Monitor Picks

Five things we think you'll really like.

Ray of light

Everyday with Rachael Ray, a monthly magazine by The Food Network's hottest host, is as effervescent in its design and tone as its eponymous star. Rachael's recipes are the publication's main entrée, but they come served with a large side order of lifestyle features, including product guides and travel stories. Our favorite: Rachael peeks inside the fridges of celebrities to see what they like to snack on.

Basketball diaries

Hoops junkies, make a fast break to, the ultimate basketball resource. The site digs below the hardwood for all those arcane stats you always wanted to know (Who is the most clutch with the game on the line?) and those you don't (Is a team more likely to score if it starts with the ball in the wings or at the top of the key?). Your insider's guide to the upcoming playoffs.

Thank you for acting

You realize how good Aaron Eckhart is in "Thank You For Smoking," a sendup of Big Tobacco, when you find yourself rooting for his "Colonel Sanders of nicotine." It's a breakout role for the actor, known for fine turns in "Erin Brockovich" and "In the Company of Men" (and a Grand Canyon cleft chin). Next up: Brian De Palma's "The Black Dahlia" in September.

Watch out, Netflix

Movies when you want them are slowly becoming a reality. The latest on the scene:, which allows you to rent or buy some of the biggest titles - "King Kong" and "Pride & Prejudice," to name a couple - and download them immediately. Purchased films can be copied twice, but - sorry, iPod fans - only play on Windows Media Player.

'Lion' hearted

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe topped all but Darth Vader at last year's box office. Now on a two-disc DVD set, see why Monitor critic Peter Rainer said this story of three schoolchildren's adventure, based on C.S. Lewis's book, works "as a boisterous fantasia and as the Christian fable that Lewis intended."

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