THE BEST IN BOOKS AND MOVIES
Our top picks in books and movies
CRAZY RICH ASIANS
Kevin Kwan’s 2013 debut novel was as effervescent, and as easy to knock back, as a flute of Veuve Clicquot. This bubbly film adaptation follows suit, trailing a wide-eyed Chinese-American university prof (Fresh Off the Boat’s irresistible Constance Wu) on her way to Singapore to attend a wedding and win over her mega-wealthy boyfriend’s skeptical mother (a withering Michelle Yeoh). Set amid glittering skylines, luxury homes and ludicrous yachts, this summer blockbuster spells pure delight. Aug. 15.
DID YOU KNOW? In May 2016, while negotiating to direct Crazy Rich
Asians, Jon M. Chu tweeted that he’d cast “amazing Asian actors” in “every single role”—a warning against any producer looking to whitewash the movie.
The Ontario writer’s first novel, I’m Thinking of Ending Things, employed spare prose, a secluded farm and a harrowing twist to thrilling effect. Iain Reid’s sophomore effort—an equally propulsive tale—drops those same elements into an eerie near-future, where a farmer is conscripted into space travel and his wife is left in the care of a not-quite stranger. Aug. 7.
Kate Atkinson The note arrives at the BBC, where Juliet Armstrong works as a radio producer: “You will pay for what you did.” And just like that, our heroine is flung back a decade to 1940, when she was recruited by MI5 to serve as a typist—and then as a secret agent. Kate Atkinson logged many hours rummaging around the National Archives for her meticulously detailed novel, but she hasn’t sacrificed humour, empathy or zippy plot lines. Sept. 18.
Miriam Toews In a Mennonite colony in Bolivia, between 2005 and 2009, eight men drugged and raped more than 100 women and girls. These real-life atrocities inspired Miriam Toews’ forceful new work of fiction about a small group of women who covertly gather in a neighbour’s barn to determine whether to stay in the village or leave. Their conversations form a fascinating and timely meditation on power, religious conservatism, complicity and forgiveness. Aug. 21.
With all due respect to Twin Peaks and Will & Grace, it’s nice to indulge in a little ’90s nostalgia without simply retreading old franchises. Destination Wedding brings together Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder— famously paired in 1992’s Bram Stoker’s Dracula—as misanthropic wedding guests who arrive solo, head for the wine and find comfort first in each other’s grumpiness and then, in true rom-com style, in each other. Aug. 24.