LAW AND ORDER: ALASKA
Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Chabon has always championed plot-driven novels over more stodgy – and sluggish – literary fare. But The Yiddish Policemen's Union, Chabon's sixth foray into long-form fiction, is proof that a good writer can have it both ways. The story line follows Alaska Detective Meyer Landsman into a herky-jerk murder investigation – it's a nuanced piece of political satire and a roller coaster of a summer read.
USE THE FORCE
Fans of George Lucas's 30-year-old meisterwerk, take note: www.StarWars.comrelaunched May 25, adding, among other features, a multimedia mixing platform that lets fans mash up clips and audio from all six "Star Wars" films. Results are shared at the site. We were even more impressed with some of the shorts and fan-made films collected here, including the cult favorite "Chad Vader: Day Shift Manager."
MAKING MOVIES SAFE FOR MOVIEGOERS
Theatergoers spoke – rather loudly, as it turns out – and one cinema chain listened. The Regal Entertainment Group is testing a new hand-held device that allows patrons to alert theater management to problems ranging from talkative neighbors to fuzzy projection. The Regal Guest Response System, now available in 114 theaters, even has a button for complaining about pirates (the camcorder-wielding kind, not Johnny Depp).
WHADDYA GONNA DO?
On Sunday, The Sopranos, David Chase's landmark mobster drama, finally comes to an end after 86 episodes (HBO, 9 p.m.). Last week, New Jersey crime boss Tony Soprano arrived at the brink of disaster: his friends are dying, families are separating, and friendships are breaking. This weekend, Chase will have one hour to tie all those loose ends into one knot. Can Tony find redemption?
Cooks will want to bookmark thejoykitchen.com, a new online companion to the venerable, 75-year-old "Joy of Cooking," a book often handed down from one generation to the next. Register (free) to find recipes, trade tips with other kitchen alchemists – even download the occasional correction to print editions or suggest fixes yourself.