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Step Inside My Parlour

All my viewing, reading, exploring, eating, and

drinking finds that are fit to share.

Come sit down, stay awhile.

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Enrichments

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Our Wives Under the Sea is a firm new favorite and solidifies Julia Armfield's status as one of my most beloved litfic writers. Internal, haunting, and filled with dread, it delves into the trauma of crumbling relationships through the lens of a slow-burn deep-sea expedition gone awry and some truly gnarly, affecting body horror. The prose is so exquisite, so evocative, I want to slide into it and tread. 

Where even to begin with Tell Me I'm Worthless, Alison Rumfitt's utterly singular punk trans horror haunted-house-as-fascism homage to Shirley Jackson, Daphne du Maurier, and Angela Carter? It incisively, brutally captures our current climate. An all-timer. 

My Phantoms is an absolutely searing, brilliantly-observed portrait of how a mother and daughter hurt while processing hurt. The characters are so sharply-wrought that it reads like a memoir. Just devastating, masterful writing by Gwendoline Riley. 

As you'll see in the Refreshments section, I've been devouring books on witchcraft and herb magic. So far, I've loved Witchery by Juliet Diaz and The Illustrated Herbiary by Maia Toll. I've also started tracking the moon cycles and reading through astrological connections in a Magic of I planner. I have a bevy of books on order, so: more recommendations to come!

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Diversions

If you're down to watch a show that's essentially the Safdies doing Kitchen Confidential, allow me to introduce you to The Bear. It's gritty, it's propulsive, it'll give anyone who's worked in the restaurant industry flashbacks. All the actors are wonderful in their roles—lead Jeremy Allen White, especially, oozes charisma and owns that mysterious sexy-dirtbag alchemy possessed by too many head chefs. Ayo Edebiri, too, is excellent as the sous chef—I loved her in Dickinson (another favorite show, gone too soon after three short seasons). Episode 7, especially, is an all-timer—filmed in one continuous shot, you'll need to take a very long, calming walk after the credits hit. 

If you need lighter fare after all that hectic action, embrace the awkward, romantic teenager within through The Summer I Turned Pretty and Heartstopper. The former, based on the YA novel series by Jenny Han, perfectly encapsulates that magical, confusing not-a-girl-not-yet-a-woman feeling, bottles it, and shakes it up with a backdrop of idyllic summer vacation and a heaping dose of childhood crush yearning. It's also a pretty effective tearjerker if you need to let some stuff go.

The latter, based on a popular young adult LGBTQ+ graphic novel series by Alice Oseman, is sweet and safe enough to watch with your parents (or any other folks who need a little enlightening). It explores understanding one's sexual identity in such soft, supportive, funny ways—you'll just want to wrap the entire cast in a big, warm hug. Bonus points to Olivia Colman, who absolutely owns a pivotal coming-out scene, as one would expect. 

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Refreshments

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As most powerful love affairs begin, my latest—with witchcraft—started with a spark. I happened upon an episode of The Witch Wave podcast, and I haven't stopped reading and experimenting since. There are so many forms of witchcraft, and I'm not quite sure yet how I identify; I just know that many of the signs (an affinity for nature, a pull toward the spirit world, a respect for ritual) pointed me here. I'm a person who loves to seek out and assign meaning to everything, so witchcraft feels like a pretty natural fit. I've started small by tracking the moon cycles, and I found an incredible herb farm to source from out near me in rural New Jersey. I recently created my own proprietary herb blends to infuse in full moon water—researching the healing properties of the plants was incredibly illuminating, and I'm excited to learn more. All of this has given me a renewed sense of purpose and helped me raise my energy. I'll continue to immerse myself in knowledge and practice and will share all of my favorite resources once I have a better handle on things. But let this be a reminder: it's never too late to find a new calling; just keep moving toward wonder, curiosity, love, and joy.