Friends, hello! Happy Sunday from me to you! Just a few things before we get to our Sunday links from Kim Baldwin (they’re fantastic, but first business). Our last virtual class of the year is coming right up on Christmas Eve morning. We’re making overnight cinnamon rolls so basically, I’m trying to make your Christmas morning dreams come true. No – not a bow on a car in the driveway – but warm cinnamon rolls. Join us!
I’m taking most of the weekend off and camping with Will somewhere in Texas. A much needed cozy camp and Will mentioned something about cutting a Christmas tree down from his property? Sounds like there might be spiders involved and I’ll have to pretend not to freak out but otherwise very romantic.
I hope you can take at least a few hours away from the holiday craze today and relax. It’s important. Make a pot of chili and buy a bag of Fritos. Savor these links from Kim and let them take you down a rabbit hole or two. I’m so glad you’re here. My love to you. xo Joy
Now here’s Kim:
Hello, again! Before we get to the links, two quick shout-outs. I want to thank all of you for reading and commenting on these guest posts. I know you come here to read Joy and then, surprise, it’s me instead. But here’s what I want you to know, and it’s my second shout-out, Joy is the real deal. She is not just pawning these posts off on us because she’s busy. She is paying us to show our skill and talent to a much larger audience than we get on our own. And that’s not nothing. May we all strive to be people who reach down and pull our friends up with us as we climb.
Now, let’s get to the fun stuff – smart links and dumb jokes!
• Do you know what we are absolutely going to do as we close out 2021? Hype up our friends who have books coming out in 2022. First up, Nobody’s Magic by Destiny O. Birdsong. This novel, told in three parts, is a searing meditation on grief, female strength, and self?discovery set against a backdrop of complicated social and racial histories. It is a testament to the power of family—the ones you’re born in and the ones you choose.
• The second book is Bomb Shelter: Love, Time, and Other Explosives by Mary Laura Philpott. From the bestselling author of I Miss You When I Blink comes a poignant and powerful new memoir-in-essays that tackles the big questions of life, death, and existential fear with humor and hope. These are both Nashville authors, so the pre-order link takes you to Parnassus Books, Nashville’s independent bookstore.
• The end of an era: Call Your Girlfriend is winding down in 2022. To say this podcast was an inspiration to me is an understatement. Call Your Girlfriend was instrumental in how I built Ladyland. I’m sad it’s ending and I look forward to what they all move on to next. Read their interview with Vulture here.
• We’re all still talking about the season finale of Succession, right? Good. The question is, is Shiv dressing like that on purpose, and if so, why? Emma Specter is on the case for Vogue dot com in Can We Briefly Discuss Shiv’s Wardrobe On This Season of Succession?
• Speaking of clothes, I have been RIVETED by Virginia Sole-Smith’s journey to find a good pair of plus-size jeans. She’s been conducting this experiment called jeans science in her Instagram Stories (it’s saved as a highlight) and she finally wrote about it: That Time I Bought 50 Pairs of Jeans. For Science.
• I never get into conspiracy theories, but scams? I love scams, which is why I’m excited Tressie McMillan Cottom is writing about scam culture for the NY Times: Why We Need To Address Scam Culture.
• Do you keep up with what you read throughout the year? I’ve done it for years, mainly through the Goodreads Reading Challenge, but I’m worried I’m turning one of my few remaining joyful hobbies into a competitive sport. I may quit. TBD. But I sure did keep track of it this year. Here is my 2021 In Books.
• Nashville is home to so many country and Americana artists, and I’m not talking about the white guys with big Twitter followings, although approximately one of them is fine. This is a great timeline NPR Music put together of the Black women who are changing the industry: How Black women reclaimed country and Americana music in 2021 by Andrea Williams, Marcus Dowlling, and Jewly Hight.
• My husband is a recording engineer and he said to me recently, “Kim, everyone records a Christmas album.” I don’t make it a habit to believe men, so I was dubious, but then I started listening to Samantha Irby’s AMAZING Spotify playlist, weird christmas!, and you know what? He’s right. Everyone records a Christmas album.
• “To me, that’s the crux of this conversation. Whether the pot shots are focused on the changes in appearance that come with age or question the relevance of having a show centered around the topic of sex once a woman is married or a mother, the implication is that, above all, she’s overstayed her welcome.” This is a great read on the topic of aging and Sex and the City: The SATC Conversation I’m Already Sick Of by Carita Rizzo.
• This is a very niche link, but if you live within driving distance of Nashville and you’re a writer with a love/hate relationship to promoting your work online, I can help! I’m teaching Social Media for Writers in Nashville on February 19.
Joy, thank you for hosting me these past few months. Hunker down, hug Tron, hug Will, learn how to change a mountain bike tire (?!), set those Christmas cards on fire you know you’re not going to mail and I’ll see you on the other side.
Happy fireplace channel season to all who celebrate!