On Our Shelves and Screens

Sharp: The Woman Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion

Covering ten women—Dorothy Parker, Rebecca West, Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy, Susan Sontag, Pauline Kael, Joan Didion, Nora Ephron, Renata Adler, and Janet Malcolm—whose precise thought and wit left an indelible imprint in American cultural and intellectual identity. Sharp celebrates the women who fearlessly took up their pen and asserted themselves, their opinions, and their criticisms and indirectly usurped the male establishment. A warm, incisive look at these ten very different women and the impact they left just by being vocally themselves.  

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Jen Kirkman: I'm Gonna Die Alone (And I Feel Fine)

Jen Kirkman's Netflix special from a few years ago is one of our all time favorites, and for good reason. Kirkman is beautifully bitter and gives exactly zero fucks. "Don’t look up to me with this story, but learn from it," one of the gems she drops along the way, could pretty much sum up her experiences and the way she tells them. Elaborating on her experiences as a single, divorced, childless woman in her 40s, Kirkman fuses sharp social criticism with candid stories of mortification. And by the end she feels like your role model and best friend all in one. 

Stream it on Netflix

 

Small victories

We love Julia Turshen for her activism and advocacy for better representation and equity in the food industry. But in addition to being an absolute badass, she's also a lovely cook. After working on countless cookbooks for other people (@gwynethpaltrow), Turshen finally published her own cookbook a few years ago, and it's a treasure to return to again and again. Sprinkled with deceptively groundbreaking little tips and anecdotes from she and her wife's charming life, it's comforting and revolutionary all in one. 

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Sleeping with Other People

Two asshole sex addicts (excuse us...love addicts) who lost their virginity to each other in college meet again at a sex addiction meeting as adults. Self aware enough to know they're too irresponsible to get involved with each other, they embark on what turns out to be the platonic male-female relationship Harry and Sally wish they could have had. A subversive rom-com complete with Adam Scott's sketchy mustache, this film has all the sex jokes and shockingly accurate relationship beats that you could ask for in a movie. Also, who would have thought a green tea bottle would be an excellent tool for masturbation lessons? Thanks Jason Sudeikis.   

Stream it on Netflix

 

And Now We Have Everything: On Motherhood before I was ready

The frank, brutally honest, sometimes hilarious account of the all encompassing journey into motherhood that's all too relatable. After getting unexpectedly pregnant in her 20s and birthing her child, Meagan O'Connell wrote about her experience in a way that's frankly never been done before. Unlike just about every other account of motherhood, Meagan O'Connell's memoir not only includes the messy bits, but brings them to the forefront and examines them with shocking clarity. O'Connell's voice is full of wit, warmth, and personal details that go so deep, you almost feel voyeuristic. No matter your age or desire to have children, it's a comforting, hilarious insight into this universal experience. 

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The Honorable Woman

This miniseries focuses on Nessa Stein (embodied by queen Maggie Gyllenhaal) the Anglo-Israeli daughter of an arms-dealer who inherits her father's business and tries to use it to forge Palestinian-Israeli relationships. In the process, she finds herself caught up in a web of espionage, government secrecy, and betrayal. It's hard to look away from Gyllenhaal as she navigates the impossibly complex world of Middle Eastern politics in a bid to bring peace, and the knotted twists and intricate plot make this miniseries an engrossing watch. And also...it's Maggie Gyllenhaal. 

Stream it on Netflix