1. THE AMAZING RACE 4
CBS’ addictive reality show is travel porn for armchair adventurers. (And, yes, we’re totally pulling for the circus clowns.)
2. ”CLOCKS,” COLDPLAY
Listen to this infectious single twice. Then just try to get it out of your head. There’s a reason it’s been No. 1 at the iTunes store.
3. DRINKING COFFEE ELSEWHERE, BY ZZ PACKER
A summer read with heart: 8 rich tales, mostly of African-American women exiled on Main Street.
4. FINDING NEMO
A megaplex megahit that deserves to be a blockbuster: Pixar’s outrageously inventive fish-in-water story swims with heart and sole.
5. HAIL TO THE THIEF, RADIOHEAD
The British art rockers rediscover the joys of writing actual songs — and steal your breath away.
6. VANESSA REDGRAVE IN LONG DAY’S JOURNEY INTO NIGHT
As the haunted matriarch in O’Neill’s play, she’s as unforgettable as a nightmare.
Want a touching, funny, edge-of-your-seat suspense flick? Try this documentary about eight kids at a national spelling bee.
8. STANDING IN THE SHADOWS OF MOTOWN
Stop! in the name of this DVD, which celebrates the unheralded musicians behind the Motown sound.
9. TALK TO HER
The new DVD is the perfect chance to discover why Pedro Almodovar won an Oscar for his deliriously romantic art-house hit.
10. THE WINTER QUEEN, BY BORIS AKUNIN
Why pimp a novel set in czarist Russia? Because it’s a brainy, chilly, shocking detective thriller.
11. THE WIRE
Season 2 of HBO’s cool crime drama debuted June 1. Get on board now, or you’ll spend the rest of the summer kicking yourself.
12. WORLD WITHOUT TEARS, LUCINDA WILLIAMS
She may be 50, but the country rocker’s songs of love, longing, and heartache are as searing as ever.