celebrity shopping

What Novelist Bryan Washington Can’t Live Without

Photo: Dailey Hubbard, Illustration: Joe McKendry

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 hairspray and the electric toothbrush. We asked novelist Bryan Washington — whose second novel, Memorial, is out now — about the bowls, house shoes, and moisturizer he can’t live without.

Rigby’s is based in Houston; they make dishware and silverware. The breakfast bowl set is lovely and not terribly expensive for the quality you’re getting. I eat a good chunk of my home-cooked meals out of bowls, whether it’s breakfast, lunch, or dinner, so having beautiful bowls to eat from has been really nice. With a bowl you have depth, you know exactly where to top off. You can also eat on the sofa, sit at the table, at the counter, whatever.

It’s a mug, but it’s a beautiful mug. I just like looking at it. It’s a beautiful thing to have in your home, and Pearl River Mart itself is a really lovely place, so to get to have something from it in my home is nice. I’ve been drinking most of my coffee and tea out of it.

There was a version of this that was released prior to this one. I used the older one for about a year and a half and now I use this newer one just about every evening. There has been a notable difference in how my skin feels and in the glow that it has. A bottle lasts for quite a long time, so it’s pretty cost efficient.

It’s a large battery as far as vape pens are concerned. I’m a bit notorious for losing vape pen batteries and the Ooze one is one that I have not lost yet. You can get a bunch of different colors; I have one that’s gold and one that’s blue. In the past, when we would travel and go places, I would buy these tiny vape pens and I would always lose them. That hasn’t happened with these yet. Partly, probably, because we’re not going anywhere.

I’m a big stationery person. I like to write everything down. This is what its name says: Just a really beautiful notebook saddle stitched with red string. It’s bound really tight and has red lines. It’s pretty portable, too — I can take it most anywhere.

I’ve been trying to save money lately but these were a pandemic splurge: I got three pairs for myself — a mint-green one, a blue one, and a pink one — and they’re my go-to gift. They’re just really comfortable and wearable; a really, really good house shoe. They’re pretty affordable, too. I’m someone who puts lots of things in an Etsy shopping cart without actually buying them. These are one thing that I actually bought and liked so much that I keep buying them for myself and other people.

If I add it to something, it instantly tastes better. I can have a plain bowl of rice with an egg on it, add the chili sauce, and suddenly it’s delicious. I can stir fry some noodles, add a little bit of chili sauce, and suddenly they’re delicious. I can make a grilled cheese, dip it in some chili sauce, and suddenly it’s delicious.

The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.

What Novelist Bryan Washington Can’t Live Without