What’s up in my real life: November 2018. If you’d like to know, keep reading.
Favorite NYC spots visited:
What I couldn’t stop listening to:
The first week of the month was devoted to all things Elton John, in preparation for his farewell tour at Madison Square Garden. I was raised on Elton – he might be my mom’s favorite artist of all time – and he was absolutely incredible live.
Then, it’s Christmas carol season! I’m a strict believer that you can start listening to Christmas carols whenever you damn well please. That music makes me happy, plain and simple. Write me some Thanksgiving songs and I’ll listen to those too! But, until then, I’ll be starting on the Christmas jams after Halloween. I’ve been crafting this playlist for a few years now – it’s got everything from Bing Crosby to Josh Groban to Justin Bieber.
Favorite photo I took:
Ok, this month it’s a tie. Our time exploring the Rose Main Reading Room of the NYPL before it was open to the public was unbelievably magical. Just look at that light & those BOOKS.
But I also adore this image from my Friendsgiving post. It turned out exactly the way I was hoping, and I’m so grateful for this group of goons who play along with every crazy idea I have. nycbookgirl would not be possible without their support.
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In honor of #friendsgiving, I’m sharing nine of my favorite recent(ish) reads that celebrate friends that feel like family 💕 check it out on nycbookgirl.com! & props to mine for always being down to get the shot. Eternally thankful for this group of hooligans & @juliamedine for working the 📸✨ happy Friendsgiving, book worms!
Favorite piece I wrote:
ANOTHER TIE. My reviews of both Meg Fee’s Places I Stopped on the Way Home and Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings got quite personal. Both had me reflecting on where I am and where I’m going. Both of these women make me want to be a writer – I would love to someday create stories that make readers react the way I react to their work.
This month has been an absolute whirlwind. It began with a 28 hour trip to Durham, NC, to return to visit my alma mater, Duke University. I was invited to speak at DEMAN weekend, Duke’s weekend that connects students with alumni in the arts, entertainment, and media worlds. I love being back in this city. My roommate of all four years of college lives in Durham (she’s finishing her final year of law school), so this was really the perfect excuse to visit her and her new puppy. I got to catch up with so many wonderful friends, both students & adults that I worked with while there.
But my trip there was brief – I had to be back in NYC that Saturday night for Henry’s 25th birthday party, which is always the best time.
The month barreled along at full speed. I voted, I attended Disney on Ice (which is low key brilliant), and we went to the Elton John concert. I got my hair cut (finally – it had been over six months). I had one week where I saw five shows in six days. Five friends came to visit for a weekend, including my college boyfriend. We danced, we drank, we had a grand old time.
All of a sudden, we were at Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday – it always has been. We spend it with the entirety of my dad’s family in Massachusetts; the dinner table can be anywhere from 30 to 40 people. It’s four days of unabashed family time and fun. We played no fewer than three board games & finished two puzzles. After Thanksgiving dinner itself, we spend a few hours digesting before reconvening for the Hoit family Thanksgiving blues.
The blues are a tradition that can be traced at least back to the 80s. It is essentially a roast, but set to music. Twenty or so family members are selected and the most embarrassing thing they’ve done that year is revealed in a musical limerick. It brings about that horrible feeling of “I know I’ve done something humiliating but I have no memory of what it was.” They’re incredibly fun. After that, there’s music, booze, and even more pie.
And now we’re here. Home stretch to the holidays. I told myself I’d slow down, but I have two or three plans each night of the week until vacation begins. And about 15 books I want to read before 2018 ends. Fingers crossed we make it there.
This month has been huge in my work life. I was promoted at the office – and I asked for it. I had a meeting with my boss in which I asked for more responsibility and a raise and she said yes. That was a great way to start the month. And I’ve been hired to do some freelance writing about books, so keep your eyes peeled for that later this year!
I was accepted as a member at The Wing, an all female coworking space (currently in NYC, DC, and SF), which seems like both a personal and work life update. It’s been an awesome place both to get shit done (currently writing this on a beautiful blush couch) and to do cool things and meet great people.
November was yet another month filled with amazing bookish happenings. Anthony and Casey hosted another amazing Book Carousel book swap and I walked away with a copy of Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. We were invited to visit the Rose Main Reading Room at the NYPL before it opened to the public to celebrate the National Book Awards. That was a truly magical experience. This week, Anthony, Tim, and I went to the Riverhead 25th anniversary event at Symphony Space. Hosted by Meg Wolitzer, they had actors read aloud short stories by six of their authors. It was my dream book event.
Favorite Meme of the Month
You thought I was over the A Star is Born obsession? You were wrong. I’ve watched this three or four times a day for a month straight and it still gets me every time.
A Star Is Born (2018, dir. Bradley Cooper) pic.twitter.com/BudBkeMSmZ
— ☭ a rube ☭ (@faggiecheung) August 28, 2018
Honestly, this month has been so nutty that I didn’t have much time to think about dating. But I did make it to one great first date. Check back in next month!
Mental Health Life
Book worms, I have failed my promise to make an appointment with a new therapist. I could make a number of excuses about traveling and being too busy, but those aren’t productive for either one of us. So I’m working on it for December. I promise.
& that’s it! I don’t know how we are possibly already at the final month of 2018, but I’m so ready for it. Let me know what you think of these happy hours. Cheers!