If you’re a word nerd like me, there’s no doubt you’ll love these finds:
- “Turtles All the Way Down” – John Green: As you can imagine, I had plenty of reading material to get through during 11+ hours of flights last week. Bestselling author John Green does it again with this intriguing and unabashed introspection of mental health, adolescence and family bonds.
- “Money Diaries” – Lindsey Stanberry: You already know I love Refinery29’s Money Diaries so it’s no wonder I was full-on pumped for this compilation of firsthand stories and financial advice. From paying off loans to buying a home, it’s a must-have for making cents of complicated topics. You’re welcome.
- “We Are Never Meeting in Real Life” – Samantha Irby: The always hilarious Irby does it again with this array of personal essays. It’s completely normal to burst out laughing in the middle of an airport, right? Nothing to see here, just pure enjoyment and entertainment from these ridiculous real-life stories.
- “2002” – Anne-Marie: If you listened to the radio 16 years ago, I can guarantee you’ll love this ode to throwback tunes. From Nelly to *NSYNC and everything in between, Anne-Marie has you covered.
Are you ready for a wild ride? Don’t say I didn’t warn you:
- “Girls’ Trip”: It’s no surprise to see a star-studded cast of Queen Latifah, Regina Hall, Jada Pinkett Smith and Tiffany Haddish straight-up slay the female buddy comedy genre. I finally watched this last weekend and laughed, cringed and guffawed the whole way through. I won’t be that girl (Kate Walsh’s character) but seriously, you must see it.
- “The Last Black Unicorn” – Tiffany Haddish: Inspired by Miss Haddish’s performance (and unforgettable SNL episode), I borrowed a copy of her bestselling memoir. Again, I laughed, I cringed, I was gobsmacked. She writes so honestly and from the heart, and you can’t help but read it in her signature style. Do yourself a favor and get a copy ASAP.
- “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark” – Michelle McNamara: By now, you’ve likely heard about the infamous Golden State Killer and his capture, thanks to a national DNA database and unrelenting detectives. One such person was Michelle McNamara, who compiled decades of evidence and information to inspire others to theorize and piece clues together. Her book was published posthumously, just a few months before the killer was named. Seriously, this is one you won’t want to miss.
- “Making a Murderer” Returns: Hold onto your hats and get ready for the next season of this binge-worthy true crime series. The gripping, thrilling documentary sheds a harrowing light on the criminal justice system, its faults and failings. I’m setting my calendar now for the season to come back October 19.
It’s nothing short of a miracle for me to post this before midnight on my coast. A comedy of errors and issues got me here, but I’m keeping my promises:
- Phantom of the Opera: I’d never had the pleasure of seeing Andrew Lloyd Webber’s award-winning show until this past weekend. $40 rush tickets were certainly motivating, but I was in awe of the spectacular special effects, costuming, set design and, of course, talented cast. It’s a must-see before it leaves SF on the 30th.
- “The Heart Is a Shifting Sea” – Elizabeth Flock: After my last breakup, a good friend recommended I read this true tale of three couples in Mumbai, India. The relationships are complex and fascinating, with cultural and religious considerations, countless characters, and the root of love growing in various ways.
- “Mindhunter”: I’m not the last person on earth to binge this Netflix series, but I might be close. After the umpteenth friend urged me to watch, I finally got hooked on this look at the early days of FBI investigators interviewing serial killers — such early days they called them “sequence killers.” It’s chilling, gripping and fascinating all at once.
- Copy Me That: While I’m no Top Chef myself, I do enjoy browsing other’s recipes for quick and easy, yet flavorful meals. My sister-in-law introduced me to this handy app, which combs through the (lovely, but lengthy) personal novels and gets right to the ingredients. It can even create shopping lists from the stored recipes and find new ones based on the ingredients you’re getting. BAM!
There are approximately 1,913 running through my head right now, but nothing could stop me from posting tonight. At the top of the list is one main thing: National Suicide Prevention Week.
It shouldn’t take high-profile deaths to shine a light on the deep problem affecting millions each year. But I’m relieved to see more information and conversation happening around mental health, depression and measures to prevent suicide rates from rising.
The pros of a long weekend are pretty infinite, but the one con I can think of is forgetting what day it is for about a week. And maybe, trying to get five days of work done in four. Sigh.
- Pismo Beach: I spent the holiday weekend on a girls’ trip to Pismo and couldn’t have asked for a better time. Between rooftop drinks, delicious dinners, gorgeous views and a packed playlist, it was an unforgettable time. If only we could make the drive down every weekend! A girl can dream, eh?
- Nepenthe: On our way down (cue Ryan Cabrera), we stopped a few times for photo ops and pit stops. This was our lunch destination in Big Sur, which provided incredible scenery and tasty bites. It was wise for us to arrive just before opening, as they filled up quickly and reservations were tight. Def do the same if you intend to stop by!
- SLO Sailing: Sunday’s main event was a 2-hour sailing trip off the bay and into the Pacific. “Breathtaking” is an understatement. While the waters were rough for a little bit, we thoroughly enjoyed the sweeping views and picture-perfect adventure. We even made a new best friend, Cheryl, who ditched her husband to take the only spot left. You’re my spirit animal, Cher.
- Ember: Among our other memorable meals, Ember stands out as a truly wonderful dining experience. The farm-to-table restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but the wait is well worth it. Craft cocktails and a monthly menu piqued our interest, while the helpful staff and friendly husband-wife ownership team kept us smiling. It’s a must if you’re in the area.
I’m currently shrouded in a fuzzy blanket with the lights off, earplugs in and a throbbing head. While my summer cold finally seems to have subsided, I have one mother of a migraine that’s making me see spots.
So in the interest of not making myself any more miserable, here’s a bop I had on repeat before today’s turbulence. Here’s hoping you find it just as obsession-worthy:
Wishing you all a wonderful holiday weekend ahead. Have fun, be safe and don’t do anything I wouldn’t do (on social media)!