Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll really like.

Picture this...

Whether you're a long-time photographer or you've just caught the shutterbug, scroll through TakeGreatPictures.com, a comprehensive website for all things photography. In addition to tips on techniques, reviews of new photo books, and interviews with lensers such as Steve McCurry (who shot that photo of the green-eyed Afghan refugee for the cover of National Geographic), the site also welcomes amateur submissions.

Prepare for 'Serenity'

We'd like you to meet a couple of old friends of ours - the spaceship crew of the sci-fi movie Serenity (released Sept. 30). The ragtag team, which includes Capt. Malcolm "Mal" Reynolds, a Han Solo for the '00s, was last seen in the short-lived TV series, "Firefly." Rent all 14 episodes on DVD to discover why this outstanding show, with its captivating blend of action and humor, has been revived for the big screen.

No ordinary Jones

Braves centerfielder Andruw Jones is our pick to become the National League's Most Valuable Player. He leads in home runs and RBIs, his defensive play has been compared to that of Willie Mays, and he's taken an Atlanta team full of rookies and muscled it to its 15th division title in a row.

I want my mommy
How I Met Your Motherher sister
Sensible shelters

Ever wonder what visionary design pros would do with your cluttered and cramped home office? From Sarah Susanka - acknowledged leader of the determined (if uphill) movement to supplant America's McMansions with intelligently designed smaller homes - comes yet another lovely book. Inside the Not So Big House extends Susanka's franchise, celebrating living spaces that exhibit, as she puts it, "a kind of graceful economy."

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