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Wednesday, August 15th, 2018

Editor's Choice - Gretchen Peters, Sacha Baron Cohen, Brad Meltzer and More

Gretchen Peters just keeps getting better and better. Her latest album, Dancing with the Beast, is yet another superb demonstration of her ability to convey a character’s essence in a mere four-minutes-and-change. I can’t wait to hear the new songs live at her next appearance in the area, which I hope is very soon.

Brad Meltzer’s The Escape Artist is my favorite thriller of 2018 so far, and I’ve read a bunch of ‘em. A fast-paced and genuinely suspenseful story involving a mysterious plane crash, a tough-as-nails Army combat artist (yes, there apparently is such a thing), and a government mortician with a traumatic past. Coming to paperback in September, but you really shouldn’t wait that long.

Sacha Baron Cohen’s Who Is America?, currently five episodes in on Showtime, is the must-see comedy reality show of the Trump era. To Representative Matt Gaetz’s credit, he didn’t fall for Mr. Cohen’s Israeli antiterrorism expert shtick on one episode (“You’re asking me if I want to arm six-year-olds?”). But plenty of others are revealed for the buffoons they are, including former VP Dick Cheney and Arizona’s infamous Sheriff Joe.

Darren Aronofsky’s mother! (2017) not only divided audiences, it divided me. Part of me found it so profoundly disturbing I can’t shake it a week after watching (or should I say surviving), and part of me thinks it’s a masterpiece. It’s probably the last time a major studio will put such a bizarro movie in wide release, Jennifer Lawrence or no. Coming to Amazon Prime later this month, but avoid it. I mean, don’t miss it—it’s great.