Top Picks: U2's 'Songs of Experience,' 'Battle of the Sexes' on DVD and Blu-ray, and more

The History of England podcast by David Crowther is sure to delight Anglophiles, enjoy the beauty of Earth from your iPad or other tablet with the app Brian Cox’s Wonders of Life, and more top picks.

U2 roars back

No longer the pop music kingpin it once was, U2 took stock for a few years and has come roaring back with a new collection of music that rivals its best work. Songs of Experience is stylistically diverse and, at times, too eager to please (on collaborations with guest stars Haim and Kendrick Lamar) or preachy (on political misfire “The Blackout”), but when the band gets it right, nobody else  comes close. “You’re the Best Thing About Me,” “The Showman (Little More Better),” and the touching “The Little Things That Give You Away” are top-tier U2.

History recap

Calling all Anglophiles: The History of England podcast by David Crowther began with Anglo-Saxons and is making its way through the story of Britain. The podcast is currently covering the Tudors, so tune in if you’re missing Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall” trilogy. You can find Crowther’s retelling of the history of the country at

Landmark renderings

Like so many, artist Maxwell Tilse has seen globally famous monuments such as Big Ben, the Sydney Opera House, and the Globe Theatre. But he then created small, intricate pen-and-ink renderings of these sights and photographed them next to the real thing. Head over to and marvel at the details.

Tennis battle

A new film looks back at how a match between tennis stars Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King became a Battle of the
Sexes. Emma Stone portrays King and Steve Carell takes on the role of Riggs. Monitor film critic Peter Rainer says Stone gives a “complex” depiction of King, while Carell is “remarkable.” “ ‘Battle of the Sexes’ is best ... in those moments when both King and Riggs drop their public faces and reveal the roiling underneath,” he says. The film is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

Earth’s beauty

Enjoy the beauty of Earth from your iPad or other tablet with the app Brian Cox’s Wonders of Life. Learn more about creatures, including Australia’s red kangaroo and the Christmas Island hermit crabs, and see them in 3-D. Video is included, too. Brian Cox’s Wonders of Life is $0.99 for iOS and $1.53 for Android.

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