Pageturners: In a Holidaze, Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies
Whether you're in need of fun holiday fiction or a phoenix-rising non-fiction pick, we've got you covered. Now, send everyone away, turn off your phone and pretend we aren't living in a real-life disaster movie.
In a Holidaze, by Christina Lauren
In my effort to escape the real world and inject a little holly jolly into an otherwise anxiety-ridden year, I searched for a holiday read that might fill me with Christmas cheer. (Hey, that rhymed!)
This was the perfect book. It's a laugh-out-loud romance will leave you with all the feels. It’s like seeing Santa at the end of a long parade, like the announcement of a snow day, like the first present under the tree.
Now, don’t shudder at the word “romance:” This isn’t your mama’s bodice ripper. It’s a cleverly crafted story with characters you’ll quickly become invested in. Maelyn Jones is in a dead-end job and living at home with her parents. The only bright spot is celebrating Christmas with her family at a cabin in Utah, with two other families who join every year. But, the holiday is tarnished when Mae has an unfortunate incident post-eggnog. As the family drives away from the cabin, Mae begs the universe to show her what will make her happy. That’s when the Christmas tree truck comes out of nowhere, and everything goes black.
When Mae finally comes to, she’s back on a plane, ready to land in Utah…again. Every misstep sends her back into a time-loop destined to relive the holiday, each trip a chance to figure out what really matters to her. As Mae gets further and further into her holiday, she learns a lesson from which we could all benefit—that sometimes, what makes you happy is simpler than you think. Good friends and family are all that really matters, and trusting yourself is a gamechanger.
You’ll laugh, grin, giggle, and at some point, you may even tear up a little (wouldn’t know anything about that, actually). I promise, a few pages in and you’ll be feeling the magic of Christmas in no time. —Bernadette Bloom
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies, by Tara Schuster
Tara Schuster was a big-time TV exec working in comedy by the time she was in her late twenties. Super successful, right? She was, but she didn’t see it. Apparently, Schuster was a constant ball of anxiety, and this wasn’t something new in her life—turns out she grew up with anxiety and depression.
Buy Yourself the F*cking Lilies is about her rise from rock bottom and how she learned to love herself. She explains how her daily rituals helped transform every part of her life, from her mind to her relationships. Honestly, she talks about the exact same things that my shrink has told me to do for, like, a decade: “Silence your inner frenemy and shield yourself from self-criticism,” “fake gratitude until you actually feel gratitude” and “create a life you truly, totally f*cking love.” Sounds like it’s easier said than done, but I’m willing to read it to find out. Seems like as good a place as any to jump into 2021 (it has to get better, right? Right?!). —Lisa van de Geyn