Our top picks in books, movies and TV. SARAH LISS
MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS
In this delicious adaptation of Agatha Christie’s 1934 bestseller, Kenneth Branagh plays Hercule Poirot, the mustachioed master sleuth tasked with getting to the bottom of a death aboard a snowbound train. The plot may be old hat to mystery fans, but the top-drawer cast—which includes Judi Dench, Willem Dafoe, Michelle Pfeiffer and Penélope Cruz—makes for a first-rate, thrill-a-minute ride. Nov. 10.
ALI: A LIFE Jonathan Eig
A bruiser who rejected war; an African-American hero in a time of racial discord; a titan beset by physical frailty; an athlete who floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee. The story of Muhammad Ali is fraught with contradictions, and in this thoughtful biography, journalist Jonathan Eig expertly sifts through those complexities. Oct. 3.
THE VACCINATION PICTURE Timothy Caulfield
In 2015’s Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything? Timothy Caulfield debunked crackpot health and wellness myths espoused by celebrities, establishing himself as a voice of reason in a sea of misinformation. With his latest book, the University of Alberta prof dives into the hard science behind another controversial subject: vaccination. Oct. 24.
TOP OF THE LAKE: CHINA GIRL
The follow-up to Jane Campion’s acclaimed miniseries finds Detective Robin Griffin (Elisabeth Moss of
Mad Men and The Handmaid’s Tale) investigating murder and prostitution in Sydney, Australia. It’s impossible to resist being consumed by the core mystery, thanks to the laser-sharp writing and the superb players, which include a decidedly unglamorous Nicole Kidman. Oct. 25.
He may be just 11, but Vancouver actor Jacob Tremblay
(Room) is an old hand at delivering moving performances. In Wonder, he is Auggie, a kid who’s endured a catalogue of operations to address his facial differences and is steeling himself to attend school. Playing his parents, Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson offer a neat balance of ferocity and tenderness, but it’s Tremblay who will break your heart. Nov. 17.