The Happiest Hour – 3/13/20

Can we be honest with each other?

Right now, this doesn’t feel like the happiest hour. With every news alert and email from that yoga studio you went to once saying they’re cancelling classes, it feels like we’re sitting inside a countdown clock, waiting for it to hit zero. Last week, The Drinking Club was conversing about embarrassing bodily functions while demolishing several bottles of red. Today, my relative calm was eaten away as I scrolled through my news app while working from home. The isolation stoked whatever anxiety I had–until I went out to the grocery store for WFH supplies. The sun was shining, the air was warm. There was a bird chirping somewhere (it was probably lost).

This is to say: we all need to take a breath. We need to be smart and cautious, and we need to take care of ourselves and our communities. I’m toasting tonight to all of us getting through these next weeks and doing what we need to stay healthy and calm. In these challenging times, remember: there’s nothing a good book can’t fix.

There’s also not enough wine to make you forget the sight of your coworker in his pajamas on the conference call.

Here’s what you missed this week:




The Club Stops and Smells the Rosé

They tell us not to judge a book by its cover, but who are we kidding. Judging is the best part. Dare I say, it’s essential to the book buying process. Is the cover font attractive? Does the cover image catch our eye? Is our favorite-author-of-all-time saying “ERMAHGERD” on the back cover? You get the gist.

If you’ve been in any bookstore in the past 18 months, you may have notice a trend in the new release section. If you have seasonal allergies, you may have been sent running in search of the nearest Kleenex. Because Every. Damn. Cover. Has. Flowers.

Don’t believe me? I found these on the new releases table on a recent trip to Books Are Magic (which, if you haven’t been, is a delightful slice of paradise in Brooklyn):

Here’s one…
…and another…
…wait there are two next to each other…
…still here…

Abundant bouquets of perennials are lining the shelves of bookstores everywhere. To what do we owe all this foliage? The simplest explanation: one book did it and did so well that Obama recommended it as one of his favorite reads of 2015. That book: Fate and Furies, which doesn’t actually have flowers on its cover. But its block white font and striking still life inspired book designers across The Big Five to crack open their art history books for inspiration. For the more detailed explanation, and for the fascinating read that inspired yours truly to write this post, head to Vanity Fair. The piece explores how these flowers are able to capture and represent a variety of emotions, especially for stories that don’t have a traditional plot structure. These bouquets make their covers dynamic, and therefore memorable to readers browsing the store. But if all of them are freshly picked from the garden, how can any of them stand out?

What does The Club think of this trend? I managed to track down a few via text this week for their thoughts.

MV, fashionable as ever, had this to say:


MM says (and this is a direct quote): While the ladies had varied opinions, unsurprisingly MM hadn’t even noticed the trend towards floral explosion.

DD says: I was DUPED by the flower trend when I unsuspectingly picked up My Absolute Darling in an airport and then it ended up being a very creepy book about a man sexually and physically abusing his teenage daughter. MISLEADING.

And while we were on the topic of flowers, I had to ask everyone what their favorite flower-based/inspired drink was. Because what pairs better with flowers…than more flowers?

MV: I like Josh rosé. And that awesome sparkling rosé from Bedell. And Underwood rosé because canned wine.

AM: I had the Bedell Cellars [rosé] this weekend! It’s very good because it’s not too sweet. The [White Girl rosé] is popular but extremely sweet. But people seem to love it.

MM: Well, I’m not a huge fan of rosé or floral drinks… but I’m a personal fan of my lychee martini cocktails that got you all drunk AF on my birthday. It’s a fruit, grows on a tree… make it work!

DD: I am not a big rosé person so I generally won’t order it…unless we’re in the middle of this god awful heat wave in which case bring on the FROSÉ!!

If you’re still having trouble processing this, and need something other than the immortal words of Miranda Priestly, consider my favorite line from the Vanity Fair piece:

When asked to name that trend, [Julia Rubin] called them “bouquet books,” a term I’m finding more and more useful, and, frankly, delightful. The only thing more appealing than an armful of flowers is an armful of books.


— E