This week in popular culture: New work from Chuck Klosterman, Stephen King and the head-scratching wonder of “Now You See Me 2”

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Here are some of the best new releases in books, music, movies out this week.

klosterman-cover“But What If We’re Wrong?: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past ” by Chuck Klosterman (Blue Rider Press).

Full disclosure: Chuck Klosterman is a friend of mine. In his new book, the former New York Times Ethicist talks to various folks — writers such as George Saunders, Junot Díaz and Amanda Petrusich, artist David Byrne, celebrity physicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Austin filmmaker Richard Linklater — about, essentially, how certain we are that we are correct. About what? All sorts of things: the nature of gravity or time, how rock music will be regarded in 2516, the second Golden Age of Television, the possibility that we as a species have learned all that we could possibly learn. You know: Klosterman stuff. And in typical Klosterman fashion, the theory he posits — it is “impossible to understand the world of today until today has become tomorrow” — is both pretty obvious and possibly not even a question. But the thing that has built Klosterman’s audience is the fact that he asked it, he asked a bunch of people about it and they discussed it with him. As much as any author I have ever encountered, Klosterman writes in a way that never makes the reader feel as if he knows any more than the reader does. This is much tougher than it sounds — David Foster Wallace, a key Klosterman influence, was incredibly good at this — and it has given Klosterman the audience he has today. You, the reader, can discuss this stuff with Klosterman at 7 p.m. June 16 at BookPeople. (June 7)

ST_WOK_BD-ORNG_3D-e1460671343368“Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan Director’s Cut” Blu-ray. So this movie may in fact be inferior to what you and I and everyone we know saw in the theaters and on home video a billion times. Only three new minutes of footage and all of the extras from the DVD version. Still: you know somebody who probably wants this, the best Trek movie by far, for Father’s Day. (June 7)

“End of Watch” by Stephen King (Scribner). The finale to the trilogy that began with the Edgar Award-winning “Mr. Mercedes” and continued with “Finders Keepers.” Look for a final confrontation between the “Mercedes Killer” and the team of Bill Hodges and Holly Gibney. (June 7)Band of Horses, “Why Are You OK” (American Recordings/Interscope). Some may ask, “Why are you still a band?” Others may simply be thrilled that this, the band’s first record since 2012 and first for Interscope Records, is in stores as of … (June 10)

“Now You See Me 2.” I think even the folks who made the first in this apparent franchise were shocked when it was a hit. Apparently, we would like more movies about thieving con-man magicians. With the still mega-punchable Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo and Woody Harrelson. Directed by Jon M. Chu, whose last film was the atomic bomb “Jem and the Holograms.” (June 10)

Shawn Colvin and Steve Earle, “Colvin & Earle” (Fantasy). Two on-and-off Texas musicians come together with one-time Austin musician Buddy Miller for the Americana duets albums of which you (or at least KGSR, KUTX and Sun Radios) have been dreaming. Will it be this year’s “Raising Sand?” (June 10)

Nick Jonas, “Last Year Was Complicated” (Safehouse/Island). This is the third solo album by Li’l Nick Jonas, of Jonas Brothers fame. Look for guest spots from Tove Lo, Ty Dolla $ign, Big Sean and Daniella Mason. (June 10)

Allen Toussaint, “American Tunes” (Nonesuch). “American Tunes” includes songs from a 2013 solo session and an October 2015 session; work on the record wrapped right before Toussaint died in November. Featuring musicians Bill Frisell, Charles Lloyd, Greg Leisz, Jay Bellerose, guest vocalist Rhiannon Giddens and pianist Van Dyke Parks. (June 10)


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