celebrity shopping

What Author Laura Lippman Can’t Live Without

Courtesy of the retailers. Photo: Courtesy of the retailers.

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 writer Laura Lippman, whose new novel Lady in the Lake comes out later this month, about the double boilergin, and niche candies she can’t live without.

These notebooks are handsome, not expensive, and never make me feel like I have to have a truly great thought in order to write in them. They’re slim, fit in any backpack, and since they’re only about 60 pages, I actually manage to fill them up, which feels like an accomplishment.

Speaking of accomplishments, I love crossing items off a to-do list. These, which have silly headers, such as “Nevertheless She Persisted,” and “WTF Am I Doing,” make the crossing part particularly fun.

I read a profile of Alison Roman that Emily Gould wrote, and was struck by the fact that she makes a point to shop at a really normal grocery store while recipe testing. This is very useful for me, because in Baltimore, where I live, I only have a Harris Teeter and a Shoppers Food Warehouse — having recipes that allow me to cook with ingredients I can actually find is invaluable.

Goldenberg’s Peanut Chews — which are basically peanuts and molasses covered in chocolate — are super easy to find in Baltimore (even at 7-Elevens), because they’re made in Pennsylvania. They’re not so easy to find in other parts of the country, which is a shame, because they’re incredibly delicious.

I have never owned a microwave, and have never sought to own a microwave. It makes food taste bad. So instead, I reheat my leftovers in a double boiler, which is a far superior device. It heats stews and protein dishes up without stripping them of their taste or burning them, and, you can use the bottom part just as a regular pan. I make popcorn in that bottom part, even. Microwave popcorn is the worst. I get depressed thinking about the times in my life that I’ve eaten it.

I would live in pajamas if I could. I often put them on around 3 p.m., because being a stay-at-home writer turns you into a bit of a savage, and because I hate clothing that touches my body. These pajamas are the best. I found them on a trip to Miami in May, where it was excruciatingly hot, and still, they didn’t suffocate me. They are so soft, and they just look nice. I wouldn’t carpool in them, but they make me look fairly put together for someone walking around the house in pajamas mid-day.

About 20 years ago, someone spritzed me with this at a department store, and despite myself, I liked it. I don’t wear it every day — only when I’m dressing up — but when I do, I do the Holly Hunter Broadcast News thing where I spray it twice then walk through the cloud. It’s light, it’s sweet, it’s not assertive. It’s technically for men, but it doesn’t smell masculine to me. Though I suppose that’s because this many years in, it just smells like me to me.

It’s weird to be a snob about stuffed animals, but I am. Two years ago, I found these Jellycats, and my daughter and I grew obsessed with them. They’re so soft and lovely and visually appealing. I know exactly where to find them in multiple cities: in New York, for instance, you can find them at Book Culture and Saks. A lot of adult women I know have fallen in love with them too. Especially the birds. Jellycat makes a beautiful plush peacock.

My father loved martinis — he used cheap gin that he kept in the freezer, because he believed that raised the alcohol content. Since he died in 2014, I’ve become a major martini drinker (but I’d never, ever drink a vodka martini — I am the type of person who believes the phrase “gin martini” is redundant). In the last three years, I’ve tried many, many types of gin: Empress, Tanqueray, Number 10. Then my former colleague at the Baltimore Sun, William F. Zorzi, who has a sort of old-fashioned newspaper editor/His Girl Friday feel about him, recommended Hendricks. It has a smooth, pleasant taste, and gives martinis that perfect, biting, cold first sip.

I am embarrassed of how I came to own this particular SodaStream. I briefly consulted this nutritionist who supposedly specialized in helping aging women — I thought she’d have good advice about, you know, changing my protein intake. Instead, she was more of the “everything is toxic” type. In the very beginning, when I was still under her spell, she told me I couldn’t drink out of plastic anymore ever. So I changed out my regular SodaStream, which had plastic bottles, for this Penguin SodaStream, because it has glass bottles. I dumped the nutritionist — I realized, eventually, that she was a 21st century con-artist — but I still like the Penguin SodaStream. The glass bottles fit perfectly in the fridge, and actually look nice put out on the table during dinner parties.

I found this in Southwest Airlines’s magazine. It is the only item I’ve ever bought after seeing it in an in-flight publication. And I really, really love it. It’s very good looking, and, because it’s not too fancy or leather, I’m not scared of ruining it. It’s huge, it’s durable, it fits my laptop, and it zips, which is important. I get endless compliments on this thing.

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What Writer Laura Lippman Can’t Live Without