Top Picks: Spotify's 'Songs to Sing in the Car,' PBS's 'Wonders of Mexico,' and more

The NPR podcast 'Planet Money' makes economic news easy to understand, the movie 'The Forgiven' stars Forest Whitaker as Desmond Tutu, and more top picks.

Sam Smith

Car tunes

Spotify has a great playlist for your summer road trip. Aptly named Songs to Sing in the Car, it’s an irresistible mix of contemporary radio hits by the biggest stars in pop and R&B today as well as a generous sampling of the great voices of the past 10 years, such as Adele, Sam Smith, Sia, Alessia Cara, Hozier, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, Alicia Keys, Lady Gaga, and Pink. With some clearly marked exceptions, all tracks are family-friendly. Get your car-aoke on!

Dinner guidance

It’s an age-old question: Where should we go for dinner? The OpenTable app can help with booking reservations or provide suggestions if you don’t know where to start, including searching for restaurants based on location or what kind of food they offer. A new layout makes the process even faster if you’re going out. OpenTable is free for iOS and Android.

Courtesy of Stuart Armstrong/BBC NHU
Blue-footed boobies

Exploring Mexico

A new series on PBS, Wonders of Mexico, brings viewers along on a tour of Mexico, including deserts located in the northern part of the country and the Maya Tropical Forest, uncovering the beauty of its culture and wildlife. It premières Aug. 1 at 9 p.m.

Money matter

Some love to check out economic headlines, but others might wish for a little more guidance on what’s going on. The NPR podcast Planet Money makes economic news easy to understand, taking unusual approaches to covering the latest business stories. You can find it at

Story of forgiveness

The movie The Forgiven stars Forest Whitaker as Desmond Tutu, telling the based-on-real-life story of the encounter he had with a white separatist named Piet Blomfeld (Eric Bana). Monitor film critic Peter Rainer praises the work of actress Thandi Makhubele, who plays the mother of a likely murdered teenage girl who asks Tutu to figure out what happened and eventually meets the culprit. “You ask yourself how this woman will ever find it in herself to forgive,” he writes. “And yet she does, and in a way that most of us could never believe ourselves capable of.” “The Forgiven” is available on DVD and Blu-ray.

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