Spring 2021 Entertainment Guide: Books, Shows, & Films

Since elaborate entertainment such as ballet and opera are personally canceled indefinitely, our main entertainment these days is in the form of television, movies, and books. (Oh, and look out the window.) The good news: We absolutely loved the spring variety of entertainment. The bad news: Well, we’ve already discussed that.

If you’re looking for a quick break, try one of these 15 books, shows, and films to immerse yourself in other people’s stories and take some time off from reality.

5 new books to read in a sunny patch of grass

Justine from Forsyth Harmon

If you haven’t got your hands on Justine yet, contact your local bookseller (or the local bookseller’s online store). With beautiful, dreamy illustrations that the writer made herself, Justine follows the story of Ali and her new everything, Justine, which sparkles in the fat-free glory of the late 1990s. About more than teenage friendship, the book will bring you back to your own complicated high school relationships and fill you with nostalgia as you chop your heart off with an ice ax.

If you kept a record of Andrea Bajani’s sin

First translated from Italian to English by Elizabeth Harris, this sleek novel follows a young man who returns to Romania for his mother’s funeral. Just a boy when his mother left him in Italy, this is a tale of abandonment that drops revelations in delicate, narrow prose about how a child might drop pennies into a stream. The waves are deeply felt.

Egg yolks by Mary HK Choi

Choi’s third novel is about two sisters and explores the connection between women with the same parents – even when they are worlds apart in the same city. But when a disaster strikes – in this case, cancer – the relationship is torn apart and built from scratch, and we get front-row seats for the drama.

The five wounds of Kirstin Valdez Quade

Quade’s debut novel – after a breathtaking collection of stories, Night at the Fiestas – is set in the fictional city of Las Penas, New Mexico. If his 15-year-old daughter shows up pregnant, the 33-year-old unemployed Amadeo Padilla has to correct or try the course. The book actually started as a story in Quade’s collection, answering the question of what could happen if a short story one day turned into a whole novel.

Second place from Rachel Cusk

Sometimes getting what you want is a curse. In Cusk’s new novel, inspired by Mabel Dodge Luhan’s 1932 memoir by DH Lawrence, a woman with a family invites an artist to stay at her guest house, and all hell breaks loose.

5 new shows to watch (see you in a few days)

Younger

Younger! Season! Seven! Is! Here! Honestly, this is the show we’re most looking forward to this spring, especially since it will be the show’s final season. We loved bumping into the sets of the show all winter in Williamsburg, and we’re thrilled that post-production won’t take a million years. If you know you know; and if you haven’t fallen in love with Liza, Kelsey, and the entire Younger cast, you’re in luck as hell.

Stanley Tucci: In search of Italy

Starting with Naples and the Amalfi Coast, the actor you know best for his role in The Devil Wears Prada (sorry, Stanley) explores the culinary masterpieces of Italy. If you haven’t already suffered a terrible case of wanderlust, then after you finish this series, you will be.

The equalizer

Sure, we wouldn’t always recommend criminal proceedings. But when was the last time you saw Queen Latifah (as Robyn McCall) enrage the oppressors of our time while looking like the coolest woman in the world? Doreen St. Felix reviews it brilliantly in the New Yorker.

The one

This crime series is based on the premise of a dating app that uses your DNA to help you find love. But it could ruin your life too. The British drama, based on a novel of the same name, asks, “How far would you go to find the one?”

Behind her eyes

Likewise, if you’re in the mood for some absolutely insane drama, this British series will definitely fit the bill. The series is also based on a novel of the same name and initially follows a tight love triangle, if you could call it that, and quickly breaks up from there. Be warned, however: the ending was quite outraged.

5 new films that would be even better in the theater

Tina

A two-hour documentary by the woman and legend Tina Turner follows the curve of her career. Unlike some recent documents by powerful black women, this one records her story as a collaboration with Turner herself, so she can tell her life in her own words – from her opulent home in Zurich.

Coming 2 America

If you loved the first one, you must see the sequel. More than 30 years later, Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall (and many other beloved actors) are back to share what happened after the first film closed. It’s nowhere near as good as the first, but you’ll be cheering them on anyway – and it’s fun to see all of the references to the classic.

Last night in Soho

In Vulture’s words, this is a “time-traveling psychological fashion thriller (and maybe … musical?)”. What else do you need to know?

Boogie

If you loved Pop Smoke as much as we loved Pop Smoke, this should be a look to see the late musical talent in his first and last roles on the big screen. Taylor Takahashi plays a Queens basketball star who has NBA dreams in one hand and his parents’ vision in the other.

17 blocks

A little over 20 years ago, nine-year-old Emmanuel Sanford-Durant and his family began videotaping themselves and those around them in one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the country, Washington, DC. The cameras have been on for two decades, and this doc navigates the compelling stories that have emerged from those years of filming.

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