The first season of Amazon’s Goliath, starring Billy Bob Thornton as a down-and-out lawyer, was pretty good, but they’ve raised the bar (pun intended) for the second round of episodes. The storyline involves a wrongfully incarcerated youth, a Mexican drug cartel, a mayoral election, and Mr. Thornton’s delicate relationship with his teenage daughter. And then there’s Mark Duplass’ amazing performance as a shady real estate developer—they should just hand him his Emmy Award right now.
Robert Hilburn’s Paul Simon: The Life is one of the best music biographies ever, thanks to its subject’s full cooperation (Mr. Simon would rather write songs than memoirs) and the author’s highly readable narrative. I’ve always liked Paul Simon, but I like him even more now. Someone get him to sign on for the 2019 30A Fest before he calls it quits.
Brad Bird’s Incredibles 2 is so full of imagination, humor, and superb action sequences, it leaves all the Avengers and Justice Leaguers in the dust. Plus some inspired voice casting—Bob Odenkirk and Catherine Keener are fine additions to this super sequel.
Jill D. Block scores with her debut novel, The Truth About Parallel Lines, which follows a young woman through decades of life-changing moments—love, death, betrayal, parenthood, etc. Ms. Block fully inhabits all of her characters’ skins, including the minor ones.
Stephen King's latest epic novel, The Outsider, benefits considerably from Will Patton’s audiobook narration. Mr. Patton has done remarkable work on earlier books (also Gregg Allman’s autobiography), but this is the performance of his career. The story begins with a grisly murder, and plays like a police procedural before taking some surprising (even for King) turns.