Week Links [30 May]

Good morning! I have barely left the house in ages since I’m pregnant and only half-vaxxed (I had to wait until the second trimester), so I don’t have much to report, but here’s what little I can recommend at the moment.

  1. This sandwich looks so damn good.
  2. It’s official. This is the cutest Apple Watch band on earth.
  3. Just bought this rocking chair for my nursery. It’s the perfect mix of firm and comfortable, and super deep. It’s a more subdued color in person, and it’s chenille!
  4. I’m bingeing Gilmore Girls for the first time in about five years and it’s like reliving my own memories. Forever my favorite show.
  5. How cute is this candle shop?
  6. Finally caved and bought this water bottle. The one thing I didn’t consider was that it has a greater capacity than my Soma filter, so filling it is an enormous production. (I ended up solving this by picking a water dispenser up from the Container Store).
  7. Treated myself to this cutie after a very long purse-buying hiatus.
  8. This deodorant is so good. It’s still a natural deodorant, so it’s not magic, but it really holds up, even in hot weather. I got mine at Ulta.
  9. Even though I have only recently joined the motherhood club, I’ve been A Mom for a while, as evidenced by my excitement over this gadget.
  10. Loving The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett, but I have to admit, I have an overwhelming urge to say, “I’m lookin’ for my sister, Stella” in a Marge Simpson voice.
  11. Pretty much none of my bathing suit tops fit me now that I have pregnancy boobs (which, for me, is still nothing to write home about), so I’m trawling the J. Crew sale for something with some structure that can accommodate the new additions.
  12. My husband and I have been watching The Nanny on HBO Max and apart from the obvious things about it that haven’t held up over the past 30 years, it is a near perfect show. Sylvia Fine is my idol.

Make Mine a Double

Well, the cat is officially out of the bag. I’m pregnant. With twins—a boy and a girl (to be officially confirmed at the anatomy scan). To paraphrase something a friend told me when she found out: getting pregnant with twins on the first try is the most Chelsea thing to ever possibly happen. When I went in for my fancy, formal ultrasound at 9 weeks, the tech immediately asked me if I’d had embryos transferred, and when I said no, asked me what medications I’d taken. I don’t remember exactly what I said, but it was something to the effect of, “Nope! This is just…my body!”

Before I got pregnant, I spent like six weeks abusing Dr. Google, terrified that I wouldn’t be able to conceive (even after my actual doctor very kindly ran fertility tests and told me point blank that I wouldn’t have any trouble getting pregnant), and of course I got twins right out of the gate. I definitely didn’t expect to get pregnant on the first try—I assumed it would take several months, which is why we started sooner than my original timetable (I wanted to have a baby at age 30 and ended up conceiving at exactly 29 and a half). I feel so incredibly lucky, and even though I’m absolutely terrified at the prospect of double the babies and double the work, I’m so grateful that they’re happy and healthy in there. I know plenty of people that have had a hell of a time conceiving, and the stress is real.

I’ve been interested in birth and parenthood for years, but since I didn’t know if or when it would happen for me, I ignored the topic for years. I can’t tell if I was punishing myself for not being up front with my husband about how much I wanted a baby, or if I was preserving my feelings until I was truly ready to be a mother. In retrospect, I am so, so glad that I didn’t attempt to do this sooner. Even a month sooner, I wouldn’t have been ready. I needed the time to get in tune with my body and my emotions. I needed to work through my issues and traumas (shout out to therapy!) so that I could show up for my kids as the best version of myself. I thought I would spend the rest of my life on antidepressants, and now I’m not taking anything (other than prenatal vitamins and B6 for nausea). I’m not knocking meds (I’m sure I’ll be back ASAP), but I do feel like a badass for doing this au naturel so far.

sonogram at 11 weeks, 3 days. the top picture is of the lower baby, who’s measuring a WEEK bigger that his/her gestational age, and the bottom picture is of the upper baby, who’s measuring exactly on track. i have a feeling by the time they’re reading to come out, i’ll be carrying around minimum 13 lbs of baby.

I’m sure I’ll have more insightful things to say about this journey moving forward, but I’m honestly still processing. I didn’t have morning sickness (so grateful for that), but the first trimester is still awful. It’s exhausting, and at least if you’re me, you’re constantly worried about miscarriage. And YES, I got my first shot of the COVID vaccine while 14 weeks pregnant. My bubs are swimming in antibodies as we speak.

If any other preggos or aspiring preggos are reading this, this is the stuff that I read/used/bought during my first trimester.

  1. A word to the wise—if you just found out you’re pregnant and haven’t even had an ultrasound or talked to a doctor yet, please do not watch The Business of Being Born. I spent 90 minutes panicking thinking I would literally die during childbirth and that the doctors would go against my will and do a bunch of unnecessary medical interventions. Obviously, I was being completely hysterical (pregnancy hormones will do that to you), and in hindsight, I’m really glad I saw the film. Even though it’s really tough on the medical establishment, I didn’t think the portrayal was unfairly biased. Birth is so shrouded in mystery—women are given basically no information about it until they’re actually pregnant. I considered myself really well-informed before, but I had no grasp on the history of obstetrics.
  2. I’ve been listening to Dr. Elliott Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast non-stop. I especially loved Mandy Moore and Hilary Duff’s episodes, since you know I have stanned both of them for 20+ years #millennialicons. I will admit that it’s making me super bummed out that I can’t have a home water birth, but between insurance, dealing with people’s opinions, and the fact that twins are higher-risk, I kissed that dream goodbye a long time ago. I still want to give birth naturally with no meds, but every time I say that, I kind of feel like that meme of the person painting on their clown makeup. I’ve also been listening to Conscious as a Mother.
  3. I’ve already made my registry because I am a full crazy person. I’m still editing it a lot, and don’t think I’ll actually really share it with anyone until I’m past 20 weeks, but it has been so much fun dreaming of their nursery, gear, and gadgets!
  4. Books in my queue: Bringing Up Bébé, The Danish Way of Parenting, Nurture, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth, and Real Food for Pregnancy. I also have The Bump and the What to Expect apps, so I feel pretty prepared for the physical stuff, if not yet for the actual reality of somehow birthing and raising two babies at once.
  5. I justified a second pair of Birkenstocks because the bulk of this pregnancy will be during the summer and mama is not about to wear proper shoes and socks.
  6. But that being said, I did buy compression socks. I already have huge feet (size 10!), so if they grow and I can’t wear any of my existing 5,000 pairs of shoes, I will throw myself off a cliff.
  7. A neighbor of ours donated a massive pregnancy pillow to me, which has helped a lot with my tossing and turning. I don’t actually know which pillow it is, but it looks just like this one. It’s really huge though, and it takes up more than half of the bed, so I got this one for the time being.
  8. Of course I had to get a maternity set from Girlfriend Collective. I got this bra and these leggings.
  9. I’m taking the Ritual prenatal, which I love, but word to the wise, you’ll need to supplement with extra iron.
  10. This is a random one, but I feel it’s my duty to inform you that Trader Joe’s finally made a potato chip version of its Popcorn in a Pickle and they do not disappoint! I know pickles are SUCH a basic pregnancy craving, but I never said I wasn’t a PSL-loving, Ugg-wearing basic!

Week Links [15 April]

This has been sitting in my drafts for at least a month, so good on me for being so topical and relevant! I’ll write something meaningful in the next post, I swear. I promise that I do have a vague knowledge of current events, even from within my bubble of isolation. Enjoy the following things, in the event that you somehow missed them in the past month.

  1. I have 5 words: Meghan and Harry on Oprah.
  2. of Montreal put out a new album full of undeniable bangers! Kevin Barnes simply does not know how to make a bad song!
  3. Started watching Good Girls on Netflix. Retta, Mae Whitman, and Christina Hendricks are the dream team.
  4. Loving this lip crayon in “Fig” and this liquid lip in “Forever.”
  5. Planning on getting this setup for our 2nd bathroom remodel. I haven’t had one of those handheld sprayer things in over 15 years.
  6. Love these dainty zodiac necklaces.
  7. Making this soup to combat the last of the frigid winter weather.
  8. I’m finally trying out Magic Spoon, after hearing a bunch of rave reviews. It’s really pricey, but it’s packed with protein, which I need more of in my diet, as I don’t eat much meat. I haven’t had Froot Loops in about 20 years, so I’m psyched to have a version with 0g of added sugar.
  9. My friend Sarah’s book is available for pre-order! I’m so excited to finally read it!
  10. This hummus absolutely slaps. Found it at my local Target, but they sell this brand in most major grocery stores.

Week Links [7 March]

Good day, sunshines! I’ve been deep into an all-consuming work project all week, so I don’t have a ton to share. Did anything catastrophic happen in the world? I’m completely tuned out (and I have to admit that ignorance is, as they say, bliss).

Where I live it’s still freezing cold, but it’s just now starting to show signs of the early spring thaw, which can’t come soon enough. I’ve been excessively cautious about the virus and haven’t done anything or seen anyone since the fall, so I’m looking forward to an outdoor brunch on a warm day in the not-so-distant future.

Did I really just start this blog post with small talk about work and the weather? Send me to the guillotine. Anyway, have a good night and a pleasant tomorrow and stay safe!

source: society6
  1. Currently knitting a baby blanket out of this yarn. I got three skeins–I’m planning to do the middle section in a slightly darker blush pink. God forbid I ever have a boy…
  2. I’m re-re-reorganizing my kitchen counters (mostly to accommodate my Always Pans, if I’m being honest) with this shelving unit and this toaster. I also got this electric kettle and I’m obsessed! Being able to control the exact temperature is a game-changer. Temp is a really important factor in coffee quality, but in addition to that, I’ve used it to make perfectly lukewarm water for yeast and non-scalding water for tea.
  3. Speaking of yeast—this is bar none the best and easiest pizza crust recipe. If you don’t have a KitchenAid stand mixer, I highly recommend saving up for one. Alternately, you could simply get married and put one on your wedding registry. 100% worth making a lifelong commitment to another human being.
  4. One of my myriad terrible qualities is that I can’t seem to walk out of a Target without buying a cute mug. But in my defense, the only two left were the C (for Chelsea) and M (for my husband, Michael), so I think that legally obligates me to get them. The colors also coordinate with my entire house, so, you do the math.
  5. Is the terrazzo trend over? I love the look, but I’m hesitant to leap into anything trendy. Except, of course, “millennial pink,” since pink is a neutral in my book. Maybe I could start small, with a phone case? I’m gutting and redoing our second bedroom in a pastel rainbow theme, and these colors are perfect for an accent wall.
  6. Redid my entryway/mudroom with these hook racks. I’ve never been able to resist a brass accent.
  7. You absolutely have to be kidding me with these toy instruments. I need to be physically restrained from buying this piano. Maisonette has the cutest stuff. Can I go back and time and redo my childhood with cuter toys?
  8. 100% buying this rug.
  9. Listened to this song for the first time in a while and I forgot how much it f*cks.
  10. I told y’all. We were never meant to exercise.
  11. Jen Kirkman “influenced” me to buy this necklace and I have no regrets.

Week Links [22 February]

Good morning, America! I can’t tell if COVID Mondays are worse (because the proverbial weekend will never come) or easier because they’re hardly different from any other day. I wish I had anything interesting to report, but I sat around knitting and bingeing Gossip Girl all weekend so I’m even boring myself. The weather where I live is going to inch into the 40s and 50s this week, which may sound horrible to people in most climates, but in New England? It’s a mitzvah after a cold and snowy winter.

Stay warm, stay safe, and as King Diamond would say, stay heavy!

megan on the season premiere of snl
  1. SNL may never top this sketch. She’s got a healthy belt! Rick Beato’s reaction to “drivers license” made me feel extremely justified in my opinion that this song is perfect.
  2. My favorite sweater is on sale. I have it in 2 colors.
  3. Megan Thee Stallion showed her nighttime skincare routine on Instagram and I didn’t think it was possible for me to love her more than I already do.
  4. I just found out that Jenna Lyons has a show and I may need to reconsider my disdain for all reality-based television series.
  5. I bought this bag bundle during their 25% off Valentine’s Day sale because I’m obsessed with jinxing myself. I am truly like two purchases away from becoming a Victorian ghost, haunting the moors while my soul is trapped between earth and the afterworld.
  6. You do have to laugh.
  7. Excited to try these non-alcoholic cocktails.
  8. I caved. In my defense, it took almost a year to get me to crack. And yes, I had a coupon code.
  9. There is no one I stan harder than Deb from Smitten Kitchen, so when I was on a cooking tear on Saturday, I made this macaroni & cheese and these brownies. I slightly burned the brownies because I got distracted after turning the timer off (never do this if you have ADHD!), but overall my kitchen was the place to be this weekend. Don’t worry—I served roasted broccoli to balance out the utter lack of nutritional value.
  10. I just started using this toothbrush. I’ve been using their flat body scrubber for ages, having received it in a subscription box. Loving this anti-microbial eco option! I’m a really vigorous brusher, so I’m skeptical of any toothbrush that boasts a replacement head (quip utterly failed me), but these are actually up to the task! And the best part is that they only need to be replaced twice a year and are recyclable.
  11. I might get a few of these to brighten up a room I’m redecorating. Definitely a different style for me! This one isn’t as much my taste, but goes perfectly with the color scheme.

Week Links [20 February]

Happy (very belated) Valentimes! I’ve never been much for this particular holiday, since I hate candy, cold weather, and obligations generally, but a cozy Valentine’s Day at home this year is just what the doctor ordered. This was my eighth V-Day with my husband, if such a thing is to be said. He shares my general sentiment (he’s even more of a Grinch than I am; he’d forget his birthday and Christmas if I didn’t remind him), but he knocked our first Valentine’s Day out of the park. We saw Nicole Atkins at Brighton Music Hall, and it remains one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. Quick tangent: Nicole is one of the finest singer-songwriters on the planet, in addition to being SO NICE in person.

i found this on twitter and have no idea who to credit it with, but it is the best thing i’ve ever seen

In other news, the entire country is frozen. I’m from Massachusetts, so winter storms are par for the course and we have the infrastructure to deal with them. My heart aches for the Southern states who weren’t prepared for this climate catastrophe, and whose leaders are incompetent, hypocritical assholes who don’t care whether their constituents live or die (looking at you, Ted Cruz). One of my favorite comedians, Jen Kirkman, put together an amazing thread of all the ways to help Texas. I feel very, very grateful to be where I am right now, and also to have a husband who does all the shoveling and snow maintenance.

image source

Today (2/20) would also be Kurt Cobain’s 54th birthday. I’m a lifelong Nirvana stan (literally lifelong; Nevermind came out almost exactly a month after I was born), so I always get reflective on this day, as well as on April 5th (the day he passed). He had only just turned 27 when he died (two and a half years younger than I am now!) but in his short life absolutely changed the world. I’m tempted to say he was ahead of his time, but he wasn’t…he was living in the present while the rest of the world languished in the past. Happy birthday, king.

With all that being said, stay warm and safe and listen to some Nirvana today.

  1. Re: the above, I bought myself this t-shirt.
  2. I cannot tell a lie: the Always Pan is worth 100% of the hype. I just bought a second one (although in retrospect, I should have gotten the Dinner for 4 bundle). The pan going to be my new go-to gift for friends. And as soon as the lavender comes back in stock, one of my parents will be #blessed with a hand-me-down.
  3. I’ve been loving In the FLO by Alicia Vitti. My psychiatrist actually recommended it to me, since she knows my ultimate goal is to get in sync with my body and be on as little medication as possible. The term “biohack” makes me want to vomit, but the author makes clear that she doesn’t mean it in the tech bro way. I’d never even heard of the infradian rhythm! Obviously boo biological essentialism and sex ≠ gender, but I’m also sick and fucking tired of the fact that all of our conventional knowledge and medical studies are based on male bodies.
  4. I’m rewatching Gossip Girl on HBO Max because I have zero respect for myself (actually it’s because the girl I tutor was assigned to read the book in her Y.A. Lit class). I watched it for the first time when I about 24, having missed the boat in my teen years, and it’s amazing how much my perspective has changed in the intervening time (I’ll be 30 in 6 months). The show is…VERY CAVALIER about sexual assault in a way that cannot have been healthy for my generation to watch. However, for each troubling moment, there is one equally joyful and iconic, such as the fact that, canonically, Lily van der Woodsen has slept with both Trent Reznor and Slash.
  5. I’m excited to dive into this book. I’ve really enjoyed this one so far, and sorry not sorry, but I’m one of those annoying people that thinks Europeans do everything better than us.
  6. If I’m not careful, I’m just going to replace all the furniture in my house with poufs.
  7. This tweet lives rent-free in my mind.
  8. I searched vintage glassware on Etsy on a complete whim and found this set of floral glasses. They match a juice pitcher that belonged to my husband’s late grandmother almost perfectly! They were extremely close, so I’m excited to be able to display this sweet little trip down memory lane. The rest of the shop has super cute stuff for great prices.
  9. These handmade dolls are so.freaking.cute. I also love these and these. Today’s kids have the coolest stuff.
  10. Definitely getting this rug for my “second bedroom.”

Week Links [13 February]

*Bernie meme voice* I am once again posting this about a month late. In fact, I’m posting this so late that a new Bernie meme (mittens) has already come and gone, replacing the “I am once again asking” meme. We stan a sustainable grassroots king, but c’mon Chelsea—stay ahead of the meme cycle.

I’ve been emotionally all over the place, so it felt disingenuous to be posting about redecorating my office while I was in a private hell. 2021 has been a trip so far, but things seem to have stabilized, and now everything’s coming up Milhouse. My grandmother and her sister got their first doses of the vaccine the other day, which is the first time it’s felt like this all might actually end. When my mom sent me the picture of my grandma getting the vaccine, I think I took my first deep breath in 11 months.

Anyway, here’s a post that has been languishing in my drafts for weeks. Here’s to fresh starts!

  1. I just read Chloe Liese‘s Bergman Brothers series, and I might actually die waiting for the Axel/Rooney novel. I ship them so hard. Also, my friend is an author and apparently knows Chloe personally! I’m starstuck!
  2. Sara Benincasa’s piece about Venmo is fascinating and touching.
  3. This is the best thing that has ever been found on or near the surface of the earth.
  4. My favorite brand dropped a unisex line!
  5. Had to get this. If I can’t travel, I’m bringing the city to me.
  6. Caved and got this pouf for my office. I love a chunky knit! If the pink comes back in stock, I’ll have to grab it. My color palette is, how you say, predictable.
  7. I also put up this removable wallpaper and it makes such a huge impact.
  8. Thinking about painting all of my bedroom furniture (which is a horrible dark wood stain) white with this tutorial. Doesn’t make sense to replace all of the furniture, but…
  9. I did get this bedframe. A gold canopy bed! Can you imagine anything so magical??
  10. Loved this podcast episode about the Crisis Pregnancy Center scene from Borat Subsequent Moviefilm. And not that I need to clarify my position, but I’ll take any chance I get to shout out that abortion is healthcare, a right, and needs to be protected at all costs.

Week Links [21 January]

We did it, Joe. We have a new President. Yesterday was emotional, I’m not going to lie. Even though I am absolutely a dirtbag leftist who did nothing but hate on Biden and Harris during the primaries, I feel renewed by this change. Biden’s been in office for 5 minutes and he has already rejoined the Paris Climate Accord, reversed the Muslim ban, and halted deportations, so things are in motion. Now if we could just implement Medicare for All, cancel student debt, and 1000x more importantly, reunite the families separated at the border…

Regardless of the ultimate outcomes achieved by this administration, I’m proud to have cast a vote for Biden in a free and fair election that toppled a wannabe autocrat. And now for a blog post that has nothing to do with any of that.

  1. Amanda Gorman floored me at the inauguration. I immediately pre-ordered her upcoming children’s book.
  2. My guilty pleasure show, The Resident, is finally back for a new season (Fox/Hulu). I knew intellectually that a show that takes place in a hospital was going to have to do a COVID plot, but I still hated it! We watch television to escape, people! The first episode is honestly triggering. What’s worse is that they cover my boyfriend, actor Matt Czuchry, in PPE the whole time, so you barely get to gaze upon him. A damn shame. Luckily, they decided to do the rest of the season in a post-COVID flash-forward, so I can continue to be ride-or-die for this questionable show.
  3. Just bought this wall hanging for my office after a long search for “the one.” Can’t wait to share pics when the refresh is complete!
  4. I also got this love seat and this lamp, which are the official finishing touches on my office.
  5. A friend recommended The Roommate by Rosie Danan to me and…a good time was had by all.
  6. I’m never not on a quest to refresh my bedding, and I am feeling this duvet. I ultimately went with this set, since I’m not Anthro-rich. I added this blanket, which may be the softest thing I’ve ever touched.
  7. All of the nail polishes at Target were on clearance for $3 for some unknown reason, so I stocked up on a bunch of tenoverten. Also, on the subject of non-toxic nails, ella + mila has amazing lavender-scented non-acetone remover.
  8. Dyed my hair with Overtone’s Rose Gold for Brown Hair and it is…vibrant. I kind of wish I’d gone with the subtler version, since my hair is pre-lightened, but I’m sure it’ll fade. It’s a coloring conditioner, so it’s non-damaging. My hair feels really healthy!
  9. Snagged these adorable flats at Nordstrom Rack. It doesn’t count as crossing the picket line if I get them off-price…right?
  10. January 19th was Dolly Parton’s birthday, and I’m genuinely incensed that we haven’t declared it a federal holiday yet. We don’t deserve her.
can we briefly discuss miche’s fit?

Week Links [10 January]

Good evening! Is it weird to say I’m just grateful to be alive? I really feel like that’s where we’re at with COVID and *gestures broadly at the entire country being consumed by flames.* I recently had my first family members get COVID, so I’m currently quarantined awaiting my test result (I feel completely healthy, so I’m praying for a negative!) The swab is not fun. I can’t believe some people have to do that for work every day!

This hardcore version of quarantine has really started to get to me, as evidenced by my sobbing to Faith Hill’s “Breathe” the other night while doing medical research on the internet (famously a terrible idea!) But being cooped up like this, without even the respite of trips to the grocery store or Starbucks, has also been creatively inspiring and very emotionally revealing. I feel grounded and present in a way I haven’t in, well, possibly ever. It can be challenging to intellectualize your own good fortune, especially at times like this, because more dire circumstances than your own are an unknown (I think I’ve just defined “first world problems”). I really feel it right now. I feel…optimistic? Is that a thing? Have I fallen victim to the New Year’s Resolution Industrial Complex?

Anyway, as usual, I have no cogent way of wrapping this up and segueing into my frivolous round-up, so let’s get to it!

  1. Currently bingeing the Australian show Please Like Me on Hulu. It is an absolute delight. As a result, I can’t stop listening to this song.
  2. I can’t drink for the foreseeable future (I actually mean it this time, it’s not just Dry January) so I ordered all 3 types of Ritual Zero Proof liquor alternatives. I’ve been making martinis with Seedlip, so I’m really excited to try their gin alternative! It really is the ritual for me! They’re running a 20% off backordered items right now, so it’s a good time to grab them.
  3. This mirror from Ikea is a steal of a deal. Will I redecorate my office to accommodate it? Stay tuned. (Update: I bought this one. A little bit smaller but it’s GOLD.)
  4. I’ve been looking for the perfect champagne coupes and these might be the ones. My timing, as ever, is impeccable.
  5. Since I’m an absolute nutcase who loves a project and is in mega nesting mode, I bought this sideboard for my office. I’m completely redecorating the space (I literally drew plans up, despite my complete lack of artistic ability), and I want it to have a mid-century lounge feel. Since you asked, I will be painting the hardware gold. My goal for this room is for it to be like if Stevie Nicks moved into Frank Sinatra’s Palm Springs house. You know, normal!
  6. This book is my Bible right now.
  7. I’m also reading this book, since I technically work with the author!
  8. And while we’re on the subject of books, it really is Survival of the Thickest out here.
  9. Losing my MIND at this Care and Feeding letter that references the Spin Doctors in the year of our Lord 2021.
  10. This remains my favorite tweet ever posted.

And before I go, I’d be remiss not to say that I am terror-stricken and devastated by the insurrection that took place on Wednesday. I don’t want to live in a nation where violent white people can commit open treason and walk away safely while people of color are continually brutalized by the police for merely existing (which is to say nothing of the virulent, egregious anti-Semitism on display). But *the discourse* doesn’t need another white voice taking up space, so I’m just going to listen and keep trying to do the work to unlearn white supremacy and be actively anti-racist. Fuck fascists, invoke the 25th amendment.

My 2020 in Books

2020 truly was a year for the books (don’t worry, I instantly regretted that pun). This is the year where I discovered that I’m obsessed with contemporary romance novels (think Berkley, not Harlequin). I was a super-avid reader as a child, but I found it harder to make time for it as an adult. Nothing like being stuck at home for nine months to catch up on old hobbies!

Here are a few of my favorite things from the year!

Favorite Fiction (in no particular order)

  1. The Bookshop of Second Chances – Jackie Fraser (to be released in 2021)
  2. Kindred – Octavia Butler
  3. Where the Crawdads Sing – Delia Owens
  4. Beach Read – Emily Henry
  5. Well Met – Jen DeLuca
  6. The Bright Side of Going Dark – Kelly Harms
  7. Normal People – Sally Rooney
  8. The Friend Zone – Abby Jimenez

Favorite Non-Fiction

So, technically all of the “non-fiction” I read this year was either presented in memoirs style (10% Happier) or to fictionalized to protect the identities of the innocent (Three Women, lol). So for this somewhat amorphous category, I’m picking The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West. Yes, technically they are humor essays. However, they are boldly political, analytical takes at culture at large rather than explicitly personal essays, very much a response to the evils of the Trump administration and the #MeToo-era reckoning of the sex pests. This book informs and challenges as it entertains, and for that, it has won the top slot in its category.

Favorite Memoirs

Open Book by Jessica Simpson – I loved this book so much that I listened to a 4-part podcast series about it after I was finished. I was shocked that I could be so invested in the story of an artist to whom I hadn’t previously given much thought. I listened to the audiobook (obtained through my local library!), and not only was Jessica’s performance incredible and emotional, her (literary) voice came through so clearly in her writing. Honorable mention: Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain.

Favorite Essay Collection

This one feels like choosing between my own (currently non-existent) children. Humor essays are my all-time favorite genre of writing, so they comprise a significant portion of what I read in general. Although David Sedaris will likely always be my favorite humorist, this year it went to a tie between Wow, No Thank You and We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby. These two books had me wheezing from start to finish. I’ve actually never been so inspired to write before (although of course, I didn’t follow through because everything I produced was absolute garbage compared to the Word Science herself).

Best Audiobook Performance

While this book didn’t make it into one of my favorite slots, I had to shout out Rachel Bloom’s unbelievable performance of I Want to Be Where the Normal People Are. This was a joy start to finish, and she performs a literal musical in the middle. Rachel Bloom is a STAR.

In Progress

These are the books I’ve started (and enjoyed) this year but didn’t finish by midnight on the 31st: