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The Link Up: Emily’s Favorite Easy Read Of The Year, The Best Netflix Holiday Special According To Caitlin, And A Juicy Podcast Episode

Happy Friday and happy, happy holidays! We figured everyone is pretty much shopping fatigued at this point in the year so today we thought we would share some books, movies, shows, and podcasts to enjoy over a (hopefully) long, relaxing weekend. This will be the last EHD link up of the year (oh how time flies!) and we are taking the next two days off the blog, so thank you for joining us and we will see you back here on Monday.

This home tour will have you believing that green and red is a killer color scheme that works all year long. It is a Victorian terrace designed by Tiffany Duggan of Studio Duggan, who excels at creating spaces that are polished, soulful, yet completely inviting. Please, give your eyeballs a treat and check out the whole home tour.

From Emily: This is my favorite easy-read book of the year. I received another text from one of my best friends (who shares my reading list usually) and she said “This. More books like this”, after my recommendation. Every Summer After, by Carley Fortune (a former romance editor, turned writer) is a sweet, coming-of-age, nostalgic, feel-good romance that I personally need more of. It’s well-written, with good dialogue and a story that is easy to relate to, but it’s one of those you instantly can get into and curl up with all day. This year I’m doing a non-fiction book club with my best friends (mostly self-improvement spiritual and/or business-related) because I can just read easy rom-com after easy rom-com and I do want to use more areas of my brain. But over the holidays for those of you who don’t want to have to think but want to dig into a feel-good book, I’d say of the 40 or so books I read this year that this one was my favorite.

From Caitlin: Can we talk about Who Killed Santa? I’ve been kind of disappointed by Netflix’s holiday offerings this year, but THIS ONE WAS SO FUN. The gist: Jason Bateman and Maya Rudolph were hired to film a Christmas special, but they’re not given a script and they have NO IDEA what’s going on. The rest of the cast (including Will Arnett, who stars as Detective Terry Seattle) and crew all know what’s going to happen next, but the guest stars are completely in the dark and they’re forced to improv through each scene. Everyone is breaking and laughing constantly and it just seems like they had a ton of fun shooting it, which I LOVED. What did you think? (And if this sounds up your alley, there’s an entire series called Murderville that operates on the same premise – it came out in February of 2022 but never really hit, you know? Worth the watch over the holiday break!)

From Ryann: I have to second Caitlin’s Murderville recommendation. This show is so funny and deserves more recognition!! Granted, I love Will Arnett and love when actors break character even more, so this show is a 10/10 for me. I think fans of SNL or Arrested Development will love this show (and it’s appropriate for older kids and teens so could be a great show to watch with the family over break). Let’s get this show another season, please!!

Also from Ryann: One of my favorite comedians, Catherine Cohen, does an advice column for W magazine, and anytime I feel like I need a pep talk I go there. Reading her words is like getting sage advice from your hilarious older sister who is extremely cool and only wears sharp-winged eyeliner. I will even re-read her older columns just to bring me out of a bad mood and it works every time. I love and revere this woman and think everyone else should too!

From Jess: If anyone is looking for a feel-good holiday movie, I thought Hanukkah on Rye was so freaking sweet! Not only was it great to see a holiday rom-com about something other than Christmas, but it was also honestly the perfect “Hallmark” holiday movie. You can actually feel the chemistry between the leads (not always the case) and while their romance is unrealistically fast (like in all of these types of movies), the progression felt WAY MORE natural than most of the ones I’ve seen recently. If you love this genre then you will love this movie:) Oh, and if anyone’s a Jane the Virgin fan then get ready to see Petra in a whole new light:)

Also From Jess: If you haven’t watched From Scratch yet, it’s A MUST. You will cry but you won’t regret it. And it’s based on a true love story. GO NOW!

From Mallory: Guys. John Mayer was just interviewed on Call Her Daddy this week and it’s time to get your popcorn, cocoa & candy canes and have a listen. I’m not kidding when I say that all my friends and I have been WAITING for this to drop. I recently got into Call her Daddy after listening to Alex Cooper on Emily Ratakowski’s new podcast, High/Low. Both of these podcasts are fairly new in my life but I highly recommend them so far if you’re in need of some new ones 🙂

That’s all from us. Please have a great weekend and HAPPY HOLIDAYS! xx

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Our Living Room, Dressed Up for the Holidays (With a ‘And How I Feel About It’ Running Commentary)

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Mary Beth
9 months ago

Happy Holidays to all of you! Thank you so much for the daily spark of joy you bring into my home.

9 months ago

Merry Christmas!🎄

9 months ago

I enjoyed Every Summer After until I discovered what a rip off it seems to be of Christina Lauren’s Love and Other Words (not just broad plot strokes / romance tropes) but down to very specific details). Really soured me on the book unfortunately!

9 months ago

My kids and I binged the entire season of Murderville this week. (There’s salty language if you’re strict about that stuff). They were excited to see Marshawn Lynch, I was there for Sharon Stone who was AMAZING. And Will Arnett can just steal scenes. We’re saving the Christmas special for Christmas Eve, very excited! Everyone should watch so this show gets a second season—I can’t believe I missed it when it first premiered.

9 months ago

I have a pressing lifestyle question I’m hoping Emily can answer, but others please chime in! Totally personal but looking for opinions! Moving across the country and debating between an old farmhouse closer to town or a home a bit farther away (20 minutes or so) in the mountains, amazing views, but more isolated obviously. (
(Don’t need to get to work everyday, so that’s not a factor, but have never lived that far away from things). What do you guys think? Farmhouse or mountain house? Proximity to things and still trees and greenery outside windows or amazing mountain views?

9 months ago
Reply to  Sonia

Sonia sounds like two great options! Do you have kids? One of my good friends lived further out (and in the mountains) and told me she often felt isolated from friends/activities growing up. I will say every home purchase I’ve made was based almost entirely on emotion – they just felt like home. Some kind of soul that I responded to!

9 months ago
Reply to  pam

This will be my first empty nester house, hard to imagine!

9 months ago
Reply to  Sonia

Is there winter where you’re moving? Can you walk anywhere from the 20-minute away location? Do you have kids, and if so, how old are they? Will you have neighbors? Both will be great with the right attitude but you’re right to think it through!

9 months ago
Reply to  SS

Great questions! Winters will be brutal, but the mountain place road isn’t very steep so will be easily drivable with an SUV most days. Nothing walkable to either sadly, seems no walkable housing options at all, I’m afraid. Just a 5-10 minute to anything or 15-20 minute to anything drive situation.
Maybe for that much difference having stunningly beautiful views all long cold winter would be really good to have? You’d feel less cooped up?

9 months ago
Reply to  Sonia

Ooo such a tough choice, they both sound dreamy. I think it depends on 1) your temperament and 2) what (if any) things cause you anxiety. My husband and I have talked about these things a lot so here is probably way more info than you wanted! 😃 He needs to feel like he’s getting away from the bustling city in order to relax, and he’s resourceful and can improvise. So in an emergency he’s confident and competent. Living in nature sans-people would not be stressful for him. I, in contrast, panic/freeze in a crisis so I want to be near other people who could help. And even though neither of us is super extroverted, we both appreciate the feeling of having neighbours and knowing our friends and family can easily visit. We have people over 2+ times a week so that’s a big factor for us. Our solution: We live in a small charming town 10 mins away from the (much more expensive) big city where he works and where most of our friends live. He feels like he’s “getting out of the city” every evening. Our house is a 100+ yr old craftsman on a big lot with… Read more »

9 months ago
Reply to  Vera

Thank you, this sounds like the perfect solution! Absolutely ideal!

9 months ago

YES Murderville is SO GOOD.
Thanks for all the recs EHD! Happy holidays 🙂 see you Monday!

9 months ago

The last books of the year I have listened to:

  • Solito: A Memoir (Zamora, Javier)
  • The Marriage Portrait (O’Farrell, Maggie)
  • The Winners (book 3) (Backman, Fredrik)
  • Tiny Beautiful Things (Strayed, Cheryl)
  • Someday, Maybe (Nwabineli, Onyi)
  • A Merry Little Meet Cute (Murphy, Julie | Simone, Sierra)
  • Every Summer After (Fortune, Carley)
  • The Many Daughters of Afong Moy (Ford, Jamie)

Currently listening to

  • The Cloisters (Hays, Katy)

Saved as my last book of the year for an 8 hour flight tomorrow (will be book 105 for 2022):

  • Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow (Zevin, Gabrielle)
9 months ago
Reply to  Kj

KJ, where are you going to on your 8 hour flight?

9 months ago
Reply to  Sunny

Our family’s first (and probably last) Christmas trip to Honolulu. We never fly over the winter holidays and, wow, it is stressful. How do people do this every year? We celebrated Christmas last night so we could relax/pack today and go to bed early tonight.

9 months ago
Reply to  Kj

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow is one of my favorite reads of the year! Enjoy the book and the trip, Kj. Traveling at the holidays is hard even as it is a luxury. I’ve decided I won’t do it anymore, and reading your comment below is confirmation about that decision.

9 months ago

Happy holidays EHD fam ! Just chiming in to say that it would be perfectly ok for the site to “go dark” until the new year (several blog sites do this), you all deserve a break !

9 months ago

Happy Holidays! Thanks for the recommendations. I’ll check out Murderville. I loved Arrested Development and everything Will Arnett

9 months ago

Guys, if you like Murderville, I have a British show in a similar vein that you may very much enjoy. It’s called The Goes Wrong Show. Each week, it’s about a play performance that goes off the rail. Each episode has different characters and plotlines, but the bf and I cracked up from the moment we started watching. It’s on its second season and I hope for more.

As many of the readers here are women, (gay man here) I thought I might direct you to my friend’s podcast. Your Zen Friend. Lauren’s a child therapist and yoga instructor. The blog touches on parenting, mental health, and personal growth. At the end, she does a short guided meditation. Obviously, it’s not geared specifically toward women, as we all can benefit from these things. I was interviewed a few weeks back on how interior design can benefit our mental health, and we had so much fun!

9 months ago

Hi all! I am usually repelled by Lifetime/etc Christmas (In general all those type of movies=no real chemistry btw leads and such generic and repeated storylines, etc) BUT once in awhile I will see one and think MAYBEEEE? this one will actually be kinda GOOD? I find one that surprised me by being decent or even good! maybe once a Christmas. This year, well, last night I found and watched this one, Let It Snow on Netflix. Apparently it’s based on a book. It’s like Can’t Hardly Wait meets Lifetime Christmas movie. So not too bad folks! If you like those movies and like YA movies, then give this one a try. 🙂

9 months ago

Yay just put EVERY SUMMER AFTER into my library reservations. Excited to read it this weekend, camping for NYE (Southern Hemisphere). Love the book recos!!