June is here and the summer months are off to a great start. If you're lying out in the sun you're probably looking for an interesting book to read or a catchy album to listen to, or you might just want to hang out inside and watch a great movie or some quality TV. If you're looking for suggestions, we 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.
Recommended by Rich Edmonds, staff reviewer
One of the best films to emerge from Britain, following the struggle between parties to locate and sell diamonds. It'll leave you in stitches as you experience well-known faces as members of said ambitious gangs.
Twin Peaks: A Limited Event (Season 3)
Recommended by Jez Corden, senior Xbox editor
Twin Peaks recently picked up its third season, after over two decades of waiting. Twin Peaks is a cult early '90s sci-fi horror soap opera which revolved around the murder of a teenage girl named Laura Palmer. The series is notorious for its creepiness and influence on modern culture, with Stranger Things, X-Files, and various other shows owing a debt of gratitude to what is arguably David Lynch's most influential work.
Season 3 takes place 24 years after the events of the original show, and dials the crazy up to 11. Simply great TV, but make sure you watch the previous seasons first, or you won't have a clue what's going on (or at least, even less of a clue).
The Cable Guy
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
I'm a couple decades late to the party here, but last night I watched The Cable Guy for the first time. Starring Jim Carrey, Leslie Mann, Matthew Broderick, and directed by Ben Stiller, it's essentially a lesson in being careful with whom you make friends.
Carrey plays the cable guy who just can't seem to make a friend despite his best (often inappropriate) efforts. Broderick's character, who just wanted a bit of illegal cable, ends up on the wrong side of the cable guy, who seems to know a lot of people in high places. It's funny, it's cringey, and it's still worth watching 22 years later.
Here's some of the music the Windows Central team is listening to this week.
The Search for Everything — John Mayer
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
For years, when I heard the name John Mayer, I rolled my eyes. Another pretty-boy Hollywood knucklehead, I thought. Then I saw him play live at a party at a BlackBerry conference back in the day — Mayer used to be a spokesperson for the company — and I've had his music on my devices ever since. Thing is, Mayer still seems like a pretty-boy knucklehead … but he's also an unbelievable guitarist and songwriter. That much was immediately clear after I watched him live.
The Search for Everything is Mayer's newest album release, from 2017. It's not his best work, but I keep coming back to it due to catchy songs like 'Love on the Weekend' and 'Still Feel Like Your Man.' It's packed with great guitar riffs, and it's good easy listening. You could definitely do worse this weekend.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino — Arctic Monkeys
Recommended by Dan Thorp-Lancaster, staff writer
I'm going to crib a recommendation Cale made a couple of weeks ago, but it's taken over my mind since its release.
I've always been a gigantic Arctic Monkeys fan, and they've honestly probably been my favorite band since I first heard Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not in 2007. While their first two albums were full of this sort of punky Brit rock laced with wit and humor, the band's sound has gradually evolved on every album since. Each album brings with it almost a completely new sound, and, as a result, the Arctic Monkeys have always kept me on my toes.
Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is no different, marking a departure more laid back poppy beats from their last effort, 2013's AM, and transforming into an album full of lounge sounds with a distinctly 60s aesthetic. I know it's received a ton of criticism for frontman Alex Turner's overindulgence in the lounge vibe, but I've honestly enjoyed it a ton, even if it's just to be my go-to relaxation album.
If you're an Arctic Monkeys fan, you've probably already giving this one a look. But if you're not, it may be best to dip your toes in some of the band's back catalog. Still, Tranquility Base Hotel & Casino is at the top of my listening list right now.
Heartworn Highways Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Recommended by Cale Hunt, staff writer
Heartworn Highways is a masterpiece of a documentary from director James Szalapski, which follows around some of the founders of the "Outlaw Country" movement. It takes place over the course of 1975 and 1976 — there's some great footage from Christmas Eve at Guy Clark's house — and is packed to the brim with great musical collaboration.
This official soundtrack from the movie never seems to get old; if you're a fan of Clark, Townes Van Zandt, David Allan Coe, Rodney Crowell, Steve Young, Steve Earle, or just real country music in general, definitely have a listen.
Here are the books we're reading this week!
The Outsider — Stephen King
Recommended by Al Sacco, managing editor
Whenever Stephen King releases a new novel, Al Sacco reads it. I'm a lifelong fan of King's. That said, his recent work hasn't been nearly as good as his earlier stuff, or at least it's been very hit or miss. The Outsider was released last week, and I just started reading it yesterday. So it's unclear whether it falls in the former or latter category. But it's off to a good start, so I'm optimistic.
It's the story of a quaint, idyllic Oklahoma town that's thrown into a panic when a small child is slain, and when multiple people claim to have seen the local little league baseball coach near the scene of the crime, covered in blood. The police are easily able to stack up evidence against the man. However, it's clear immediately that something isn't right, because small details of the witness descriptions seem odd. And the coach, who everyone in town seems to know and (mostly) love, appears to have a water-tight alibi.
The story raises the questions of whether you ever really know anybody, and whether you can rely on the people you believe you know and trust. And in classic King fashion, it's creepy and gory at times, with a dose of the supernatural.
The 15:17 to Paris — Anthony Sadler
Recommended by Richard Devine, reviews editor
The 15:17 to Paris is a true story, which makes it all the more harrowing. It tells the tale of August 21, 2015, when a lone terrorist boarded a train in Brussels armed to kill everyone on board. Three men, changed the course of what could have been a truly terrible day with the ultimate act of bravery, saving everyone on that train. This is their story, well written, engaging, but ultimately heroic.
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.
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