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What Gillian Flynn Can’t Live Without

Photo: Heidi Jo Brady

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair, but the hand sanitizer and the electric toothbrush. We asked Gillian Flynn, author of Gone Girl and Sharp Objects (which is also now a show on HBO), about the barbecue sauce, T-shirts, and metal straws she can’t live without.

Yeti Rambler Vacuum Insulated Tumbler
$35 at Amazon

I drink Cherry Coke Zero from morning to night. I get this creepy Cabbage Patch Kid smile as soon as it hits my blood stream. It has to be on ice, thus the Yeti bottle, which is sorcery. Whoever invented it should be burned as a witch, which is an unkind way to thank her or him for providing me with all the long, long hours of cold beveragery, but I didn’t make the witch rules.

Bobbi Brown Lipstick
$29 at Nordstrom

I hate makeup, but I love lipstick, and I have an extensive Bobbi Brown collection. I work from home, and my one nod to civilization is putting on lipstick each morning. My everyday choice is Blondie Pink, but if I’m writing a really nasty scene, it’s Burnt Red.

Marine Layer Swing Crew
$39 at Marine Layer

Their tees are ecofriendly and so soft, it’s like a million puppies wore them for a million days and then sent them to me care of a pink cloud in the shape of a kitten.

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin
$6 at Amazon

This is the book I give most often as a gift — I keep about half a dozen in my home at any given time because every person should read it, as it’s a classic and completely awesome. And Neil Patrick Harris? This song’s for you …

Vicks VapoRub Ointment
$5 at Amazon

Every writer has panic attacks. Whenever I realize I’ve just spent a week writing absolute trash and I know I have lost my mind and will need to retire to the woods, I rub Vicks under my nose and the calming scent brings me down. My husband always knows things are going badly with a book if I smell like a small child with bronchitis.

Gates Original Classic Bar-B-Q Sauce
$3 at Target

I’m from Kansas City, Missouri. I know my barbecue. We served Gates at our wedding. I put this sauce on white bread and eat it as a snack, and it feels like home.

SipWell Stainless Steel Drinking Straws, Set of 4
$6 at Amazon

I’ve given up plastic straws because they are ruinous for the environment, so I always carry metal straws in my purse. For the Yeti. And the Cherry Coke Zero.

Stuart Weitzman Lexy Leather Combat Boots
$598 at Saks Fifth Avenue

I’m even less into shoes than I am makeup, but I love my combat boots. They make me feel cool and stompy, even though they’re comfortable and suede. And people actually say, “Wow, cool shoes,” which they never say to me on any other occasion. [Editor’s note: Flynn’s exact pair of suede boots are sold out, but this pair is similar.]

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What Gillian Flynn Can’t Live Without