Shelf Life: Albums, Books and Flicks from Then & Now
That Lonesome Song—Jamey Johnson
Before he was “famous,” Jamey Johnson was a Nashville songwriter whose hit song credits included Trace Adkin’s “Honky Tonk Badonkadonk.” Writing’s his game, but singing in a deep treacly drawl is his secret weapon. Combine the two, and you get a song like “In Color,” one of those timeless country songs that still makes me cry actual tears every time I hear it. Country fans: You need Jamey Johnson in your life, if he’s not already.
From A Room: Volume 2—Chris Stapleton
Chris Stapleton’s From a Room Volume 1 blazed through the charts last year, and now fans can celebrate the long-awaited debut of Volume 2. If you’re a fan of great country music in the tradition of singer-songwriters like Waylon Jennings or Jamey Johnson, Chris Stapleton is absolutely in your wheelhouse.
The Dry by Joanna Harper
Set in small-town Australia in the midst of the worst drought of the century, this page-turning debut from Joanna Harper became an instant New York Times bestseller. A federal agent returns home to attend the funeral of his best friend who died in a tragic murder-suicide, but in seeking the answers to his friend’s death, he also unearths questions from the past that demand answers.
The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
In this strong debut novel that promises great things to come, a police officer hides a traumatic past: She was the victim of a kidnapping, the “one that got away” from a still-active serial killer. Her suspicion that a string of missing persons is connected to the killer leads her to reach out to the FBI agent who rescued her all those years ago.
Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation
If you found yourself somewhat disappointed by the last James Bond outing Spectre, I highly recommend going back and giving Mission Impossible: Rogue Nation a shot. It’ll scratch your James Bond itch in ways you didn’t know you needed—from the awesome no-CGI stunts and thrilling car chases to gadgets and quip-tastic exchanges. Cruise may not be everyone’s favorite actor, but when he’s in super-spy action-hero mode, it’s hard to fault him.
This based-on-a-true-story action-comedy ’80s period piece scratches a similar itch to “so-crazy-you-won’t-believe-it-actually-happened” movies like Catch Me If You Can. Tom Cruise is in his element as the wide-eyed American pilot who becomes a drug-runner for the CIA in a scheme that would eventually become known as the Iran-Contra Affair.
By Sharon Penny