It’s already July? Before the summer days turn to autumn nights, we have things to do.
You won’t catch me sliding down Verrückt, but all too soon the pools will close and school will be back in full swing. We’ve got a lot to do before the season slips away, like swing around Worlds of Fun’s SteelHawk, if you dare.
Here are a few more things on my summer-musts list:
The TV show. Halle Berry joins the club of movie stars headed to the small screen when “Extant,” the sci-fi drama produced by Steven Spielberg, debuts at 8 p.m. Wednesday on CBS. Berry plays Molly Woods, an astronaut who returns from a yearlong mission and finds out she is inexplicably pregnant. Is it an alien baby or not? We’ll see. cbs.com
The book. Last year, Rainbow Rowell became a critical darling with her brilliant novel “Eleanor & Park.” The bittersweet young-adult romance tackled race, class and family dysfunction. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s definitely worth your time. On Tuesday, we get “Landline,” targeted for older readers and perfect for poolside lounging. Reviewers say it’s clever and busts out of expectations.
“Landline” is the story of Georgie McCool and her troubled marriage. She’s a busy TV writer, and her husband is a stay-at-home dad. When Georgie can’t go on family vacation, he packs up the kids and goes without her. They’ve lost the intimacy of communication. But Georgie finds a magic phone that lets her call him in the past, back when they started dating. Intriguing.
The movies. If you’re looking for a page-to-screen gem, you have just enough time read Gayle Forman’s “If I Stay,” before the movie arrives Aug. 22. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as Mia, a teenage cellist forced to rethink her path after a life-altering event changes her family.
Zach Braff’s “Wish I Was Here” (in KC Aug. 1) is receiving mixed reviews, but I’m excited to see what kind of beautiful, dark and strangely inspiring film he’s spun this time around. It’s been 10 years since Braff released the cult classic “Garden State,” one of my personal favorites. (If it fails, at least we’ll have the funky fun James Brown biopic “Get On Up” opening the same day.)
The bites. Celina Tio’s Belfry, 1532 Grand, shares the kitchen with her downtown restaurant, Collection. But the vibes are totally different. The bar’s playlist is always a mix of soulful R&B and mood music, and beer lovers can delight in the variety. But I’ve been going back over and over again for the Belfry’s perfect summer salad — arugula, candied pistachios, goat cheese and a refreshing citrus vinaigrette. If you need a little more weight, add some chicken or a bierock. thebelfrylounge.com
If you want something even sunnier, head over to midtown’s new veggie grill and juice bar, FooDoo, 3605 Broadway. The menu includes smoothies, milks (soy, rice, almond) and juices. I want the Haze of Love smoothie (banana, pineapple, orange, mint, ground flax, honey). Yummy. foodookc.com
The celebration. Barnes & Noble is not going to let bookstores go down without a fight. And I’m thankful. From July 18 through Aug. 10, the chain will celebrate pop culture in literature with #GetPopCultured. It starts with exclusive sneak peeks of books by Marie Lu and Lev Grossman. Batman Day is July 23, leading up to a week of DC Comics giveaways and activities. The store welcomes August with Frozen Friday on the first — complete with a sing-along. Hopefully Olaf will make an appearance so we can give him warm hugs. Find out more at barnesandnoble.com.
The music. You may have missed out on tickets to see Justin Timberlake. And Jay Z and Beyoncé are skipping our great city. But lucky for us, come Sept. 2, British pop sensation Ed Sheeran will sing to the masses at the Sprint Center. That doesn’t leave us much time to learn the words to his chart-topping summer favorite, the album “X.” If you’re looking for something a little more underground, check out Mali Music’s “Mali Is …” Think John Legend, and enjoy the melodies.