It’s the time of year again that I always romanticize. Expecting nightly sessions of snuggling up by the fireplace with a good book and a steaming mug of some antioxidant-filled tea, and then inevitably rushing in from the day that’s been dark since 4pm and gluing my wind-burnt face to the addictive glow of Netflix. Then I lie awake for hours wondering to myself, “Why the heck am I still awake at two in the morning even after taking melatonin and covering my whole body in lavender oil?!?!? Shouldn’t my ~self care~ pay off?”
Disclaimer: I am a hypocrite and am typing this under the second set of circumstances up above.
Ever since I was little, I’ve been aware of the effects of blue light. When I was in middle school, my dad bought a blue light box that was supposed to give me energy. The idea was to set up the light facing me for 10 minutes at the same time each morning and it would regulate my circadian rhythm. Blue light is the light produced by technologic screens and a culprit behind my head hurting from staring at my phone for hours on road-trips…and if it has the power to wake you up in the morning, it’s probably not the best to stare at for (far more than) ten minutes at night.
I’m all for a cozy Netflix binge, but lately, in the spirit of not sleeping through my twelve alarms when it’s pitch black out each morning, I am trying to switch out my TV time for reading. Below are a few of my top audiobook suggestions:
If you binged Santa Clarita Diet… read Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty
When I last visited my sister in North Carolina, she introduced me to Santa Clarita Diet. We watched as Drew Barrymore mysteriously became a zombie and chaos ensued. But, over thanksgiving break, Courtney gave me an even better suggestion: Big Little Lies. This book exposes the dirty little secrets that occur behind closed doors in a picturesque seaside town in Australia. In addition to the usual appeal of kindergarten moms fighting, Liane Moriarty kept me on the edge of my seat with crumbs of clues sprinkled throughout this crime-investigation style novel.
If you’re addicted to The Real Housewives, read Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Despite my mom’s strict “No Real Housewives of Anywhere” policy, I still, of course, give in and watch the “trashy” series. Knowing full-well that my mom wouldn’t approve of how “racy” Crazy Rich Asians was for a senior in Catholic high school, I just didn’t tell her I was reading it. Jokes on her though, because she read it and loved it too. I was fascinated by the unfathomable wealth of the Singaporean families followed throughout the book. Reading this took me on a mental vacation to a life of luxury and drama. Not that I wouldn’t love to be engaged to the handsome son of a tycoon, I’d just rather be here in Indiana reading about the psycho family that comes with the ring.
If you’re smitten with Anne With an E read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Barrows
In the spirit of full disclosure, I actually haven’t watched Anne With an E…I am however intimately familiar with Anne of Green Gables because, for some reason, it was simply always on PBS growing up. Like Anne of Green Gables, The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society begins under tragic circumstances, but becomes a heartwarming romance. This book broke my dry eyes streak with the detailed descriptions of Nazi occupations, imprisonment, and the people left behind.
If your taste ranges from Gossip Girl TO House of Cards, read Capital Girls by Ella Monroe
If Frank and Claire Underwood raised Serena van der Woodsen and Chuck Bass were the chief of staff’s son, you’d have Capital Girls. I read this over the summer, at first just to humor my co-worker who suggested it, but then tore through the next two books. The story is focused around a group of four best friends who call themselves the Capital Girls. The honor of being a Capital Girl is the equivalent to an invite to lunch on the steps of the Met. From the first page, I knew it wasn’t going to be all glitz and glam though: Taylor, the former queen bee has died in an unsettling accident…and it’s all down (capitol) hill from there.
If you love a Classic quirky lady like Kimmy from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, read Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
When agoraphobic Bernadette goes missing from her boujee, helicopter-mom-filled neighborhood of Seattle, her daughter, Bee scours through emails, letters, and other documents to get to the bottom of the disappearance. Much like watching Kimmy Schmidt, reading Where’d You Go Bernadette is hilariously entertaining, but when I think about it a little deeper it’s kind of disturbing…girls trapped in a bunker? A 15-year- old’s mom going missing? Pssh! Douse it in quirk and it’s just comedy! But seriously, Maria Semple created characters that are just enough over the top to make me do that thing where you smile and puff a little bit of air out of my nose constantly, but also engage me intellectually.
Although I’m a total bookworm, I’m also a college student with a tight budget and a tiny bookshelf. Instead of buying all of these books, or even getting them physically from the library, I’ve listened to a couple on audiobook. I especially love listening while I walk to class or setting the sleep timer on my Overdrive app to listen as drift off.
Let me know below what your audiobook suggestions are or what series you’re currently binging…maybe there’s a book on my shelf you might like.