On Our Shelves and Screens

Circe

The Odyssey is back! This time as inspiration for one of the hottest fiction books this season. Chronicling the long life of the lonely and exiled witch from Greek mythology, Circe is an epic that casts a discerning eye on the legends of heroes and brings to the forefront the female characters so often cast in the background. Though it features characters from Prometheus to Daedalus, Helios to Odysseus, and nearly every god, nymph, and mortal in between, it's simply a book about a woman--prideful, ambitious, doubting, and fiercely protective.

It only took a couple thousand years for women to be portrayed like this in Greek legends.  

Find it here
 


Salad for President

After all, salads are better for you than cheetos.

In all seriousness, though, this book is an utterly inspired take on both salads and cookbooks in general. Fueled by author Julia Sherman's passion for this often maligned dish, it's a vibrant, diverse, and plainly delicious dive into the world of salad making. Beyond just the recipes, though, this book also draws inspiration from artists and creatives, opening a window to their homes and gardens and their approach to cooking. Merging food, art, and vegetables is no easy or common task, but it's presented with verve and warmth. We swear to never wrongfully diss salads again. 

Find it here

 

Last Night

It's the kind of sleek, soapy movie that's all too easy to judge by the trailer. A chance for Eva Mendes to be sultry and Kiera Knightley to be shrill and Sam Worthington to be a complicated white man. Until you actually watch it. Because turns out this movie is good! Mainly because of Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard's longtime French paramour who wanders through this film with puppy dog eyes and an easy smile and enough heartbreaking charm to make you believe that married Kiera Knightley would still be in love with him after a couple of months getting hot and heavy in Paris. 

Just watch it, is all we're saying. 

 

Kitchen Confidential

Monday would have been Anthony Bourdain's 62nd birthday. And as we continue to grapple with the sudden and incomprehensible loss of a man who taught us to be tolerant, and curious, and humble, and adventurous, it's worth revisiting how it all began. It's also painful and infuriating and heartbreaking. Honor him how you will, but the man he was is laid bare in these pages, including the flaws that would be his downfall. For a man who lived so openly, it seems wrong to flinch away from that. 

Find it here

 

The Hidden Life of Trees

As it turns out, trees feel, and communicate, and socialize with each other (though this should come as no surprise to anyone who's sobbed through The Giving Tree). Backed by fascinating scientific discovery, author Peter Wohlleben illuminates how networks of trees function like families--helping those in need, sharing nutrients, providing support, and even growing as parents and children. We've always known the forest was a magical and mystical place. Turns out it's even more enchanted than we could have thought. 

Find it here



Les Choristes

Of course the French would make a film about a group of rowdy rebel schoolboys who...sing choral music? Every high school American sports movie, this is not. An iconic early 2000's French film, Les Choristes is always worth returning to for its gorgeous countryside setting, tremendous heart, and haunting music. From "Vois sur ton Chemin" to "Caresse sur l'Ocean" the soundtrack is ethereal and heartrending. And the singing...good lord. Just watch, and listen, and plan your next trip to France.