much follows a similar formula, with darker, more claustrophobic writing.

The dinosaur sanctuary of Isla Nublar is about to blow, owing to a surprise volcanic eruption. Returning heroes Owen Grady and Claire Dearing join an expedition to rescue some of the dinosaur species. Things go south pretty fast.

Fallen Kingdom is an interesting mid-chapter to the planned Jurassic World trilogy, with a few intriguing twists and turns. If you're a dinosaur fan, it's well worth a watch.

Parks and Recreation

Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer

Following my late deep dive into the hilarity that is The Office, I've decided to jump into another, similar series I somehow managed to forego all these years: Parks and Recreation.

Like The Office, I've seen episodes here and there over the years, but I've never sank my teeth into it. And, honestly? I have no idea why. Amy Poehler is fantastic as the earnest-yet-hilariously-flawed Leslie Knope, and Nick Offerman has been one of my favorite actors (and people) for some time. Chris Pratt, Aziz Ansari, and Aubrey Plaza all brink a sprinkle of their own hilarity to the cast as well.

If you're already a fan of The Office, you'll probably dig the humor of Parks and Recreation. Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got a pit to go fill in.

The Staircase

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

A couple of years ago I enjoyed watching the lengthy Making a Murderer documentary, and I've now fallen into a new, similar documentary called The Staircase. It follows the death of Kathleen Peterson, wife of author Michael Peterson, and the mystery surrounding the fateful night.

She was found at the bottom of a steep staircase by Michael Peterson, and her fall was seemingly an accident. However, as details of his personal life are unveiled, it seems more and more like he had something to do with the death.

Music

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

Baron Von Bulls#!t Rides Again — Modest Mouse

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

I'm a big fan of Modest Mouse, perhaps best described as a band that makes quirky alternative punk rock for disgruntled nihilists who appreciate intelligent lyrics … or something like that. At least that's the way I think of it …

As a huge fan of the band, it's tough for me to name a single favorite album. And for that reason, Baron Von Bulls#!t Rides Again, a live collection of some of Modest Mouse's best early songs, just might be my favorite. I've seen the band live a number of times, and it's fair to say that the quality of its performances often depends on how many … sodas the singer Isaac Brock has consumed pre-show. But this live album is near perfection, and I actually prefer the live versions on it to some of the studio-cut songs.

My favorite tracks are probably 'Bankrupt on Selling' and "Neverending Math Equation,' but seriously, every song on this album is a gem.

Exile On Main St. — The Rolling Stones

Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer

Earlier this week I went on a YouTube bender watching old live Stones concerts, and since then I've had one of my favorite albums, Exile on Main St. on repeat. This double album is topped in personal preference only by Goats Head Soup, and features songs like "Rip This Joint," "Tumbling Dice," "Sweet Virginia," and "Loving Cup."

Considering these are all contained within the first nine tracks of the 18-track album, it's safe to say Exile on Main St. will remain a classic forever.


Books

Here are the books we're reading this week!

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos — Jordan B. Peterson

Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer

Jordan B. Peterson really is an intellectual powerhouse and one you can hook a cable up to and enjoy downloading petabytes of data. In his book 12 Rules for Life, Peterson covers various topics, all of which are focused on making your life better. Quickly becoming a bestseller and dwarfing all other books on Amazon, following these rules will undoubtedly make you approach the day a little differently and come out a better person.


What Price Providence? — Gerard Ouimette

Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor

Gerard Ouimette, was a really, really bad dude. Like, he should never have been allowed outside a jail cell. And for the bulk of his life, he hasn't. He also died there, in 2015, in the Butner Federal Correctional Complex in North Carolina.

But a few years earlier, in 2012, the former New England mob underboss, a.k.a., 'The Frenchman,' published an autobiography, titled What Price Providence?, in which he detailed his early life coming up in Providence, Rhode Island, the center of the New England mafia in the mid-Twentieth Century, as well as his ongoing battle with state and federal officials, who ceaselessly tried to bring him, and his boss, Raymond Patriarca, into the hands of authorities.

The book is a fascinating account of a life-long criminal pulled into organized crime at a young age, who quickly embraced the lifestyle of violence and excess and slowly rose to the top of the ranks. But perhaps the most interesting part of the book are the behind-the-scenes workings of the Rhode Island State Police and the FBI, which both supposedly did anything they had to do — legal or otherwise — to bring down Ouimette and his crew. Of course, the story is told from Ouimette's point of view, so it's not always unbiased. But the book provides a unique viewpoint on American organized crime that ranges from Providence to Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Chicago.

It's not exactly for the squeamish. But it is a story that's sure to stick in your head.

See Kindle 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.

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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.

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