The Culture Arts

Top Picks: The Shelters' debut album, the Netflix documentary 'Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold,' and more top picks

Get a refresher on the time when Constantinople was the flagship city of the Roman Empire with the podcast The History of Byzantium, desserts become true works of art on the Instagram account of Karin Pfeiff Boschek, and more top picks.

  • Staff

Same restless heart

One of the projects Tom Petty was about to start before his death in early October was producing the second album by Los Angeles buzz band The Shelters. Petty co-produced their eponymous first album, which was released in 2016, then took them out on tour to open for his bands the Heartbreakers and Mudcrutch. So they must be pretty good, right? You bet! They share the same restless rebel heart of their mentor, rocking and riffing like their lives depended on it. If you like Petty, the Rolling Stones, and hook-laden, anthemic guitar rock, check out their sizzling debut. Then look forward to the sequel.

AP/File

Spotlight on Didion

One of America’s most acclaimed writers is the focus of the new Netflix documentary Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. The film, which is directed by her nephew, Griffin Dunne, and is for adult viewers, includes archival clips and reminiscences from Didion. It’s now streaming.

Mysterious ‘cousin’

My Cousin Rachel stars Sam Claflin as a young man living in 1830s Britain who encounters Rachel (Rachel Weisz), the mysterious widow of his cousin. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer writes that Weisz “makes her character ... deliciously ambiguous.” The film is rated PG-13 for some sexuality and brief strong language; it’s available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Reuters/File

Byzantium recollection

Get a refresher on the time when Constantinople was the flagship city of the Roman Empire with the podcast The History of Byzantium, hosted by Robin Pierson. In addition to sharing history, Pierson includes intriguing analysis on how to read between the lines of sources. Find it at https://thehistoryofbyzantium.com.  

Dessert as art

Desserts become true works of art on the Instagram account of Karin Pfeiff Boschek. Boschek features her pies, which are bedecked with ornate designs. Check out the harvest time pie with eye-popping renderings of leaves and berries and her other creations.

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