Step Inside My Parlour
All my viewing, reading, exploring, eating, and
drinking finds that are fit to share.
Come sit down, stay awhile.
I was blown away by Catriona Ward's The Last House on Needless Street—it's an incredibly dark, disturbing book (be warned!), but it's also one of the most empathetic and beautifully written portraits of multiple unreliable narrators (one of which is a cat!) that I've ever read. There's a big twist, so go in as cold as you can. She got that Stephen King bump for a reason, y'all!
Another novel I recently enjoyed is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I'm pretty sure I'm the last person on earth to devour it, but it more than lives up to the hype—it's a masterclass in characterization and reminds me a bit of another favorite, Liz Gilbert's City of Girls.
On the romance front, I swooned hard for The Love Hypothesis—a book that started as ReyLo fanfiction and catapulted its way to the New York Times Best Seller list. It's as great as everyone says—fun, sexy, and progressive (gotta love a women-in-STEM storyline written by an author with a Ph.D. in neuroscience!) Ali Hazelwood has a smart, endearing voice—I'm looking forward to what she does next!
The darkness and curling inward of this hibernating season require an apropos soundtrack, and I've had Ex:Re's 12 Ensemble recording of her debut solo album on repeat. Between the haunting strings and the delicate vocals, I'm a goner.
I absolutely blazed through Mike Flanagan's latest, Midnight Mass, and really admire how different it is from his other projects. An actor's showcase and a searing condemnation of blindly following anything (in this case, religion), it's not as jump-scary as his moodier predecessors, but there's a twist that makes for an absolutely bonkers episode six. Bonus side effect: I will now watch anything Hamish Linklater does.
For lighter fare, I loved Only Murders in the Building—it's a whodunnit that infuses equal parts silliness and style, though the iconic combination of Steve Martin and Martin Short would be more than enough without all the zany trappings.
Since late summer I've maintained a Sunday tradition called Pastries with the Dead, which is a dually fun way to discover new cemeteries and practice my spiritual mediumship. I grab a baked good and coffee from a local purveyor, then hit the road to a new "small town" (truly, each burial ground boasts its own unique residential feel). Graveyards get a bad rap. As far as I’m concerned, the chaotic, clashing energies of busy coffee shops or bars are far scarier. Most cemeteries I visit are peaceful, meditative places—and that’s largely because the spirits of its residents are elsewhere, dwelling within notable spaces or formative memories. The practice of enjoying a light repast among a new set of weather-worn, lichen-covered headstones never fails to remind me that the echoes of a life are what inform its rest.