Ella and Hashim’s November Favorites


*These are not meant to be current or fresh finds, just things Hashim and Ella have watched, listened to, or read in the past month. They are obsessed with these things (and themselves) and are now forcing their taste on you.


Movies/TV Shows:

    1. The Queen’s Gambit – I watched this in three days when I absolutely should have been working on college applications. Good luck watching this show and not falling in love with Anya Taylor-Joy. Following an orphan turned chess-prodigy, The Queen’s Gambit’s endearing characters and fast-moving plot will keep you engaged for a seven-episode binge. 
    2. The Trial of the Chicago 7 – Although it may seem a little boring from the looks, this is definitely one of the best movies of the year. Grabbing you right from the beginning with constant movement, this film is extremely hilarious, fascinating, and truly poignant in these times of turmoil.
    3. Stardust – Romance, witches, flying ships, young Charlie Cox… What more can you ask for?
    4. The Crown – Honestly, I don’t really care if it’s dramatized or not. It’s just so good. The performances, the dialogue, and the production quality are all amazing factors that no other drama on television can possibly compete with right now.
    5. Fargo – Whether it’s the movie or the television series, Fargo is an absolute gem. The 90’s film-school classic is a beautiful mosaic of dark humor and realistic violence juxtaposed against the quaint small town of Fargo, North Dakota. The television series offers a similar beautifully unique combination of themes paired with the irreverent filmmaking style of Noah Hawley and the world-class performances of Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton, Kirsten Dunst, Joey King, Ewan McGregor, Chris Rock, and Jason Schwartzman.



  1. Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin – Fascinating novel about gay lovers in 1950s Paris (pair-eee) with prominent themes of sexuality, love, society, manhood, and secrecy.
  2. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain – Entertaining memoir from celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain about the ins and outs of the culinary world.
  3. Moneyball by Michael Lewis – Surprisingly interesting (it’s about baseball stats; what do you expect?) novel from renowned nonfiction author of the Big Short and Liar’s Poker. And yes, this is what the Brad Pitt movie is based on.
  4. Go Tell It On the Mountain by James Baldwin – Unbelievably beautiful story from the perspective of a young black boy in Harlem which features ideas of sexuality, religion, and heritage.
  5. A Farewell to Arms by Ernest Hemingway – Gripping novel with some of the most romantic yet heartbreaking characters, plots, and themes I have ever read. Guaranteed: You will cry at the end. Hashim cried. 



  1. “Diving into the Wreck” by Adrienne Rich makes me respect and re-evaluate the struggles that women have faced in the past. She makes you question: What myths remain written? What stories are lying on the ocean floor?
  2. “A Psalm for Emmett Till” by Renée Watson is a beautiful and powerful poem. So often we forget to humanize those who came before us, to remember that they lived and breathed and loved. Emmett Till was more than the evil that was done to him. Watson reminds us of everything that was taken from Emmett Till, of everything that we are still taking. 
  3. “For Keeps” by Joy Harjo feels like a warm bed with the fan running on high. She reminds us it is beautiful and everlasting to be here. 
  4. Never to Dream of Spiders” by Audre Lorde is filled with personal and political truth. Lorde connects her struggle with liver and breast cancer to the “cancer” of police brutality. The final line, of realizing her immortality and the immortality of the Black fight, is unforgettable.  



  1. The Queen’s Gambit Soundtrack – Are we surprised? My way to relive the momentary happiness I felt watching the show is to play the soundtrack as background music in my life for weeks afterward. Instead of writing my gov paper, I’m playing in the US Open. Listening to “Venus” by Shocking Blue, “Catamaran” by Allah-Las, and “Stanyan Street” by Nick Waterhouse make my descent into midterm madness a little bit more attractive. Fun Fact: Hashim tried to teach Ella how to play chess freshman year, but, alas, she has the attention span of a goldfish. 
  2. Stevie Nicks – When I think November, I think Stevie in a shawl. The white-winged dove, dream’s unwind, love’s a state of mind… 
  3. Amy Winehouse – There are few artists I can listen to without tiring of. Amy is one of them. Her iconic beehive and eyeliner, along with her uniquely deep vocals, makes her a favorite of mine that I will return to morning and night. 
  4. Big Thief – Nice to drive to, shower to, occasionally cry to. 
  5. Mac Miller – What a guy. Gets me happy and sad simultaneously every time.
  6. boy pablo – Love how his music all sort of sounds the same in the beginning and then you listen to it a couple of times and then you’re like, “oh damn that’s pretty good.”
  7. Action Bronson – Truly wild. Absolutely love the hype he brings to every song, soaked in Queens pride.
  8. Marvin Gaye – THE KING OF R&B. What’s Going On is essential and classic and everyone should listen to him all the time. 
  9. Theophilus London – 1) His name is amazing. (Say it with me: thee-oh-pha-les.) 2) His music is amazing.



  1. My heated blanket – Warning: Do not purchase if you are allergic to being extremely comfortable and warm. Or if you like to be at your Zoom meetings on time. 
  2. Skateboard – Never felt so free before. 


BONUS! Christmas Picks:


  1. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966) – Go wild, man, it’s almost Christmas. 
  2. How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000) – “Five thirty, Jazz-ercise, Six thirty, dinner with me. I can’t cancel that again!, Seven o’clock, wrestle with my self-loathing…” a.k.a Ella’s evening. 
  3. The Grinch (2018) – Need I say more? We love The Grinch
  4. Home Alone – Serious classic. Hilarious, heartwarming, it’s everything you want. 
  5. Home Alone 2: Lost in New York – Featuring washed-up actor, terrible TV host, and god-awful POTUS Donald Trump.
  6. Die Hard – If you tell me this is not a Christmas movie, I will physically harm you.
  7. Elf – This movie gets me every time. If it doesn’t get you, you’re evil or summ.
  8. The Polar Express – Love it or hate it, it’s a classic. Ella hates it, though. Like it’s so bad, and the animation is weirdly smooth and terrifying.
  9. Gremlins– Don’t feed them after midnight. 



  1. All I Want For Christmas Is You – What is the first song I listen to the day after Thanksgiving, you ask? This absolute essential right here.
  2. It’s Beginning to Look a Lot like Christmas – My favorite pastime is officially singing along with Michael Bubby, thinking I sound exactly like him. 
  3. Sleigh Ride – Honestly, anything by The Ronettes is an automatic fav. 
  4. Last Christmas – If you don’t vibe out to Wham! every Christmas, I hope you get coal in your stocking.
  5. Winter Wonderland – All my homies listen to Aretha Franklin.
  6. Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon never ceases to amaze me. 
  7. Santa Baby – Kinda creepy ngl but still a classic. 
  8. What Christmas Means to Me – Stevie Wonders’ hit is criminally underrated. 
  9. Little St Nick – Ooooo Merry Christmas… ooooo … you’re on the beach… ooooo. oOoO…
  10. Michael Bubby – Christmas King. Will not be usurped by any lesser artist. 
  11. Linus and Lucy – When this is on, for the love of all that is holy, be quiet. It is NOT background music.