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I have a weird relationship with water. 

I need it, and yet, I can go whole days without actually drinking it. 

Mostly because it’s disgusting, and weirdly gives me heartburn.

But then I look around my desk and realize I’m surrounded by pop cans, and I think I should probably throw something healthy in the mix so I don’t end up on some weird medical documentary about a lady whose body stopped working because she only drank Coke Zero.

And it’s those rare moments that I become insatiable, and I drink it so fast that it runs down my cheek, and fills my stomach so quick it splashes up against my lungs. 

See also: Reading. 

Obviously, I read. I’m an author. Books are my thing. 

“Ya gotta read a book to write a book,” is some of the most important advice an author can get. 

But I go through long cycles where I’m exhausted and depressed, and reading is the last thing my body will agree to do. 

I open books and I immediately fall asleep, is reading narcolepsy a thing?

It’s not because the books are boring, but because my brain sees this momentary distracted break from my pending doom as a free pass to rest. 

Wait, we’re not spazzing about about this weird chest pain or the mole on our stomach or- zzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

It’s been a few dry years, but lately, I’ve been book parched. 

Here’s what I’ve been drinking. 

Dear Girls by Ali Wong 

My love for Ali Wong is steadfast. I present my iphone lock screen as evidence.

This woman reads my soul like a dessert menu.

Dear Girls is a collection of letters from Ali to her two young daughters, to read at a much later, much more appropriate date. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s generally poo pooed to introduce your kids to your sex life too early. 

Ali writes about dating, meeting her husband, what it’s like to be a woman in the industry, what it’s like to be an Asian woman in the industry, being a working mother, pregnancy, how scary it is to work on the road as a woman, and other hilarious and gut hitting moments from her life. 

This book made me laugh a lot, reconsider my previous life rule to stop sending fan letters to famous people after an embarrassing Carson Daly situation, and jot down a reminder to write letters to my own kids.

So that when I die, they’ll be able to open them and read about special private parts of my life, like what it was like to be with my great grandmother when she passed, or how I only let Andy go down on me on Sundays. 

Favorite moment: All of chapter 8, Mr. Wong. Trust me, just read it. 

God Save the Queens: The Essential History of Women in Hip Hop by Kathy Iandoli  

This is an important book. Anytime you can read about strong women, with the bonus of it being written by a woman, you should do it. 

I don’t consider myself a die hard hip hop fan. Andy is a lifer, but I am a casual appreciative fan of many genres, with my heart largely belonging to Lilith Fair. 

But, I read this book with Spotify opened on my phone, eagerly discovering names I didn’t know, and re-listening to songs I hadn’t heard in forever. 

Missy Elliott, Queen Latifah, Megan Thee Stallion, Roxanne Shante, Monie Love, Lauryn Hill and so many others, this book is about their struggle to be a part of a culture that wouldn’t have a voice without them, pushing up against the call to be over-sexualized and secondary to men, and their crazy interesting and needed stories. 

Favorite Moment: Click here for Kathy Iandoli’s playlist to go along with this book. It’s soooo good. 

The Lady from the Black Lagoon: Hollywood Monsters and the Lost Legacy of Milicent Patrick by Mallory O’Meara 

Add this to the pile of bad ass fucking women we don’t hear enough about. 

This book is about Milicent Patrick, one of Disney’s first female animators, who created The Creature from the Black Lagoon, a credit that was stolen from her by a jealous ass male colleague, causing her to basically disappear from the face of the Earth.

Weird. 

This is a feminist horror story… and every fucking word of it is true. 

Favorite moment: “Women are the most important part of horror because, by and large, women are the ones the horror happens to.”

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate 

Listen, you aren’t gonna like this book unless you’re a weirdo like me and my best friend, Jenny. 

Because this book is exactly what the title says it is, weird little stories about a woman I love so much it hurts. 

Jenny Slate is one of those enormously hilarious women who the industry tries to pass by because nothing about her feels comfortable or traditional. So instead she makes her own shit for a while, amasses a cult of people who see her as God (hi), and then the industry tries to come crawling back, but she’s like, ehhh I don’t know, maye, but first you have to agree to do this weird shit with me and my friends. 

And here we are. 

If you haven’t seen Obvious Child, watch it. If you haven’t sunk into bed and watched marathons youtube videos of Marcel the Shell with Shoes On with your kids, do it now. 

And then be thankful for Jenny Slate. 

Favorite moment: “It occurs to me as I fight so hard with myself that these cruel and persistent voices are the echoes of trauma from the times when people treated me like I am now treating myself.”

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