On Bieber, 'Felicity', and the New Book I'm Obsessed With

This week's edition of Simon Says.

This is Simon Says, Rachel Simon’s weekly newsletter that’s part life updates, part pop culture recs, and part whatever else is going on in her brain at the moment. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram for more, and subscribe here to get this in your inbox every Sunday night.

Happy start-of-spring, friends! I celebrated by cutting four inches off my hair. While I was at the salon, this happened:

At least my hair looks good.

A post shared by @rsimon113

Here’s what else is up:

What I’m writing

I had two freelance stories published this week, both for NBC News THINK!

The first is on how the Kardashian-Jenners have impacted the way we view female body image (think: Instagram face, contouring, etc).

And the second is on Justin Bieber’s very wife-guy yet surprisingly great new music (seriously, I can’t get enough of “Anyone” and “Hold On.”

Check them out and let me know your thoughts!

On the book front, I made some solid progress this week, getting it to about 32,000 words. Now that I have some freelance stories out of the way, I plan to make a bigger dent this week.

What I’m reading

I finished Marilynne Robinson’s Jack, which I liked but didn’t love—it was extremely well-written, but the titular character felt a bit too one-note throughout.

After that, though, I devoured Matt Haig’s The Midnight Library, a novel about a world in which, in the space between life and death, you get the chance to explore all the other lives you didn’t live. It’s a super compelling, entertaining read. Highly recommend!

I’m now starting Christie Tate’s memoir Group, about the author’s experience in group therapy. I’m only a few pages in, so no review yet, but the book’s gotten great reviews, so I’m very intrigued.

What I’m watching

OK, don’t kill me, but I just could not get through One Tree Hill. I’m all for melodramatic teen TV, but this was just… bad. Maybe I had to be there?

So I’m now onto another early-’00s classic that, I am reassured, is of much better quality: Felicity! The first two episodes were great, so I’m super excited to keep going. That hair!!

What I’m listening to

Not gonna lie: Addison Rae’s “Obsessed” is a bop.

Closing thoughts

The Grammys were a week ago, but I’m still thinking about this amazing photo of Billie Eilish and Finneas’ reactions to winning Record of the Year:

And of course, I’m also still thinking about Harry Styles. But when aren’t I?

This profile of Elliot Page is so moving, and I’m so glad at how happy he seems.

I watched every minute of this video of Kendall Jenner and Hailey Baldwin getting drunk and playing Never Have I Ever together, mostly because I could not get over that Hailey has a full-out kitchen in her bathroom?!?!

On a far more serious note, I highly suggest re-reading this excellent answer from author/advice columnist Nicole Chung about how to handle anti-Asian (or any) racism. It’s a thoughtful, nuanced take on an incredibly painful issue.

And here’s one of many great roundups of places to donate to to support AAPI communities.


Have a great week, all!

-Rachel