In Memoriam

Edition 16: August 2019

When I was a kid, I thought my grandma was a superhero. She came over once a week, Burger King breakfast in tow, and take my mom, my brother, and me to run errands. We'd rip open a box of Twinkies to eat while we shopped, which I thought was stealing, but she always said it was fine as long as we were gonna buy the box. She'd ask "Do you know why cemeteries always have fences around them? Because people are DYING to get in!" every time we passed a cemetery, and crack herself up every. single. time.

Other times, we'd just hang out at her house, which was always stocked with arts and crafts for us—Play-Doh, stickers, markers, paper, notebooks of all shapes and sizes. We'd sit at the kitchen table and play with her giant deck of Old Maid cards, or scribble on endless sheets of paper. I'd earnestly asked her, when I was learning to read and write, "How do you get the letters to stick together?" and she answered as best she could.

She sent us cards for every holiday, and sent even more cards when I went away to college. She called each of us on our birthdays to sing happy birthday every year. Luckily, I found a voicemail of one of those years to save and play for the rest of my years.

As I write this, it's two weeks and one day since she passed.

We've been helping my grandpa organize his house, and he gave me a mountain of her adorable kerchief scarves. I thought they were so luxurious, so difficult to get tied just right, when I was a kid. As I sorted them on my bed, I sniffed each one, still holding her perfect Grandma scent.

Maybe it's just because she's gone, but I can't picture many childhood memories without her in them. I'm finding her everywhere I look.

She was the very best grandma to ever grandma and I love her so much.

What I read

Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey: Reading this felt like watching a Tom Hanks rom-com, and it was exactly what I needed to read. It's so cute and fun and, yanno, rom-com-y. Loved it.

The Witches Are Coming by Lindy West: You'll want to mark your calendars for this release—November 5. Lindy West at her best on all things feminism, including "Is Adam Sandler Funny?" and "Ted Bundy Was Not Charming–Are You High?" I highlighted SO MUCH of this book.

What I wrote

I had a lot of work go up on Book Riot in August. Every summer, I write about the comics that get me through my summer reading slump. I finally got to share my epic list of Goodreads hacks with the bookternet, and I'm so proud of it. I rounded up some true crime books for newbies, as a true crime newbie myself. And I found 10 self-help books like Girl, Wash Your Face, but infinitely better.

Thanks so much for reading. See you next month!


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Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them for an indie publisher and writing about them for Book Riot. She also wrote an essay for (Don't) Call Me Crazy, an anthology about mental illness. Tweet with her at @alholstrom.