Things I Read That I Love #330: Titanic, Top Chef, Jeopardy, Libraries, Marvel, BookTok and the Fake Sherlock

HELLO and welcome to the 330th installment of Things I Read That I Love, wherein I share with you some of the longer-form journalism/essays I’ve read recently so that you can know more about Top Chef!! This “column” is less queer focused than the rest of the site because when something is queer focused, I put it on the rest of the site. Here is where the other things are.

The title of this feature is inspired by the title of Emily Gould’s tumblr, Things I Ate That I Love.

The Search for the Lost ‘Jeopardy!’ Tapes Is Over. The Mystery Behind Them Endures., by Claire McNear for The Ringer, May 2023

Barbara Lowe’s Jeopardy winning streak had been effectively erased from Jeopardy history — and there are many conflicting stories about why, exactly, that is.

A Storefront for Robots, by Mia Sato for The Verge, June 2023

You know I love to talk and think about the most annoying aspects of SEO!

“If I made a blog post that was just what you would want as a person — ‘Here are 25 gift items under $25,’ [added] a picture of each one, a price, and a link — Google would not like it. Google would hate that list,” she says. “So here we are with all this text that is written only for a search engine.”

The Plot to Steal the Other Secret Inside a Can of Coca-Cola, by Drake Bennett and Jordan Robertson, May 2023

Shannon You iconically attempted to steal the secret formula of the coating that lines Coca-Cola cans to start her own business in China. This did not end up going very well for her but the whole story around it was surprisingly fascinating.

Why Rewatching Titanic Is Different Now, by Megan Garber for The Atlantic, February 2023

The film changed the perception of the tragedy: All of those people, plunged into that indifferent sea, are now bound up with “I’m the king of the world!” and heated discussions about whether Jack could have fit on that door. Near, far, wherever you are—“Titanic” is, as a matter of memory, a horror story transmuted into a love story.

How BookTok Makes Money, by Constance Grady for Vox, March 2023

The statistics around growth in the US book market are really interesting — like it grew by 21% during the pandemic, and then declined 1 percent in the first quarter of 2023 — except for the authors whose books blew up on BookTok.

Bridget Jones’ Staggeringly Outdated Diary, by Rebecca Schuman for Longreads, July 2018

I loved Bridget Jones (of course the summer I fell for her was the summer I tracked my weight with similar attention) and I loved High Fidelity (of course the summer I fell for it was a summer I spent with boys) and well, it looks like they do not hold up!

The Case of the Fake Sherlock, by David Gauvey Herbert for New York Magazine, April 2023

An allegedly genius criminal profiler was actually full of shit, but that didn’t stop true crime cable news programs from endorsing his expertise!

The “Top Chef” Oral History: “How is This Going Off the Rails on Day One?“, by Mikey O’Connell for The Hollywood Reporter, May 2023

I love to read about a show I have never seen! In fact now I do sort of want to see it, so that’s how life works after all.

A startup ushered thousands of Indian women into gig work, for better and worse, by Sonia Faleiro for Rest of World, May 2023

Tech startup Urban Company has provided women in India a rare shot at social mobility through a gig app that connected workers with clients seeking in-home services such as beauty treatments or DIY home repairs. The company is now valued at over $2 billion dollars — but workers report exploitative policies, rates and training costs as well as concerns around safety and working conditions.

Have You Been to the Library Lately?, by Nicholas Hune-Brown for The Walrus, June 2023

As social services fail to meet rising demand, librarians have found themselves “doing work today that might otherwise be done by a social worker, an early childhood educator, a harm-reduction expert, a therapist, or a settlement worker.”

Another Night to Remember, by Bryan Burrough and Josephine McKenna for Vanity Fair, April 2012

Believe it or not I have been revisiting some older stories about various disasters at sea this week, and I don’t think I’ve shared this one in a previous TIRTL — it is the story of the Costa Concordia, “a floating pleasure palace carrying 4,200 people” that crashed into a rock off the Italian coast — a capacity that doubled that of the Titanic, making it the largest maritime evacuation in history: “A story of heroism and disgrace, it is also, in the mistakes of its captain and certain officers, a tale of monumental human folly.” The actions of the captain of this ship are so appalling it shocks me anew every time.

How the Marvel Cinematic Universe Swallowed Hollywood, by Michael Schulman for The New Yorker, June 2013

In some earlier life of mine (a few months ago) I watched every single Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, in order, having before this process only seen The Avengers: Endgame, a viewing I attended (at the ArcLight, RIP) simply because I’d been invited to see it with friends and I wanted to see my friends. They were surprised to hear of my unfamiliarity with the franchise, but I did love the film. I was also shocked to see that every actor in the universe was in the Marvel movies? Gwyneth Paltrow is in this??? Anyhow, this is about that.

Archival Fictions, by Sadie Graham for The Baffler, June 2013

“The work of an archive, even a counter-archive, is delineation: there is always an inside and an outside. After Sappho and Lesbian Love Story are about lesbians generally—they make certain sweeping claims about who lesbians are, what we do, what we are for in the grand scheme of things—and so they must invite some and disavow others. Some histories are too complex, some too ugly, some merely inconvenient. But if the aim of a lesbian archive is radical remembrance, then forgetfulness hamstrings any possible movement toward a better collective future.”

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Riese is the 41-year-old Co-Founder of as well as an award-winning writer, video-maker, LGBTQ+ Marketing consultant and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and now lives in Los Angeles. Her work has appeared in nine books, magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. She's Jewish and has a cute dog named Carol. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

Riese has written 3199 articles for us.


  1. These links are incredible!!! Riese, this column is one of my favorites and I always read almost all of the links. You have impeccable taste and I love learning more about your interests. The top chef one was DELIGHTFUL (and the show is so great) and then the lesbian archives one was fascinating!! Very much appreciated.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!