Best new books, music and movies to amp up your weekend

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Picks of the week...

Rather than slogging through a lake of reviews to find something you’re just going to put down after 10 minutes, Cult of Mac has waded through the iTunes store to compile a list of the best new books, movies and music to come out this week so you don't have to get it yourself.

This week we've got a brilliant teen movie from the heart of Silicon Valley, a new album from the most inventive (or crazy) duo in hip-hop, a new book that just might convince you to sell everything you own and move closer to the ocean, and much more.

Enjoy!

Alvvays - Alvvays

The spelling of Alvvays (pronounced “always”) is rather silly, but the melodies this Toronto-based band produces on their first album, Alvvays, are so sugary sweet and infectious you’ll be saddened that each song has to eventually end. It’s the best new album from July you’re probably not listening to.

iTunes - $9.99

Blue Mind, by Wallace J. Nichols & Celine Cousteau

If you’re anything like me, the ocean waters have been calling your name all summer, but why are we so drawn to sea? Blue Mind sets out to reveal why simply being near water can have huge effects on our health by combining cutting-edge neuroscience with stories from top athletes, scientists and military vets who have found that living near water can increase calm, squash anxiety and even boost your professional success.

iTunes - $7.99

The Internet's Own Boy

Aaron Swartz was one of the most influential Internet figures of our generation. Not only did he help develop RSS and co-found Reddit, but the American computer programmer was also a fervent crusader for open access and free speech, and ultimately became a victim of the very rights and freedoms he stood for. The Internet’s Own Boy takes you inside his story a year after the tech prodigy killed himself. It’s a must see for anyone who cares about the way the government is shaping the way we access information in the digital age.

iTunes - $4.99

Shabazz Palaces - Lese Majesty

Ishamel Butler and Tendai Maraire, aka Shabazz Palaces, are either the most inventive duo in hip-hop, or the most bat-shit crazy group of the 2010's. Their second LP, Lese Majesty should only be listened to if you're ready to step away from hip-hop's generic time signatures and ridiculous choruses and into an experimental rap world that's both mystifying and mind-bending.

iTunes - $9.99

Lucky Us, by Amy Bloom

Amy Bloom’s third novel, Lucky Us, is an imaginative romp through WWII-era America, all from the eyes of Eva and her half-sister Iris, who dreams of escaping to Hollywood to become a movie star. It’s one of the most beautifully written and resonant novels to come out this month, featuring big dreams, scandals, heartbreak, and a dash of luck.

iTunes - $10.99

Palo Alto

Palo Alto has three things going for it. 1) James Franco. 2) Its portrait of the lusts, boredoms, and self-destructions of teenage life in the heart of Silicon Valley makes it one of the best teen movies in recent years. 3) It’s available exclusively on iTunes a month before the DVD drops.

iTunes - $12.99

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Roberto Bolano's Fiction: An Expanding Universe, by Chris Andrews

Roberto Bolano was one of the all-time greatest novelists and short-story writers from South America, but before you dive into the 898 pages of 2666, Chris Andrews has deftly dissected and analyzed the complex themes and narrative layers of the Chilean writer’s fictional universe. An Expanding Universe isn’t really a biography or a critical study, but it explains how Bolano rapidly rose to fame in North America and provides fascinating insights on the personal writing system Bolano used to produce his rich fictional worlds.

iTunes - $14.99

The Muffs - Whoop Dee Doo

Jenny Lewis dropped her third solo album this week, and it’s great, if you like whimsical twee music while driving to the beach to sip mimosas with your GF. But if you want an album from a 90’s-era female singer songwriter that has more bite than Lewis, check out Kim Shattuck’s latest pop-punk effort with The Muffs on their sixth album, Whoop Dee Doo.

iTunes - $9.99

Particle Fever

You’ve probably heard of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland. You probably even cheered when CERN announced the discovery of the Higgs particle in 2012, but what does all that mean? For an entertaining and informative introduction to the LHC and the theories behind it, check out Particle Fever, which takes viewers inside the largest scientific experiment ever created by following six scientists seeking to unravel the mysteries of the universe by smashing atoms together.

iTunes - $4.99