Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Stuff I Like: And Now It's August.

Hello! I've been writing this on and off all of July and now it's August so I guess I should just call it finished already. Here's what I've been liking lately:

This Book You Recommended!
Thank you everyone who recommended books to me in the comments last month! I made up a long list and started with The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz which was recommended by two of you. It's family saga with The Nightingale vibes and it's very easy to fall into. I am about 80% through and fully invested in this family's disfunction. I love how messy and weird it is but also that the characters feel like real people. This story has a strong sense of place and holds you at arm's length in a way you don't often experience in novels. Anyway, I am really into it and it broke my DNF streak, so thank you! (Edited to add: I finished it and loved it.)  Up next I have Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson, which was also a reader rec! 

This Anthro Candle That's So So Pretty.
Listen, I have a lot of beef with Anthropologie but their candle game is TIGHT and I can't complain about that. I bought this lovely jasmine candle and it smells amazing but also just such a great design. I mean, it has a monkey on it. Come on. And, it comes in a really cool box, is reasonably priced, and would make a great gift. It even comes in a smaller, less expensive version! I am all about a candle that's also a pretty object to brighten up your WFH desk or wherever. Treat yo self. 

The Bear. My God, The Bear.
Sorry, I know this is probably out of date by now but y'all, season two of The Bear broke my brain. Like, ugly crying, super invested, love all the details, OLIVIA COLEMAN CAMEO, realistic dysfunctional family dynamics like I've never seen depicted on TV, the soundtrack, the amazing performances! I was emotionally gutted by it in the best way. If you haven't watched it yet, buckle up. It's the best thing on TV right now, hands down.

This Backpack I Obsessively Researched

My Lo & Sons Hanover Deluxe backpack, which I used mainly for travel, finally bit the dust and I wanted something different. It needed to have a laptop compartment, luggage sleeve, and side pockets big enough for my favorite water bottle and big enough for travel but not so big that it was unwieldy. I also wanted to spend less on it! I spent a ridiculous time looking at travel backpacks and comparing them and I finally settled on the Command the Day Backpack by Lululemon. (I have the grey sage. Also available in black and brown.)Y'all, I love it. It's visually quite minimal, surprisingly well-made, and has all the features I was looking for. The only thing I miss is the little top zippered pocket (the best feature on the Hanover), but I'm otherwise super happy with it. I'm by no means trying to be negative about Lo & Sons! I've own a few of their bags and really like them but sometimes you want to try a different thing.

This Podcast For My Little House Obsessives.
Were you obsessed with the Little House books to the point that you didn't love the TV show because it was inaccurate? Did the deeply problematic parts skate right over your dumb little kid head? Did you beg your mother for a sun bonnet? Did you want to eat horehound candy and ride ponies bareback on the prairie? If so, do I have a podcast for you: Wilder.  To be clear, they definitely dig into the problematic parts of these books which I find really interesting and also appalling. But, the creator/narrator also really *gets* the magic of these books. I'm not going to say much more because if you know, you know. (If not, you might still dig this podcast but it definitely helps to have read the books.)


  1. So good to hear from you!! My Lo and Sons, bought on your recc, is ready to go as well. I will give your new suggestion a look. Hello from Philadelphia.

    1. Hi! Thanks for reading. I hope all is well in Philadelphia.

  2. I *loved* the Little House books (and completely didn't appreciate the tv show because it was inaccurate), so I am definitely going to check out that podcast. (The Fraser biography of LIW - Prairie Fires - is very good too.) And I will absolutely second your rec of The Bear - love the first season and adored this one.

    1. You are going to love this podcast. They do dedicate one episode to the show and it's super entertaining.

  3. Speaking of Olivia Coleman cameos, I was stunned to see her turn up in Secret Invasion, the Nick Fury Marvel gig. I am confused by most of the story, but SHE is worth the price of admission. I admit I am holding off on season 2 of The Bear because the first season was so intense.

    The book I am talking about to everyone now is The Light Pirate by Lily Brooks-Dalton. Near future, climate change, close but struggling family, small town Florida. Like The Latecomers, you fall into the family dynamic so quickly and thoroughly.

    1. Season 2 of the Bear is intense, but I liked it more than season 1. It's goes a lot deeper in building out the characters. Thanks for the book rec!


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