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This Week in Culture

Your cheat sheet to the next seven days in the arts—highbrow and low (plus everything in between)

Each week, there’s an avalanche of upcoming albums, films, books, theater and art—from monumental new voices in culture to guilty pleasures worth indulging in. We’re here to help narrow down what deserves your attention. Our picks for the week of August 5th are below:

The Book: James Patterson ups his game in a new thriller, Mistress, in which a socially challenged man, Ben, finds the women of his infatuation dead without explanation. Look no further for your next beach reach. Out Monday.

The Album: The Polyphonic Spree, a 20+ choral pop group led by Tim DeLaughter, has been releasing inspirational hits since their 2002 debut. The Dallas, Texas-based group, who are often clad in brightly colored robes, are out with some tunes to brighten your day, their first non-holiday album release since 2007. Out Tuesday.

The Exhibit: A collection of 54 recently acquired works by the American artist James Castle make up The World of James Castle, the exhibit at the Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. Opens Thursday.

The Movie: A new dystopian thriller from South African director Neill Blomkamp, Elysium pits Matt Damon and Jodie Foster against each other in a futuristic world in which the wealthy have colonized themselves on a high-tech space station. Opens Friday