The obsession with Little Fires Everywhere started in 2017 with the release of the novel by Celeste Ng—a book that just about every book club had at the top of their reading list. Filled with drama, strong leading ladies and small-town suburban drama, it was no surprise that it quickly became one of the biggest books of the decade. Now, the queens Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington are bringing it to life with their new Hulu series based on the book. If you can’t get enough of this enticing storyline, and need something to read while you’re stuck at home for the foreseeable future, you’ll live for these 10 unforgettable novels.
1. The New Husband by D.J. Palmer
Out April 14, 2020
Picture this: your husband goes missing on a fishing trip, is presumed dead, and then you find out he was having an affair. Tragic. For the main character in The New Husband, Nina Garrity, this is her reality and she’s doing her best to move on a year and a half after the strange disappearance that left her a widow. Trying to move on with a new man, Simon Fitch, everything seems like smooth sailing. But when her daughter raises concerns about him, Nina begins an investigation into Simon that will send her reeling—we’re talking Dirty John level secrets.
2. The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls by Anissa Grey
Released January 14, 2020
No matter how close sisters Althea, Violet and Lillian are, they never imagined that one of them would be arrested and put on trial for stealing money from a charity (who does that?!). Now left to care for Althea’s twin daughters and wrestling with the idea that the woman who raised them is a criminal, the family begins to fall apart, member by member. With plenty of family drama, a fire, and difficult mother-daughter relationships, this book gives us serious Little Fires Everywhere vibes.
3. The Opposite of Fate by Alison McGhee
Released February 18, 2020
Mallie Williams was feeling on top of the world until a terrible assault left her in a coma. The worst part? Her attacker got her pregnant. By the time she regains her strength and comes out of the coma, her family will have made a decision that will change her life forever. Filled with hopeful messages about life and the decisions that alter the way we look at the world, Mallie Williams proves to be the ultimate badass in Alison McGhee’s latest novel The Opposite of Fate.
4. Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid
Released December 31, 2019
Alix Chamberlain is a certified boss, living a life full of success and confidence (So… can we all be Alix?). Living a predominantly great life, she’s completely caught off guard when her babysitter, a young black woman named Emira, is accused of kidnapping her child at their high-end grocery store. When a video is released of the horrific incident, Alix knows she has to do something to make the situation right. But the video brings someone from Alix’s past back into her life, forcing all of her plans out the window and putting her completely out of control for the first time in a long time.
5. Queen of the Owls by Barbara Linn Probst
Out April 7, 2020
When college professor Elizabeth innocently poses for nude photos, the only thought in her mind is how these photos will bring her one step closer to her hero Georgia O’Keeffe. Instead, the seriously creepy photographer who took the photos exploits Elizabeth, publishing them for the world to see. Unable to persuade him to take the photos down, Elizabeth does her best to embrace the situation and help others understand why she did it in the first place. If you’re trying to get in touch with your inner feminist spirit this spring, you’ll love Elizabeth and Queen of the Owls.
6. The Gifted School by Bruce Holsinger
Released July 2, 2019
Said to be the book “that predicted the college-admissions scandal,” (The Wall Street Journal) you better believe The Gifted School is full of juicy private school drama. Four families have known each other for over a decade, raising their children together and happily living side-by-side in their quaint community. But then an exclusive new school for gifted children opens up and suddenly, the parents of these four families turn against one another, doing whatever it takes to get their children into the most prestigious school in town—and setting a horrible example for their kids in the process.
7. Little Secrets by Jennifer Hillier
Out April 21, 2020
College sweethearts Marin and Derek were living the dream before their son Sebastian was taken. Over a year later, the police no longer have any leads in the case, leaving Marin to hire a private investigator to continue digging. But unfortunately for Marin the plan backfires as the PI learns Derek is having an affair with a woman… a much younger woman. Like any reasonable woman who’s been betrayed, Marin begins to contemplate what it would take to break them up for good and it isn’t long before she begins to explore ways of getting her out of Derek’s life permanently. Yikes!
8. Minor Dramas & Other Catastrophes by Kathleen West
Released February 4, 2020
Isobel Johnson has never claimed to be a perfect teacher and tries her best to fly under the radar, avoiding the sometimes-crazy class parents. But all of that hits the fan when she introduces a fairly liberal lesson to her class and she begins getting threatening calls from her students’ parents. Simultaneously, helicopter mom Julia has just been trashed by her fellow moms for making an error while casting the school’s winter musical. Banding together, Isobel and Julia quickly find out just how toxic privileged schools like Liston Heights High can really be.
9. A Hundred Suns by Karin Tanabe
Out April 7, 2020
Ever wonder what Little Fires Everywhere would look like as a historical fiction novel? We’ve got you covered! Moving to Vietnam with her husband in 1933, American Jessie Lesage has absolutely no idea what to expect. With scandal surrounding her husband and his connection to the Michelin rubber fortune, she knows she needs to keep up the visage of the perfect wife. Determined to make a real life for herself in Vietnam, she befriends local woman Marcelle de Fabry. What Jessie doesn’t know is that Marcelle is in support of giving the Michelin plantations back to their rightful owners, a secret that will severely threaten Jessie, her husband, and their success.
10. A Good Neighborhood by Therese Anne Fowler
Released March 10,2020
Good neighbors can be hard to come by, and no one knows this better than single mother Valerie Alston-Holt in A Good Neighborhood. A professor of forestry and ecology, Valerie has everything she could ever want: a bright son headed to college soon, a tight-knit community, and a beautiful home. Things are obviously too good to be true for Valerie (or else this wouldn’t be a novel) and soon, the Whitman family moves in next door and immediately starts to disrupt her life. First, the family completely demolishes the house they bought, building a monstrosity, then they find themselves arguing over a historic tree in Valerie’s yard. But worst of all, Valerie’s son has fallen for the Whitman’s daughter, causing all Hell to break loose. If you think you have bad neighbors, this book will reassure you of how good you have it!
Images: Courtesy of Hulu; Amazon (10)
Maybe you watched The Stranger or The Five on Netflix, or saw the movie Tell No One. Or maybe you just read one of his many New York Times bestselling books, like Run Away, Fool Me Once, Don’t Let Go, or the renowned Myron Bolitar series. Either way, if you’re into thrillers, you’ve definitely heard of Harlan Coben, and you’ve probably been waiting on the edge of your seat for the release of his newest book (which will be his 32nd), The Boy From The Woods, out March 17.
Wilde is a man who is a mystery to everyone, including himself, having been found 30 years ago living as a feral boy in the woods with no memory of who he was or how he got there. Fast-forward three decades: A local girl goes missing in those same woods, and Wilde is tapped to help find her. He works with Hester Crimstein, a famous TV lawyer (with big Nancy Grace energy) with whom Wilde shares a tragic connection. Along the way, they’ll go head-to-head with corrupt politicians (never heard of ’em), powerful media moguls, long-lost relatives, and so much more. The Boy From The Woods comes out March 17th, but if you just can’t wait to get a sneak peek of the book, we have the second chapter right here. So check it out, get hooked, then preorder The Boy From The Woods.
The hipster pundit said, “This guy should be in prison, no questions asked.”
On live television, Hester Crimstein was about to counterpunch when she spotted what looked like her grandson in her peripheral vision. It was hard to see through the studio lights, but it sure as hell looked like Matthew.
“Whoa, strong words,” said the show’s host, a once-cute prepster whose main debate technique was to freeze a baffled expression on his face, as though his guests were idiots no matter how much sense they made. “Any response, Hester?”
Matthew’s appearance—it had to be him—had thrown her.
Not a good time to let the mind wander, she reminded herself. Focus.
“You’re gross,” Hester said.
“You heard me.” She aimed her notorious withering gaze at Hipster Pundit. “Gross.”
Why is Matthew here?
Her grandson had never come to her work unannounced before—not to her office, not to a courtroom, and not to the studio.
“Care to elaborate?” Prepster Host asked.
“Sure,” Hester said. The fiery glare stayed on Hipster Pundit. “You hate America.”
“Seriously,” Hester continued, throwing her hands up in the air, “why should we have a court system at all? Who needs it? We have public opinion, don’t we? No trial, no jury, no judge—let the Twitter mob decide.”
Hipster Pundit sat up a little straighter. “That’s not what I said.”
“It’s exactly what you said.”
“There’s evidence, Hester. A very clear video.”
“Ooo, a video.” She wiggled her fingers as though she were talking about a ghost. “So again: No need for a judge or jury. Let’s just have you, as benevolent leader of the Twitter mob—”
“Hush, I’m talking. Oh, I’m sorry, I forget your name. I keep calling you Hipster Pundit in my head, so can I just call you Chad?” He opened his mouth, but Hester pushed on. “Great. Tell me, Chad, what’s a fitting punishmentfor my client, do you think? I mean, since you’re going to pronounce guilt or innocence, why not also do the sentencing for us?”
“My name”—he pushed his hipster glasses up his nose—“is Rick. And we all saw the video. Your client punched a man in the face.”
“Thanks for that analysis. You know what would be helpful, Chad?”
“Rick, Chad, whatever. What would be helpful, super helpful really, would be if you and your mob just made all the decisions for us. Think of the time we’d save. We just post a video on social media and declare guilt or innocence from the replies. Thumbs-up or thumbs-down. There’d be no need for witnesses or testimony or evidence. Just Judge Rick Chad here.”
Hipster Pundit’s face was turning red. “We all saw what your rich client did to that poor man.”
Prepster Host stepped in: “Before we continue, let’s show the video again for those just tuning in.”
Hester was about to protest, but they’d already shown the video countless times, would show it countless more times, and her voicing any opposition would be both ineffective and only make her client, a well-to-do financial consultant named Simon Greene, appear even more guilty.
More important, Hester could use the few seconds with the camera off her to check on Matthew.
The viral video—four million views and counting—had been recorded on a tourist’s iPhone in Central Park. On the screen, Hester’s client Simon Greene, wearing a perfectly tailored suit with a perfectly Windsored Hermès tie, cocked his fist and smashed it into the face of a threadbare, disheveled young man who, Hester knew, was a drug addict named Aaron Corval.
Blood gushed from Corval’s nose.
The image was irresistibly Dickensian—Mr. Rich Privileged Guy, completely unprovoked, sucker-punches Poor Street Urchin.
Hester quickly craned her neck toward Matthew and tried, through the haze of the studio spotlights, to meet his eye. She was a frequent legal expert on cable news, and two nights a week, “famed defense attorney” Hester Crimstein had her own segment on this very network called Crimstein on Crime, though her name was not pronounced Crime-Rhymes-with-Prime-Stine, but rather Krim-Rhymes-with-Prim-Steen, but the alliteration was still considered “television friendly” and the title looked good on the bottom scroll, so the network ran with it.
Her grandson stood in the shadows. Hester could see that Matthew was wringing his hands, just like his father used to do, and she felt a pang so deep in her chest that for a moment she couldn’t breathe. She considered quickly crossing the room and asking Matthew why he was here, but the punch video was already over and Hipster Rick Chad was foaming at the mouth.
“See?” Spittle flew out of his mouth and found a home in his beard. “It’s clear as day. Your rich client attacked a homeless man for no reason.”
“You don’t know what went on before that tape rolled.”
“It makes no difference.”
“Sure it does. That’s why we have a system of justice, so that vigilantes like you don’t irresponsibly call for mob violence against an innocent man.”
“Whoa, no one said anything about mob violence.”
“Sure you did. Own it already. You want my client, a father of three with no record, in prison right now. No trial, nothing. Come on, Rick Chad, let your inner fascist out.” Hester banged the desk, startling Prepster Host, and began to chant: “Lock him up, lock him up.”
“Cut that out!”
“Lock him up!”
The chant was getting to him, his face turning scarlet. “That’s not what I meant at all. You’re intentionally exaggerating.”
“Lock him up!”
“Stop that. No one is saying that.”
Hester had something of a gift for mimicry. She often used it in the courtroom to subtly if not immaturely undermine a prosecutor. Doing her best impression of Rick Chad, she repeated his earlier words verbatim: “This guy should be in prison, no questions asked.”
“That will be up to a court of law,” Hipster Rick Chad said, “but maybe if a man acts like this, if he punches people in the face in broad daylight, he deserves to be canceled and lose his job.”
“Why? Because you and Deplorable-Dental-Hygienist and NailDa-Ladies-69 on Twitter say so? You don’t know the situation. You don’t even know if the tape is real.”
Prepster Host arched an eyebrow over that one. “Are you saying the video is fake?”
“Could be, sure. Look, I had another client. Someone photoshopped her smiling face next to a dead giraffe and said she was the hunter who killed it. An ex-husband did that for revenge. Can you imagine the hate and bullying she received?”
The story wasn’t true—Hester had made it up—but it could be true, and sometimes that was enough.
“Where is your client Simon Greene right now?” Hipster Rick Chad asked.
“What does that have to do with anything?”
“He’s home, right? Out on bail?”
“He’s an innocent man, a fine man, a caring man—”
“And a rich man.”
“Now you want to get rid of our bail system?”
“A rich white man.”
“Listen, Rick Chad, I know you’re all ‘woke’ and stuff, what with the cool beard and the hipster beanie—is that a Kangol?— but your use of race and your easy answers are as bad as the other side’s use of race and easy answers.”
“Wow, deflecting using ‘both sides.’ ”
“No, sonny, that’s not both sides, so listen up. What you don’t see is, you and those you hate? You are quickly becoming one and the same.”
“Reverse this around,” Rick Chad said. “If Simon Greene was poor and black and Aaron Corval was rich and white—”
“They’re both white. Don’t make this about race.”
“It’s always about race, but fine. If the guy in rags hit the rich white man in a suit, he wouldn’t have Hester Crimstein defending him. He’d be in jail right now.”
Hmm, Hester thought. She had to admit Rick Chad had a pretty good point there.
Prepster Host said, “Hester?”
Time was running out in the segment, so Hester threw up her hands and said, “If Rick Chad is arguing I’m a great attorney, who am I to disagree?”
That drew laughs.
“And that’s all the time we have for now. Coming up next, the latest controversy surrounding upstart presidential candidate Rusty Eggers. Is Rusty pragmatic or cruel? Is he really the most dangerous man in America? Stay with us.”
Hester pulled out the earpiece and unclipped the microphone. They were already headed to commercial break when she rose and crossed the room toward Matthew. He was so tall now, again like his father, and another pang struck hard.
Hester said, “Your mother… ?”
“She’s fine,” Matthew said. “Everyone is okay.”
Hester couldn’t help it. She threw her arms around the probably embarrassed teen, wrapping him in a bear hug, though she was barely five two and he had almost a foot on her. More and more she saw the echoes of the father in the son. Matthew hadn’t looked much like David when he was little, when his father was still alive, but now he did—the posture, the walk, the hand wringing, the crinkle of the forehead—and it all broke her heart anew. It shouldn’t, of course. It should, in fact, offer some measure of comfort for Hester, seeing her dead son’s echo in his boy, like some small part of David survived the crash and still lives on. But instead, these ghostly glimmers rip at her, tear the wounds wide open, even after all these years, and Hester wondered whether the pain was worth it, whether it was better to feel this pain than feel nothing. The question was a rhetorical one, of course. She had no choice and would want it no other way—feeling nothing or someday being “over it” would be the worst betrayal of all.
So she held her grandson and squeezed her eyes shut. The teen patted her back, almost as though he were humoring her.
That was what he called her. Nana. “You’re really okay?”
Matthew’s skin was browner than his father’s. His mother, Laila, was black, which made Matthew black too or a person of color or biracial or whatever. Age was no excuse, but Hester, who was in her seventies but told everyone she stopped counting at sixty-nine—go ahead, make a joke, she’d heard them all—found it hard to keep track of the evolving terminology.
“Where’s your mother?” Hester asked.
“What’s the matter?” Hester asked.
“There’s this girl in school,” Matthew said.
“What about her?”
“She’s missing, Nana. I want you to help.”
Excerpted from THE BOY FROM THE WOODS. Copyright © 2020 by Harlan Coben. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved.
It’s that time of year again! The sun is out, the temperatures are rising, and all you want to do is go to the park in your bikini and read a good book. Or, maybe that’s just me. In any case, I’ve been powering through advance copies all season to get you the Betches Summer Reading List 2019. Whether you’re into romance, mystery, fun character sketches, etc., you’ll likely find something you will enjoy on this list. Now, as a warning, here is how I am classifying my summer reading list: books that come out during the spring and summer. So don’t be salty if some of these picks aren’t available yet. That’s why God invented preorder.
‘Red, White & Royal Blue’ by Casey McQuiston
This book is so cute and fun and I’m obsessed with it. It’s about Alex Claremont-Diaz, the heartthrob son of the first female President of the United States (if only), and Prince Henry, the Prince of England. The two start out as rivals and are forced to fake a friendship, until that fake friendship turns into a real friendship… and then more. Told through narrative, texts, emails, and even a podcast, this book is inventive and fun, and super heartwarming. I finished it today and low-key teared up on the subway.
‘My Lovely Wife’ by Samantha Downing
Yes, I wrote about this one before, and yes, I’ll likely do it again. This book was that good. Literally think Gone Girl, except better. I promise you. My Lovely Wife is about a typical suburban married couple with children… who hunts and murders women for fun. I swear to you, you won’t see the twist coming. And if you do, kindly drop your location in the comments, so I can alert the police.
‘Honestly, We Meant Well’ by Grant Ginder
I loved The People We Hate At The Wedding, so I was not surprised that I loved Grant Ginder’s next book, Honestly, We Meant Well. Here’s the gist: a family takes a trip to Greece. But in that family, you have Dean, a famed writer and now-professor who just cheated on Sue Ellen, his wife. Oh, and they have a son, Will, who just broke up with his boyfriend, only to have him move on immediately and steal his job. There’s not a lot of action (until the climax), but there’s plenty of character development to keep you hooked. This fun family portrait is a perfect summer read.
‘The Learning Curve’ by Mandy Berman
Fiona and Liv are two best friends who became inseparable after Fiona experienced a family tragedy. Senior year of college, their lives are headed in different directions, and their differences are only highlighted by the sudden arrival of famed writer and controversial figure, Oliver Ash. It’s not what you think—at least, not entirely. This novel, through different perspectives, explores loss, grief, sex, friendship, power dynamics, and much more.
‘Star-Crossed’ By Minnie Darke
If you’re into horoscopes, and romantic comedies that are told through vignettes that ultimately come together in the end, you’ll love Star Crossed, which has both of those elements. The novel focuses on a few characters, namely, Justine (a Sagittarius and a serious skeptic), who starts working at a newspaper. One of her projects? Laying out the horoscopes. All is proceeding normally until Justine takes the horoscopes into her own hands… and ends up changing other people’s lives, not just her own.
‘Watching You’ by Lisa Jewell
If you’re only going to read one thriller this summer, make it this one. It takes place in a nice neighborhood of Bristol, England, where everyone is hiding something—and everyone is watching each other. When someone in the community ends up murdered, all these secrets start scratching at the surface, threatening to come to life. Told via first-person narrative and transcripts of police interviews, this is a page-turner you won’t be able to put down. And with so many twists, it’s guaranteed that at least one will surprise you.
‘Daisy Jones & the Six’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This book is literally going to be huge, and Reese Witherspoon loved it so much she made it a book club pick. Told like a biography (that’s not a real biography), the book follows Daisy Jones, a girl coming of age in LA in the late sixties, and her life is all sex, drugs, and rock ‘n’ roll. When she joins forces with The Six, they become one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Remember—this is all fictional, but it reads like an oral history. It’s an extremely inventive format and a captivating story that you and all your friends will love.
‘The Last Book Party’ by Karen Dukess
It’s 1987, and Eve Rosen, aspiring writer and lowly assistant at a publishing house, is desperate to prove her mettle in the arts and literary scene. So when famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey extends an invite to a party at his summer home in Cape Cod, Eve jumps at the opportunity. Henry takes a liking to her and hires her as his personal assistant, giving her even access to the world she previously only dreamed about. She also scores an invite to the famed “Book Party,” an end-of-summer celebration where everyone dresses in elaborate literary costumes. However, the deeper she gets into this world, the more she discovers that all that glitters is not gold and nothing is really as it seems.
‘The Perfect Girlfriend’ by Karen Hamilton
Another fun suspense-filled novel, this one follows Juliette, who was just dumped by Nate. She’ll do anything to win him back… literally. She’s convinced she and Nate are meant to be and has devised a truly crazy plan to win him back. So crazy, it just might work? You’ll have to find out. Juliette is certifiably insane, for sure, but you’ll find yourself siding with her more and more as the plot progresses.
‘The Bride Test’ By Helen Hoang
If you read and loved last year’s The Kiss Quotient, then you need to run out and order Helen Hoang’s next novel, The Bride Test, right now. Just like The Kiss Quotient featured a protagonist on the Autism spectrum, this one does as well—so you’re not just reading a fun novel, you’re also reading a novel that’s giving visibility to groups that aren’t often written about. So. Onto The Bride Test. Khai Diep doesn’t really experience emotions—or at least, he doesn’t think he does. He doesn’t think he’s capable of love, but his family knows better. So his mom travels to Vietnam to find him the perfect bride.
‘The Bookish Life Of Nina Hill’ By Abbi Waxman
I knew I forgot something I’d read and liked on my reading list, so I updated the post to include this fun read about Nina Hill, a nerdy girl living in LA, whose life is turned upside down when she finds out her estranged father died and left her a whole dysfunctional family who wants to meet her. And, given that Nina is a huge introvert, she would rather not—yes, I know what you’re thinking. Even if it means passing up that sweet, sweet inheritance money. If you relate to staying in and JOMO (joy of missing out), you’ll relate to Nina. This book was a fun, cute beach read that you’ll breeze through pretty quickly, but it’s still got a lot of heart.
Images: Link Hoang / Unsplash; Amazon (10)
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If you’re anything like me, you hate making decisions, and who better to turn to for all your life choices than the stars? Nobody. Well, the stars are not really a person, but more like an entity, but you get what I mean. Summer is almost here, and with pool season comes summer reading lists. But with so many books out there to choose from, how do you decide?! Let your zodiac sign be your guide, because I found the best book to read based on your zodiac sign. Start here with these personal recommendations, then keep your eyes peeled for the Betches Summer Reading List, out v v soon.
If You’re An Aries, Read…
Girl, Stop Apologizing: A Shame-Free Plan for Embracing and Achieving Your Goals by Rachel Hollis
If you’re an Aries, this is your week to get stuff done like the bad betch you are. Start thinking proactively with Rachel Hollis’s Girl, Stop Apologizing. Hollis is sick of seeing women downplay their own success and in her latest novel, she empowers hardworking ladies to embrace the future they want instead of adhering to what everyone else expects.
If You’re A Taurus, Read…
Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
This is your week to shine, Taurus! While you’re feeling popular and ahead of the game, pick up a copy of the mega-popular and Instagram-famous Daisy Jones & the Six. When Daisy Jones joins Billy Dunne’s band, The Six, the collaboration becomes an instant sensation. Filled with sex, drugs and rock n roll, this New York Times bestseller is a must for Taurus.
If You’re A Gemini, Read…
The Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey
True Geminis are feeling all kinds of zen at the moment and should be kicking back this week with a book to bring out the most peaceful version of themselves. Ansley Murphy and her three daughters are finally living the happy lives they’ve all dreamed of… and then two women roll into town destined to take them down. The Murphy women will have to band together to get through this disastrous time.
If You’re A Cancer, Read…
They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall
It’s time to switch up your genre game, Cancer. Come out of that shell and read a suspenseful thriller that will have you up all night. Miriam Macy and six other strangers have just arrived for a tropical vacation off the coast of Mexico. What they don’t know if that they’ve all been brought there for a reason, and not all of them will make it out unscathed.
If You’re A Leo, Read…
When’s Happy Hour: Work So Hard You Can Barely Work by Betches
Get your career in check this week, Leo! But also don’t forget your priorities (aka happy hour). We know you get serious FOMO sometimes, and that’s okay. We’ve got the perfect book rec for you by yours truly. Learn how to be the best version of your careerwoman self with the founders of Betches as they walk you through the best practices to becoming a CEO, mastering the art of conquering awkward office hookups, and so much more.
If You’re A Virgo, Read…
You, Me, and the Sea by Meg Donohue
Feeling wanderlust this week, Virgo? Why not sail out to sea? It is summer, right? You, Me, and the Sea takes place in a seaside town in Northern California, where Merrow Shawe lives a rather carefree life. But her world is quickly changed when a handsome new man comes to stay with her family, and before she knows it, their romance is changing everything she knows about life, family and home.
If You’re A Libra, Read…
Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer
Libra, you’ve got to read a thriller this week. *Trust us, it’s in the stars.* Instead of stalking your ex on Insta, do yourself a favor and pick up Saving Meghan by D.J. Palmer. This suspenseful thriller will have you trying to solve the mystery up until the very end and using your powers for good. If you love The Act on Hulu, this book will be the perfect rollercoaster ride for your spring reading.
If You’re A Scorpio, Read…
The Bride Test by Helen Hoang
Your love life is on point this week, Scorpio! Take advantage of these romantic vibes coming your way and treat yourself to Helen Hoag’s The Bride Test. This book is smart, sexy, and refreshingly real. Khai Diep is the perfect replacement man for you single Scorpios out there. And if you’re in a relationship, it this steamy love story will have no problem keeping things hot, hot, hot.
If You’re A Sagittarius, Read…
The Path Made Clear: Discovering Your Life’s Direction and Purpose by Oprah Winfrey
Sagittarius, you need help. Help from the one and only Oprah Winfrey. The Queen recently released The Path Made Clear, the perfect book for anyone trying to get their life in order and find success on the other side. Filled with her own anecdotes and life lessons from the important people around her, this book is one you will absolutely benefit from.
If You’re A Capricorn, Read…
The Mister by E.L. James
Cap, you are on top of the world this week with your flirty mentality. Set up a book date with The Mister by the author of a little romance novel called 50 Shades of Grey and prepare yourself for a steamy night in. Maxim Trevelyan is a major playboy, but when a tragedy strikes his family, he has to shape up. In the midst of his new life is a sexy new acquaintance—a woman he can’t get off his mind no matter how hard he tries.
If You’re An Aquarius, Read…
The Promise of Us by Jamie Beck
Aquarius, you need a little me time this week. Cancel your weekend plans and keep things chill with Jamie Beck’s The Promise of Us. Main character Claire McKenna is not a newbie when it comes to loss. Now that she’s begun her latest business venture and everything seems to be going her way, she runs into a man from her past, and suddenly everything she thought was going right in her life is thrown into chaos.
If You’re A Pisces, Read…
Machine Like Me by Ian McEwan
For the dreamy and creative Pisces, we have quite the book recommendation for you. Mercury has you feeling some type of way this week, and by that we mean you’re feeling extra curious. Machine Like Me by Ian McEwan is a curious book, to say the least. Think romance meets synthetic humans but in the 80s. Seriously, can you imagine being in a love triangle with an AI humanoid?! Maybe if he was a clone Ryan Reynolds. Either way, we trust that you can fantasize about this fake world.
Images: Nicole Wolf / Unsplash
The following is an excerpt from our new book, When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work, on sale NOW.
For the purposes of this section, let’s categorize job satisfaction in one of three ways: (1) get me the f*ck out of here, (2) I’m down to chill here, and (3) #NeverLeaving. On any given day at your job, you may experience emotions from any of the categories, but whichever reminds you of your feelings toward your job on most days should provide some insight as to whether you’re in the right place.
Get Me The F*ck Out Of Here:
Symptoms include waking up with zero drive or motivation to live; daydreaming about the slow, painful death of your boss and/or co-workers and/or self; feeling a sense of pointlessness or of having nothing to look forward to ever; wishing sincerely that you could switch lives with your dog; frequently crying about/at work; having stress-induced nightmares about your job; questioning whether the job is even worth the ability to pay your rent.
I’m Down To Chill Here:
Most people fall into a situation like this. Your boss is the standard level of annoying sometimes, but your coworkers make the environment better; you want to be paid more, but overall the situation is pretty good; you’re well-liked by the company without trying too hard; there are fun perks that break up the routine sometimes; you feel that you’ll be promoted and given raises over time; the job looks pretty good on your résumé; the stress level is moderate but overall tolerable.
A hashtag typically applied to honeymoons in the Maldives, this category means your job makes you excited when you think about it; you’re doing something you always wanted to do and feel like you’re good at it; you’re satisfied with your compensation, your coworkers, your boss, etc.; you feel passionate about the actual duties your job entails and like you’re making a difference in the results; you’re growing professionally in a way that aligns with what you want for your life; your job treats you well and gives you time for your personal life.
The beauty of this category system is that each category name tells you exactly what you should do (assuming there are no barriers or other reasons not to do so). If you fall into category 1, look for a new job immediately. If category 2, then stick with it until the situation either starts to become a category 1 or 3 or until you decide you want a new opportunity (or a recruiter emails with a better situation). If you fall into category 3, consider yourself very #blessed. Stick with what you’re doing and seriously invest in your success there.
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The following is an excerpt from our new book, “When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work”, on sale NOW.
Job environment plays a huge factor in whether it would be a good fit . Say you’re really good at beauty tutorials but you wouldn’t ever want to work in a big gray-carpeted corporate office, then maybe the right route for you is freelance makeup artist. On the other hand, say you need deadlines to work, love brainstorming, and seriously care what people comment on each other’s Instagrams, well then, maybe you should be in media. Let’s discuss popular industries and what it’s like to work in them.
Exactly as The Devil Wears Prada led you to believe this job would be. Even though fashion is starting to be a little more accepting of sizes above subzero, people are still quite focused on appearance. They praise Ashley Graham on Instagram but talk sh*t about her thighs behind her back. This industry is harsh, self-important, and doesn’t really pay that much. Why are people in it? Because they care about seeming cool, or maybe because they actually give a sh*t what Pantone’s color of the year is.
If we learned anything from Silicon Valley, it’s that this world is changing faster than your tampon on a heavy-flow day. This can be highly stressful but if you’re a really skilled developer, coder, or engineer, then this is fine for you. If you’re not that good, you’ll know right away because you won’t get work or you’ll get eaten alive. If you’re a female techie, now’s the time to swing for the fences, as tech companies are needing to even out their ratios
for press purposes because they believe in diversity and being socially conscious, of course.
If you’re personable, outgoing and looking for a bullsh*t job where you get to do very little but have the opportunity to be paid more down the road, find a media job in a a large corporate company. All media companies are competing with one another, so they’re all spending a sh*t ton of money on pointless employee perks like beer on tap, expensive beverages that claim to be healthier than water, and the ability to work on a couch in a different room from your desk. Gasp.
You have to do an incredible amount of bitch work, ass-kissing, and sliding into people’s DMs to move up in this industry. Like, if you even want to write on a show, the amount of coffee you need to retrieve in your career will surpass the amount of alcohol you drank in college. If you really want to be the next Ava DuVernay, though, know that it’s going to be a lot of rejection and disappointment, but it is possible to get there, so keep going.
Rewarding AF. Not financially, though. And the only time that philosophy degree will help you is when you’re discussing Game of Thrones fan theories.
Even though the two are different, we grouped them together because they’re similar in that you have to put in a lot of work and hours—and also money—with very little sleep or salary to make a lot of money at some point very far in the future. Plus, you have to be really into reading to succeed in either field.
You’ll have to deal with a lot of bros and douchebags to be in this industry. Everyone talks really fast and assumes you know what they’re talking about when they use terms like EBIDTA and vested equity. Couldn’t care less about changing interest rates? Then don’t go into finance.
All The Other Sh*t, Like Agriculture
Honestly, this industry is the hardest to write about because we know very little about it. Aleen went to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell, yet still, not much info from us. Farmers have one of the most important jobs in the country, and do you know what they have to rely on? The weather. That’s right, the weather. And then they have to deal with these huge corporations forcing them to accept buy-outs or kicking them off their land.
Yes, we left out a lot of different industries because, you know what, there are way too f*cking many, and you know what else? You’ll get over it.
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The following is an excerpt from our new book, When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work, on sale NOW.
If you’re trying to get promoted or advance in any significant way in your career, one of the most important qualities to cultivate is self-awareness, and the ability to self-evaluate and figure out where you need improvement. And then actually do those things, obviously. One of the hardest things in life is seeing your own flaws, but you have to see them before you can admit to them, and you have to admit to them in order to change them. Here are some ways to go about finding your flaws and really understanding what they are:
Actually pay attention at your employee evals: If you want to know what your boss thinks of you, unshockingly, all you have to do is just pay attention at your yearly (or whatever) evaluation. Your boss is literally forced to formally rate your strengths and weaknesses on paper, so like, don’t just let that be a wasted half hour. If they say you take too long to answer emails and it pisses clients off, just like…respond faster. Most of the time, the answers to fixing your shortcomings will be spelled out for you if you’re willing to be open enough to listen to feedback and change habits.
Ask a coworker who isn’t catty and whose opinion you respect for honest feedback: This is pretty hard because it requires being a bit vulnerable, and we’re not saying you should definitely do this unless you’re sure that the person you’re asking will give worthwhile feedback. Otherwise you just put yourself out there for no gain, and we can hardly think of anything worse than that. The person you ask should be a little more experienced and higher up in the office, and they should be someone who is widely seen as hardworking and drama-avoidant. The last thing you need is someone gossiping about your vulnerable moments to the entire break room.
Ask your friends and family: As much as we want to think that we can put on a flawless act at work, that’s really not possible. Like we mentioned earlier, who we are in life is who we are at work, just with a little more polish. You might be a little better at faking it with your coworkers than with your boyfriend, but the fundamental flaws themselves will probably be the same. If you really can’t be organized enough to ever get to brunch on time, chances are that you’re also disorganized at work and tend to be late to meetings or whatever. Take some cues from your weekend self, as explained by loved ones, and ask yourself if any of that is reflected in your job. Then work on that sh*t and use your personal life to practice as well. Maybe if you started getting to the restaurant in a timely fashion, you would not only piss off your friends less but also the habit will spill over into your work life and benefit you on multiple fronts.
Pay attention to what you criticize other people for: The traits we notice and critique about other people are often—surprise—actually the things we do ourselves. It’s called projection, and it’s really easy to detect—thanks, Freud. For example, it bothers the sh*t out of you how Michelle is constantly sucking up to your mutual boss and trying to undermine you and your coworkers by subtly throwing shade about everyone else. Meanwhile, you just spent a half hour plotting how you’re going to make Michelle look like an idiot in the next meeting by criticizing her project and then offering to fix what she did. Sound familiar? Yeah, because you’re actually doing the exact same thing that you criticize Michelle for. Next time you hear yourself talking sh*t about a coworker, ask yourself if you might actually do the same thing you’re calling them out for. Once you’ve answered yourself, you can keep bitching about them, but then change your behavior after.
We’re not saying it’ll be easy. Getting to know yourself and admitting your faults is honestly kind of the worst. But if you value yourself, you’ll value your own self-improvement and you’ll be okay with suffering a little and making changes for the sake of a better future.
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I know what you’re thinking, and no, self-help books that aren’t corny is not an oxymoron. They’re not all, like, “breathe in and harness the power of the universe and believe in yourself and everything you’ve ever wanted will be yours” or whatever B.S. The Secret espouses. There are actually a lot of books that can actually help you that also won’t bore you to death. I want to say here that my definition of “self-help” is pretty loose here. Is the book nonfiction? Does it teach some sort of lesson or aim to help people in some way? If yes, I’m calling it a self-help book. So here are some self-help books that aren’t corny.
‘The Spiritual Vixen’s Guide To An Unapologetic Life’ by Maureen Muldoon
I know the title is cheesey. I KNOW it sounds like something your mom might write when she’s a couple of glasses of wine in and feeling a little frisky. But stay with me here. There’s a reason this is on a list of self-help books that aren’t corny. This true story is about a woman whose husband leaves her for Miss Universe. Miss f*cking Universe. And I thought I had trust issues. Muldoon details her feelings of loss, anger, and denial in a funny and candid way, and her journey towards liberation is one you’ll be rooting for.
‘Making It In Manhattan’ by Caroline Vazzana
This is a quick must-read for anyone who’s trying to make it in fashion. Caroline Vazzana went from wannabe designer to intern to a fashion influencer, stylist, and editor. She’s legit been called the real-life Carrie Bradshaw. In her first book book, she’ll tell you how she did it, everything she wishes she did, plus how you too can reach your goals in the social media age.
‘When’s Happy Hour?’: Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work by The Betches
F*cking duhhhh. You know we couldn’t leave our own HILARIOUS career advice book off the list. If you’ve ever wondered if you can wear a crop top to the office, or if it’s okay to hook up with that hot guy in another department, you need to read our book. We’ll help you format your resume, not completely f*ck up your interview, and then not get fired once you do get the job. We’re like, such good friends. You should pre-order it, betch.
‘Everything’s Trash But It’s Okay’ by Phoebe Robinson
Um, wow, not cool that Phoebe literally stole my Hinge bio, but whatever. In all seriousness, Everything’s Trash is a series of essays on topics ranging from gender to dating to race and more. This dope queen tackles why feminism needs to be more intersectional and why dating in general is a dumpster fire (I paraphrase), but she also talks about personal sh*t like how she hid a ton of debt from her parents.
‘Belong: Find Your People, Create Community, and Live a More Connected Life’ by Radha Agrawal
Ever heard of Daybreaker? It’s a huge morning party—no alcohol—that takes place in 25 cities and a dozen college campuses around the world. You’ve probably seen it on Instagram. Anyway, the founder of Daybreaker wrote a book that’s all about finding yourself. With prompts, charts, quizzes, and more, you’ll discover what values are important to you and how to find people who share those values. If you can get past the unnecessarily long title, you’ll learn a lot from this book.
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