Staff Picks: Flavorwire’s Favorite Cultural Things This Week


Need a great book to read, album to listen to, or TV show to get hooked on? The Flavorwire team is here to help: in this weekly feature, our editorial staffers each recommend the cultural object or experience they’ve enjoyed the most in the past seven days. Click through for our picks, and tell us what you’ve been loving in the comments.

Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense (ed. Sarah Weinman)

Everyone loves a good, pulpy beach read, and Weinman’s collection is a blast from the nearly forgotten past. These “domestic suspense” stories, all written by women and most published in cheap mystery magazines between the 1940s and the ’70s, set their psychological thrills against a backdrop of mid-century romance and family life. If you (like most people) are unfamiliar with the subgenre, you might be lured in by Patricia Highsmith’s and Shirley Jackson’s marquee names — but my favorite stories so far come from more obscure contributors. Vera Caspary’s “Sugar and Spice” is a twisty, almost novella-length tale of the deadly competition between a beautiful but poor girl and her rich, homely cousin; “The Purple Shroud” by Joyce Harrington, meanwhile, is so gorgeous and creepy that describing it in any more detail than that would be to risk spoiling it. — Judy Berman, Editor-in-Chief


HAIM – “The Wire”

I’ve been obsessed all week with HAIM tracks, and lo and behold they’ve gone and released their video for “The Wire.” Watch above! — Michelle Dean, Editor-at-Large

The Big Payback by Dan Charnas

This week I finished reading Dan Charnas’ The Big Payback, an exhaustive and fascinating book that examines the history of hip hop and, in particular, the business side of the genre, tracking its rise from the humblest of beginnings to become the commercial behemoth we know today. It’s incredibly well researched, very well written, and a thoroughly engaging read from start to finish. Highly recommended. — Tom Hawking, Music Editor

Rebel Yell: A New Generation of Turkish Women Filmmakers at the Toronto International Film Festival

In the past few years, female directors have quietly risen in the Turkish film industry, using a docu-fiction style to find a voice. Several of their works are featured in a week-long TIFF series that opens tomorrow. “When I looked at the selections for the ‘national competition’ at the Istanbul International Film Festival in 2012 and 2013, and the Turkish films at the Istanbul Independent Film Festival (otherwise known as IF Istanbul), I was struck by the number of films authored by women, but more so, by their subversive tenor and/or artistic voice of their films,” programmer Rasha Salti said of the series, Rebel Yell: A New Generation of Turkish Women Filmmakers. Even if you can’t attend, keep an eye out for these films when they reach your local theater to show your support. — Alison Nastasi, Weekend Editor


Magjid Jordan — Afterhours

For the last 96 hours I have been listening exclusively to the duo Majid Jordan. They just released an EP titled Afterhours, and it’s phenomenal. The production is spot-on, lead singer Majid has a voice like a versatile angel, and the songwriting is incredibly solid. If you want an upbeat summer song to counteract the fact that August would rather freeze you to death then give you a warm sendoff into fall, turn on their track “Hold Tight.” — Lillian Ruiz, Social Media Director

Early-career Tom Cruise

I watched a bunch of Tom Cruise movies this weekend for reasons I’m still not totally clear on, but I came to the realization that starting with Risky Business in 1983 until about 1999, when he did Eyes Wide Shut, Tom Cruise actually had a really great run of movies, no matter how much fun I want to make fun of him. — Jason Diamond, Literary Editor