Hello and welcome back to another edition of Favorites, where everything is straight forward and I tell you—you guessed it—about some of my favorites from the last two months.
Let’s get right into it.
I melt for Norah Jones’ voice. It has long been able to put me in a peaceful place and make me feel like things are going to be okay—even if the song she’s singing happens to be sad. So when I heard she had a podcast—Playing Along with Norah Jones—where she interviews and plays music with guests, I was IN. It is such an easy and relaxing listen. I’ll put it in on when I’m on my way to work, or making dinner, or, my favorite, when I’m sitting at the kitchen table doing a puzzle.
I found the Bad on Paper podcast on a best of 2022 list and I am so happy I did! It is a podcast mainly centered around books, but it also touches on a little bit of everything. I especially like the book club episodes that come out at the end of the month.
And finally, Podcrushed, which is a podcast centered around life—mainly middle school life—hosted by Penn Badgley, Nava Kavelin, and Sophie Ansari. Each episode features a guest that talks a little bit about their middle school experience, as well as what they’ve learned since. It’s a relatable and cozy listen that makes the trials of middle school feel a little less scary to think about.
The Villa by Rachel Hawkins was the Bad on Paper book club pick for January, so I was excited to jump in and participate. It follows two timelines, one in the present day, and one in the 70’s. In the present day, two best friends go on vacation to an Italian villa that is famous for a murder that took place in the 70s. It was a gripping read and the ending left me sitting there, thinking about it, for hours.
I heard a lot of hype about Everything I Know About Love by Dolly Alderton so I went in with high expectations…and it met all of them. It’s a memoir about the trials of love (both romantic and platonic), and Dolly does such a great job at capturing the feelings down to the bone. This book made me feel especially seen and so I’m very grateful I read it.
It had been a while since I read a book that I loved but also hated because I was in such a hurry to know every single thing that happened but also didn’t want the book to be over, so I was excited to find Every Summer After by Carley Fortune. It follows Persephone and her best friend Sam as they grow up together during their summers spent in a beach town. I listened to the audiobook, and while I started at a slow, leisurely pace. I quickly began to work my schedule around finding time to listen to this book because I just wanted to know what happened. So I suppose you could call this a recommendation and a slight warning.
Going to come clean with you, I watched The In Between solely because I have a crush on Kyle Allen. They stuck him on the poster, so that was enough for me. I also like Joey King, who stars opposite him in this good but also kind of heartbreaking movie about a couple who is separated by death but finds their way back to each other in the “in between.” It’s a sweet story with a supernatural element that makes you wonder. (find it on Amazon Prime)
As I was writing that last paragraph, I laughed out loud because I realized that this next movie, Rosaline, also features Kyle Allen. I love watching movies that have actors in common. I call it, “theme-ing.” So this is both funny and on par for me. Rosaline tells the “untold story” of Romeo’s girlfriend before Juliet. It’s funny and original and made me laugh out loud. (find it on Hulu)
Unrelated to both of those movies (and, unfortunately, breaking the theme) is The Banshees of Inisherin. I have been trying to watch all of the movies nominated for Best Picture at the Oscar’s, and this one was on the list. It is a little bit hard to explain, which is funny because it is a very simply premise. In short, two friends end their friendship. It is a slow moving, beautifully shot movie that I loved. It is strange and funny and sad.
Shortly after I finished reading Everything I Know About Love (which I’ll admit I was a bit behind the times on) I found out they’d made it into a show that is streaming on Peacock. Needless to say, it took priority over everything else I was watching and I absolutely loved it. It is a relatable, cozy show that again made me feel very seen and understood. I caught myself nodding along to each episode. (find it on Peacock)
Special Forces: The Toughest Test is the wildcard pick of this favorites post. These last few months I have been in the mood for peaceful, calming, love stories and this show is the complete opposite. It puts a group of celebrities in the middle of the desert to try and endure special forces training. They are given a taste of what our military personnel is put through in order to fight for our country. It is extremely humbling to watch. I sit on the couch cheering all of them on, almost always on the verge of tears, knowing full well I could not do what they’re doing, and feeling incredibly grateful that people do in order to let me live this great life. (find it on Hulu)
I have long been curious about The Mindy Project but had only ever seen half of an episode, on mute, while running on the treadmill at the gym. I love Mindy Kaling so I was pretty sure I’d love this show and I was 100% correct. I think it’s rare to find a show that makes you laugh out loud but this one gets me almost every episode. I am almost sad to be loving it so much because I am blowing through it. But I suppose that’s the great thing about streaming—when I’m finished I’ll just start again. (find it on Netflix)
The People’s Champ by Quinn XCII
Everything to Everyone – EP by Renee Rapp
Rolling Up the Welcome Mat by Kelsea Ballerini
Caleb Pressley and his interview series Sundae Conversation used to pop up all the time on my For You page on TikTok. They are short, witty, dead pan interviews that often make the celebrity guests crack up laughing. I have loved going through the backlog of interviews and am forever impressed by Caleb’s ability to keep a straight face. This interview with Morgan Wallen is one of my favorites
Have anything you’ve been loving over these last couple months? Let me know!
See my previous favorites post here.
Thanks as always for the recs!
If you have never listened to “Heal Squad” with Maria Menounos they have a lot of interviews with experts for every aspect of life. Also, I think I told you about “Calm Down” with Erin and Clarrisa .. they make me laugh 🙂