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The List: Why I'm Taking a Cue from Book Influencers This Week

Bring on the cozy socks and the artfully rumpled sheets.

Writing to you from Coffee Commissary on Fairfax, along with every other writer in L.A.! I'm taking advantage of a fairly slow week in the office (the calm before the December, pre-holiday storm) with a few vacation days in the name of tackling my personal to-do list. I'm doing everything from the mundane (addressing my neglected personal inbox) to the fun (getting film from Big Sur developed and buying earrings for my wedding) to the totally joyful (grabbing lunch with a friend and tackling a huge stack of novels I've been meaning to get through!). I'm hoping to pepper a few museum and gallery visits in, as well as a movie or two, while the city feels emptier for the holiday! Here's what else I'm loving this week: 


Inspired by an article in the Girls Night In newsletter, I recently took a deep dive into "book influencers." Cheesy, yes, but there's also something so appealing about the aspirational, slower-paced feeds, complete with cozy socks, perfectly frothed lattes, and books on top of blankets tousled just soThis week, I'm taking a cue and setting aside a few days to slow down with a long reading list, so that my life too can be filled with cozy socks and novels. I'm looking at you, @nycbookgirl, @readwithkat, @bookbento, and @perpetualpages.

To start, last week I finally finished The Heart's Invisible Furies by John Boyle, which I tried to read slowly so that I could savor every word of it and never reach the end. It's heartbreaking but also funny at moments, and you'll miss Cyril long after the last page. Also on my Thanksgiving week "to read" list (which should really be a thing): A Prayer for Travelers by Ruchika Tomar, Supper Club by Lara Williams, and Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo. This list is also a great place to start!


In case you're here for soft food content... I got gum surgery on Friday. Long, unnecessary story short: I have a receding gum line (h/t to my dad's genetics), and this is my fifth surgery to correct it. All of the others have been gum grafts, and this was a simple pre-procedure for my final gum graft in January. Gum grafts are pretty painful, but this one hasn't hurt half as much—I just have to eat soft food for a week so I don't disturb the wound. In preparation for my surgery, Jess incredibly graciously made eight (!) pounds of mashed potatoes for our Thanksgiving potluck last week, and then ordered several smoothies for me from Daily Harvest, delivered to my door on Friday morning (I don't know what I did to deserve such generous coworkers, but I'm grateful every day for them!). 

I've seen a million ads for Daily Harvest on Instagram, but had never made the leap myself—and I'm so glad Jess introduced them to me! I didn't realize they're made from frozen whole foods (when you open a lid to a smoothie, it actually has recognize-able ingredients, from cut fruit to kale and nuts, depending on the flavor), and they're incredibly easy to make. I just fill it to the brim with almond milk or coconut water, depending which it calls for, then pour it into a mug and use my immersion blender to blend it into a smoothie! Of the smoothies, my favorites have been: Vanilla Bean + Cacao, Chocolate Blueberry, and Banana + Greens.


Singer-songwriter Lucy Dacus first came to my attention when her rock cover of La Vie En Rose shuffled onto my Spotify. I was immediately taken with it and only loved her more when I started listening to her EP, 2019. I love the message in her song, My Mother & I. P.S., Jonah pointed out to me the theme all the songs have in common. See if you can spot it. 


When I worked in food media, we'd frequently receive this comment, "I changed [10 ingredients or a key technique to the recipe] and this recipe was awful!" It was a running joke among editors that we would paraphrase in the test kitchen ("I swapped the 70% chocolate chips for leftover turkey gravy and these cookies are awful!"). The Instagram @nytimescookingcomments features many of these comments, but also those that are even more ridiculous, strangely personal, downright adorable—and all funny!


Every year, the coffee shop Go Get Em Tiger, releases special drinks for Thanksgiving. And every year, I try to get one, then take one look at the line before heading home. This year, I'm making my own Thanksgiving coffee drink with a "real" pumpkin spiced latte, which I'm fairly sure I've shared here before but, heck, it's just that good! Sip it while reading up on its cultural relevance. This coffee is just one thing in a long list of things I'm grateful for this Thanksgiving. Have a happy one! x

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