“Slenderman: Online Obsession, Mental Illness, and the Violent Crime of Two Midwestern Girls,” by Kathleen Hale (Grove Press)
The seemingly senseless stabbing of a young girl by two of her school friends in the Waukesha, Wisconsin, woods in 2014 made international headlines when it became known that the two perpetrators were under the sway of Slenderman, a fictional Internet demon that they had become convinced was real.
“Long Gone,” by Joanna Schaffhausen (Minotaur)
Four veteran Chicago police detectives are known as The Fantastic Four for their long history of spectacular gang busts, so when one of them, Leo Hammond, is shot dead in his bed with his own gun, it’s a big case.
“Kiki Man Ray,” by Mark Braude (W.W. Norton)
You may have seen the famous picture of her nude back marked with the sound holes of a violin, which recently sold for $12.4 million, the highest price ever paid for a photograph at auction.
Bella Poarch, “Dolls” (Warner Records)
In theory this should work. With her massive TikTok following, Bella Poarch clearly needed to strike while the iron is hot and release a studio EP. “Dolls” is that album.
This year marks the centennial anniversary of F. W. Murnau's “Nosferatu,” a long time for us humans but only a blip for vampires.
The movie “Mack & Rita” — which adds grandma chic to two things no one needs on screen like lazy filmmaking and a tired old concept — can be distilled into one word: cringe.
Virtually no one associated with this film should be congratulated in any way, having ruptured any bridges between Hollywood and senior citizens or for the shocking misuse of Diane Keaton's considerable skills.
NEW YORK (AP) — There's a moment in Post Malone’s new concert film when its star confesses to how surreal his life has become: “Sometimes I feel like I’m not a real person.”
Fans will get no clarity on that astounding statement after watching Amazon's “Post Malone: Runaway,” a limp, uninspiring 60 minutes of flash with no substance.
“Do No Harm” by Robert Pobi (Minotaur)
Lucas Page retired from the FBI more than a decade ago after losing an eye, an arm, and a leg in an explosion. But Lucas is a man of unique talents, so once again — in “Do No Harm,” the third book in Robert Pobi’s series — the bureau needs his help.
“Mika in Real Life” by Emiko Jean (William Morrow)
Mika Suzuki is a directionless, 35-year-old Japanese woman with a big secret: She gave her daughter up for adoption at 19.
Emiko Jean’s latest novel, “Mika in Real Life,” takes place as Mika takes on a major transformation, starting with reconnecting with her daughter, Penny.
“Diary of a Void,” by Emi Yagi (Viking)
Shibata-san, the only woman in her office group, is tired of cleaning up after the men. One day, when her section head asks her why dirty coffee cups are still lying around hours after a meeting, she improvises an astonishing lie.
“Heat 2: A Novel” by Michael Mann and Meg Gardiner (William Morrow)
Hollywood screenwriter and director Michael Mann and veteran thriller writer Meg Gardiner have achieved a rarity with their novel “Heat 2”: a screen-to-page sequel that stands tall on its own.
Calvin Harris' last star-studded funk album in 2017 sported several hits but left listeners wanting more. Now, the DJ from the UK has delivered a second volume, titled “Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2," featuring even more tracks and big names, but bigger doesn’t always mean better.
A boisterous extended clan gathers for a family holiday, launching the requisite arguments, hurt feelings, grudges, inside jokes, laughter, love, reconciliation and lots of eating, plus maybe a car chase.
“Cover to Cover,” The Brother Brothers (Compass Records)
Identical twins Adam and David Moss are easy to tell apart on their charming new album of cover tunes.
That’s usually David singing the high part, his gentle harmonies with Adam doing a distinctive dance that can only result from plenty of practice and shared genes.
“ Bodies Bodies Bodies ” might just be the first great Gen Z thriller. In director Halina Reijn’s film is a razor-sharp satire of a very specific kind of modern privilege set inside an escalating murder mystery in a remote mansion as a hurricane rages outside.
Twenty-seven years ago, Ron Howard's “Apollo 13” saluted men with the right stuff — quiet courage and grace under pressure. This summer, he's returned to that magic number for a similar rescue tale but traded the vastness of space for a film deep underground.
Aboard the speeding locomotive of “Bullet Train” ride at least five assassins, one venomous reptile (a snake on the train), countless glib Guy Ritchie-esque slo-mo action sequences, and one bucket-hat wearing Brad Pitt.
“Regenesis: Feeding the World Without Devouring the Planet,” by George Monbiot (Penguin Random House)
Cruising past farmlands in America — and elsewhere in the world — it’s hard to imagine that so much green could be so damaging to the Earth.
“The Last White Man” by Mohsin Hamid (Riverhead)
Anders wakes up to find he’s no longer white. After confiding in his friend, Oona, the two discover this is not an isolated case; all over town and beyond, white people are finding their skin suddenly turning dark.
"Renaissance," Beyoncé (Columbia Records)
Beyoncé has been reborn again; this time it’s on a shimmering dance floor.
But in her seventh studio album, "Renaissance," she has subverted the public's perception of her hitmaking history.
“Hold on Baby,” King Princess (Zelig Records/Columbia Records)
In “Hold on Baby,” King Princess’ second album, there’s something emotionally relatable for all her listeners. Mikaela Straus, the 23-year-old musician behind King Princess, had a viral breakout hit with “1950,” which has over 20 million views on YouTube.
“Surrender,” by Maggie Rogers (Capitol Records)
It's all there in the title. Do as Maggie Rogers asks. Give in to her.
The 12-track “Surrender” is the follow-up to “Heard It in a Past Life,” her 2019 debut album that announced a major talent.
DC films have a reputation for being a little too self-serious. They’ve made significant strides to chip away at that dark and dour image in recent years, but it lingers even with things like “The LEGO Batman Movie.” Sometimes it’s even easy to forget that when it comes down to it, superheroes are for kids.
NEW YORK (AP) — “Proving Ground: The Untold Story of the Six Women who Programmed the World's First Supercomputer,” by Kathy Kleiman (Grand Central Publishing)
When the world’s first general-purpose, programmable, electronic computer, known as ENIAC, debuted in 1946, great fanfare was given to the men who created it, John Mauchly and J.
The first shots of “A Love Song” are a signal for the rest of the film — stubborn flowers and shrubs pushing through dry, stony earth in southwest Colorado.
“The Last Goodbye,” ODESZA (Ninja Tune)
EDM fans, hold on to your glow sticks and rave goggles – ODESZA is back and more experimental than ever. The duo of Harrison Mills and Clayton Knight released an immersive album Friday after four quiet years of speculation that the electronic magic-makers had disbanded or were done for good.
“Birds in the Ceiling” by John Moreland (Old Omens/Thirty Tigers)
John Moreland has more questions than answers these days, and he's OK with that.
On his new album, “Birds in the Ceiling," Moreland presses ahead in the gentle, thoughtful style that has distinguished the Oklahoma native from other Americana artists through six albums now.
A great debut in Hollywood can be a blessing and a curse. Once you knock it out of the park like Jordan Peele did with “Get Out,” which captured the zeitgeist so perfectly within the framework of a greatly entertaining thriller, home runs become the standard, not the exception.
Sometimes a title just doesn’t help a movie.
Not that directors Anthony and Joe Russo had much choice in titling “The Gray Man,” their new Netflix spy thriller starring Ryan Gosling — they’re adapting the novel of the same name, about a shadowy CIA assassin on the run.
“The Force of Such Beauty” by Barbara Bourland (Dutton)
It’s about time someone took the princess story that’s normalized to girls and autopsy it with absolute precision.
“The Force of Such Beauty” opens on the night of Caroline's second attempt at escaping Lucomo, the small European country in which she became a princess.
“Special,” by Lizzo (Atlantic Records)
Singer and rapper Lizzo wasn’t kidding when she came out with the title for her latest album — it truly is a journey to get to your most “Special” self.
“Peculiar, Missouri,” Willi Carlisle (Free Dirt Records)
Coming from a queer, 6-foot-4, 300-pound former high school football captain who went on to sing Midwestern punk rock, pursue poetry in New York and then earn a fellowship to teach literature in the Ozarks, this album is what you’d expect: different.
“About Last Night...” Mabel (Capitol Records).
If you've ever sent a “So, about last night" text, Mabel's newest album is for you. A follow-up to the English singer's 2019 debut album, “About Last Night...” is a blend of disco, dance and pop that captures every emotion experienced during a cathartic night out.
Paul Gallico's 1958 novel “Mrs. ‘Arris Goes to Paris,” about a British cleaning lady with high couture dreams, wouldn’t seem to have even a stitch of contemporary relevance. Yet Anthony Fabian's charming adaptation, snuggly tailored to star Lesley Manville, proves the durability of a good fairy tale and a smashing dress.
A stupendously popular source novel. A theme song by Taylor Swift. Reese Witherspoon as producer. And even a tantalizing, life-imitates-art news headline surfacing recently.
Clearly, few movies open with as much going for them as “Where the Crawdads Sing,” directed by Olivia Newman from Delia Owens’ story of an abandoned girl who grows up alone in the North Carolina marshes and finds herself accused of murder.
“Petrichor,” Sam Reider (Slow & Steady)
Jazz pianist Sam Reider can sound reflective or restless, pensive or playful, sometimes in adjacent measures.
“Petrichor” is the solo debut album from Reider, who sings and plays accordion for the jazz-bluegrass group Human Hands.
Writer and director Mel Brooks’ 1974 Western spoof “Blazing Saddles” tackled racism so head-on that Brooks recently mused he wouldn’t be able to make the film today. Maybe, just maybe, he has done just that with “Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank,” but at a terrible cost.
“Helltown: The Untold Story of a Serial Killer on Cape Cod” by Casey Sherman (Sourcebooks)
True crime is all the rage these days. Books, movies, documentaries, streaming series, podcasts — even streaming series about podcasts — are everywhere as Americans continue to obsess over the genre.
The new adaptation of “ Persuasion, ” coming to Netflix Friday, does not seem to have been made for Jane Austen fans.
Her book about the unmarried Anne Elliot, who at 27 is on the edge of spinsterhood and regretting having been persuaded to give up her true love years earlier because of his lowly status, was the author's last before her death.
“Any Other Family” by Eleanor Brown (G. P. Putnam’s Sons)
What does it mean to be a family? That’s the central question explored in Eleanor Brown’s new novel, “Any Other Family.”
Featuring three sets of parents who between them have adopted four biological siblings from the same mother, the story is set during a two-week vacation in Aspen, Colorado.
“The Mermaid of Black Conch” by Monique Roffey (Knopf)
David is a fisherman and Aycayia is a mermaid. It’s pretty obvious where the story goes from here: David falls for Aycayia. But author Monique Roffey isn’t giving us an endearing tale of love — this is a story of duality and curses.
“Formentera” Metric (Metric Music International)
Even Canadian rock stars are looking introspectively – and existentially – at their role and the meaning of it all in today’s seemingly crumbling world.
For a young imagination, there is something uniquely captivating about a stowaway story on the high seas. The stakes are great, but the adventure is so far removed from any reality most kids know that it becomes a purely transportive experience.
The last full Thor movie was the overstuffed 2017 “Thor: Ragnarok,” with the God of Thunder dealing with dueling brother and sister issues, the imminent destruction of his planet, a boozy sidekick, a huge dog, pal Hulk having a panic attack and the death of his father.
Rarely have the conditions for love been less hospitable than in Sara Dosa’s documentary “Fire of Love." Yet here, amid shifting tectonics and quaking craters, French volcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft forge a strangely rock-steady romance.
“The Lemon Man” by Keith Bruton (Brash Books)
Patrick Callen, a Dublin, Ireland hitman with a mild case of obsessive-compulsive disorder, stays organized by making lists. On his first day in Keith Bruton’s debut novel, the list includes:
“The Church of Baseball: The Making of ‘Bull Durham’: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings and a Hit” by Ron Shelton (Knopf)
Former minor-league ballplayer Ron Shelton has written and directed a host of sports-themed movies, but it’s doubtful anyone has told him they’ve named their children after the characters in “Tin Cup” or “White Men Can’t Jump” or even “Cobb.”
“Hatchet Island” by Paul Doiron (Minotaur)
Stacey Stevens’s old college roommate, now working at a bird sanctuary off the Maine coast, is in a panic. Lobstermen who have made a habit of harassing the facility’s staff are growing more aggressive, and now her boss has gone missing.
“It is a truth universally acknowledged,” goes one of the more famous opening lines in English literature, “that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
That’s Jane Austen, beginning her 1813 “Pride and Prejudice.” Austen herself has nothing to do with “Mr.