On Our Shelves and Screens
Game of Queens
Everyone knows Queen Elizabeth I (and rightfully so). And Mary Queen of Scots is typically right behind her. But these two iconic women were simply the culmination of nearly a century of women in power across Europe, a political anomaly that, frankly, hasn’t been witnessed since (still waiting on that lady president in the USA). Historian Sarah Gristwood uncovers the stories of history-shaping women from the armor-clad Isabella of Castille to thrice-married Margaret of Austria to Eizabeth Tudor herself, tracing their stories as they weave and overlap across borders. Filled with vindictive men, thrilling battles, passionate lovers, and even legendary jewels (because of course), it’s the tale of queens and courts that history all too often neglects.
Find it here
The story behind this cookbook’s name is truly stunning. We won’t spoil it here, but needless to say, without the word “kachka,” this author and her family wouldn’t even be here. Thankfully, the stories, heart, and of course, food between its pages live up to this mighty legacy. And while it’s surprisingly accessible, this Russian cookbook also remains deeply tied to its roots. There’s a whole chapter for infusing vodkas, and another just for dumplings. Not to mention an excerpt from the author’s Belarusian father about how to throw a proper Russian drinking party (tips include never drink before arriving, and always remember to eat). While cooking tongues and fermenting kvas might still feel a little daunting, just reading through this book is enough to make you feel like you’ve pulled up a seat to a Soviet table, been greeted warmly with a glass of ice-cold vodka, and taken a step back in time.
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Who drew the dicks?!
In honor of the recently dropped second season of this instant-classic true-crime mockumentary, we’re throwing it back to the mystery that started it all: who spray-painted 27 images of male genitalia on the teachers’ cars at Hanover High School? Amateur high school journalist Peter Maldonado and his loyal cameraman Sam Ecklund seek out to exonerate class fool Dylan Maxwell. In the process, they uncover shocking secrets, expose blatant lies, and do some deep diving into ball hair inclusion on dick drawings. It’s laugh-out-loud funny, but also deeply engrossing. Come for the penis jokes, stay to solve the twisting, unpredictable mystery.
Stream it on Netflix
Wuthering Heights (2009)
Let’s be honest—there is nothing romantic about Wuthering Heights. He dances with her long-dead corpse! #neverforget. Until, that is, real-life couple Tom Hardy and Charlotte Riley stepped into the iconic shoes of Heathcliff and Cathy and became the only two people to make this story actually swoon-worthy. Plus there’s Andrew Lincoln as a pitch-perfect Linton. This BBC miniseries truly has everything: dreary windswept moors, Tom Hardy glowering behind long scraggly hair, lots of horse riding, darkly lit corridors, Charlotte Riley yelling hysterically, and a personal favorite, Hardy repeatedly muttering “Don’t look at me” as he sleeps with his new wife who is not, of course, Cathy. Go watch this now.
Neil Gaiman is a literary icon, and you could find ten different people who would give you ten different arguments about his best work. But our personal favorite is Stardust, a slightly off-kilter fairytale that combines innocent childhood tropes with darker elements to create a landscape both world-weary and whimsical. There are subtle asides of British whit and magical twists of imagination, like a sentient fallen star and pirate whose ship sails the clouds. Quirky characters and subtly emotional twists of fate make this slim novel a surprising powerhouse. Not to mention it’ll all make you feel like a child again.
Find it here
Just pure amazing trash and you can’t convince us otherwise. A bunch of hot British singles are marooned on an island and must couple up, or be kicked off the show. It’s everything The Bachelor wishes it could be, and strangely, bizarrely addicting. Because you need some mindless fluff to forget about the shit going down, if only for an hour.
Stream it on Hulu