weekly endorsements

I suggest!

  • Roxane Gay has become one of my favorites. She has a novel on its way, a blog, and an absolute white-hot burning love for Channing Tatum. Here is a recording of Roxane Gay reading her short story “North Country.”
  • Brewster. Please read this book. I find it heartbreaking and beautiful and recognizable.
  • Always on the quest for frozen drinks. Reunion Surf Bar in midtown was a surprising find and they boast quite the frozen drinks menu. And Bill’s Bar and Burger has milkshakes that you can add booze to. Heaven, I say!

weekly endorsements

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Floorplan for “The Simpsons”

I suggest!

Tomboy Style is my favorite blog ever. My friend Laurel introduced it to me a few years ago and I spent the entire night looking through pictures of girls in loafers and mens’ shirts  and denim shorts and t-shirts and boat shoes.

In the Woods by Tana French totally took me by surprise. Murder mystery set in Dublin– as soon as I heard the words thriller and best-seller, my snobbish side was ready to write the book off. But I was hooked after the first paragraph and I finished it in a few days. I will read all of her stuff. She’s a beautiful, beautiful writer. I don’t approach celebrities, but if I saw Tana French somewhere, I would introduce myself and I bet she would be friendly and wonderful and charming.

Inaki Aliste Lizarralde is an artist who creates floorplans for television show apartments. A friend posted about it on Facebook, and I think these drawing are so much fun (my secret favorite: Carrie Bradshaw’s floorplan. I don’t care what anyone says, I love that fricking show). You can view here and purchase here, although it looks like Lizarralde is backed up with orders because of high demand. And I just think that’s great.

weekly endorsements

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I suggest!

Everyone should read Meghan Daum’s essay “My Misspent Youth.” It’s about her wild relationship with debt and spending, but it’s also about New York and being young and trying to figure out how to pursue your dreams. You will love it and it will make you feel less alone when you open your mailbox and look at all of those stupid bills.

I love white sheets. I used to prefer colors or patterns, but lately I’ve been sticking with white bedding and I don’t think I’ll go back. It makes everything look kind of neat and clean (that is the only bitch– you have to wash them like frigging crazy, and I eat in bed, which is ridiculous for reasons having nothing to with white sheets, so I’m constantly scrubbing soy sauce and cake frosting out of my sheets). If you’re tentative and can deal with a low thread count, start with these Target sheets. They’re inexpensive and not too scratchy, and you’ll be able to see how white sheets can make you feel like you’re in a beach house. And that’s kind of fun, no?

Slate Culture Gabfest is my absolute favorite podcast. It’s the only one I’ve been able to listen to with some regularity (and I actually pinched the idea for endorsements from those guys). Stephen Metcalf, Dana Stephens and Julia Turner discuss movies and current events and food and scandals and celebrities and books and I’m making it sound cheesy, but it’s really great. Things I’ve learned about from the Gabfest: Tony Judt, Fun Home by Alison Bechdel, the Taylor Swift–Kanye West feud, The Official Preppy Handbook, Eric Rohmer, the Sea and Cake, Inside Job, the list goes on.

My friend Sam lives in New Orleans. We met waiting tables at the Half King and immediately connected because we both love books, beer, and bitching about customers. Visit her blog and fall in love with her pictures (she’s one of my favorite photographers), opinions, and book reviews.

New Yorkers, please check out Partial Comfort Productions. They are a wonderful theater company, small but mighty, and I think their work is incredible. One of my favorite playwrights is Samuel Hunter and I first saw “A Bright New Boise” at Partial Comfort. Their stuff is smart and original and sits with me long after I’ve left the theater. Affordable theater? You can’t say no!

weekly endorsements

I suggest!

When was the last time you listened to Anita Baker? I sometimes forget about her and how much I love her throated alto and seminal 1980’s haircut. She has a beautiful voice and her music makes me think of my mom’s tape collection of lite jazz and smooth R&B. Currently obsessed with “Giving You the Best That I Got.”

Polaroid might be on a break and nothing can really replace it. But for those of us who love instant non-digital pictures, Fuji’s Instax camera might be a close second. The photos are a bit wider than standard Polaroids, but other than that, it’s the same instant picture fun! I’m now on my third Instax and I can’t recommend it enough. Kids love them and they make wonderful wedding gifts, too.

I’ve known my friend Michael since sophomore year of high school. We got to talking about Stephen King after he saw me lugging around a copy of “The Stand,” and then we realized we also shared a love for “The Little Shop of Horrors” musical. He is one my favorite people in the world and has a wonderful blog devoted to his musing on life, books, and movies. Go say hello!

Eugene O’Neill is an American playwright. He wrote Long Day’s Journey into Night, The Iceman Cometh, and Desire Under the Elms to name a few. His work is ineffably beautiful and poignant and painful. Ric Burns made a documentary for PBS on O’Neill’s life and work and you can get it on Netflix. I think it’s a must-see for anyone who’s curious about O’Neill, but also for folks who wonder about the cost of creative expression and the redemptive power of art. My favorite moment is a dramatization of Edmund’s monologue from Long Day’s Journey when he describes his first encounter with the divine.

Please read Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. The 2008 film adaptation was fine, but the book is exquisite. Unfortunately it might squeeze most of the happiness out of your life, and you may forever cast a suspicious eye towards the suburbs. But if you can deal with that, you will see that it is a careful look at how we live. Yates picks picks picks at the scab crusted over our lives and the underneath is there and we have so much vitality and it’s raw and fragile, but it’s beautiful and ours alone, and Yates dares us to dream about what life could contain if fear isn’t a guiding principle.

“He let the fingers of one hand splay out across the pocket of his shirt to show what a simple, physical thing the heart was; then he made the same hand into a fist which he shook slowly and wordlessly…”

weekly endorsements

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I suggest!

Rick Moody (The Ice Storm, The Black Veil) is one of my favorite writers. I can’t say enough about his prose– it’s sensitive and jarring and soft and it stays with me long after I’ve stopped reading. Do check out his blog post on Taylor Swift. You have to scroll a bit down the page, but his post and subsequent reader responses are well worth the read. You can read here.

Yummy Books is a beautiful literary food blog by my wonderful friend Cara. She creates the most wonderful recipes based on scenes from some of her favorite books. Stop by and say hello and be dazzled by her writing, photos, and food descriptions. And give her a congrats, too! Cara has a book coming out based on the blog! Wahoo!

One Story is a literary journal featuring one story per issue. You subscribe, you receive a story in the mail about once a month, happiness ensues. I love One Story, I love receiving things in the mail that aren’t bills, and I love that the short story is still alive and kicking.

My fellow New Yorkers! City Bakery is my favorite place to eat in the entire city. Conveniently located, the best cookies around (I’m not being hyperbolic, I tell no lies, these cookies will be the best things you ever eat), and February is Hot Chocolate Month. Different flavor of hot cocoa each day. Need I say more? Stop what you’re doing and go. Now.

weekly endorsements

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I suggest!

This interview with writer Jennifer Egan. The Days of Yore website in general. Interviews with artists about all the days before they got their successes. Egan’s interview is funny and honest and I love reading about how people come to writing.

Nick Nastyy (aka my little cousin, although he’s not that little anymore, he’s 18, oh my goodness, where does the time go, I remember when he was a newborn, shit, I’m old) has released his third album. He’s amazing and I’m so proud and my favorite song on the album is “If the World Ended.” You can listen and download the album here.

The Hot Club of San Francisco Pandora station. It’s West Coast gypsy jazz, I think influenced by Django Reinhardt. Listening to it makes me feel like I’m living in Woody Allen’s “Sweet and Lowdown.” It’s the kind of music that makes life feel like bounce and sunshine. You’ll walk around on the balls of your feet all day after listening to it, I promise.

Hilton Als is a writer and theater critic for the New Yorker. He’s also one of my absolute favorite writers. Check out his Contributors page on the New Yorker website– funny stuff, smart stuff, observant stuff. Can’t recommend it enough.

Memories of Murdera Korean murder mystery/horror/comedy directed by Joon-ho Bong. I love all of his movies, and I believe The Host got him international recognition. And I think The Host is really wonderful, but there’s something about Memories of Murder ( a pair of rural cops trying to find a serial killer) that is disquieting and really funny and creepy and unresolved and I love it.