5 Things You Should Know About

A sci-fi standout, twangy Simpson and DIY Martha

BOOKS

Anathem By Neal Stephenson; out now What ever happened to the great novel of ideas? It has morphed into science fiction, and Stephenson is its foremost practitioner. Here he imagines a postapocalyptic world where cloistered monks keep the secrets of mathematics safe from the fallen civilization around them. A-

MOVIES

The Women Written and directed by Diane English; rated PG-13; out now There's not even one male in this update of a Clare Boothe Luce play. But the men aren't missed, what with all the dames who surround Meg Ryan's Mary Haines, the doing-it-all mom whose spouse is doing someone...

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