J. Courtney Sullivan is the author of New York Times bestselling novels Commencement, Maine and The Engagements. Her fourth novel, Saints For All Occasions, just came out yesterday and was already called the year’s best book about family by The Washington Post. Her books have been translated into a very impressive seventeen languages. Courtney is currently seven months pregnant. She craves McClure’s dill pickles and the kind of peach gummy candies you can only find at the gas station.
Some things Courtney loves:
"Alexandra de Steiguer’s photographs. For the past twenty years, de Steiguer has been the sole winter caretaker of the Isles of Shoals, a group of islands off the coast of Maine and New Hampshire. Her photographs of herself in this beautiful place are haunting. I love how, in her work and her life, she embraces solitude and nature, two things that always seem to be in short supply in our chaotic, noisy world. I have one of her photographs, Chapter Six, on the mantle in my living room. Just looking at it gives me a shot of tranquility." 
"Inspiralized. I’ve been a vegetarian for the last six years. One day, my husband bought a vegetable spiralizer—a tool that makes all kinds of noodles out of veggies. I was positive that its fate would be to collect dust in a cabinet for the next decade, but instead, he started making these delicious creations from recipes he found on Friends are always skeptical at first, but then they fall in love. My favorites include the lentil Bolognese with sweet potato noodles, the butternut squash lasagna, and the simple zucchini pomodoro."       
"Heat and Light by Jennifer Haigh. This incredible novel was my favorite book published last year. It ended up on several “best of” lists, but to my mind, not enough people read it. Given the state of our climate and the imminent dangers of fracking, it should be required reading. Haigh revisits the Pennsylvania mining town that appears in some of her earlier books. It’s present day and the town is divided over whether or not to allow drilling on farmland. The characters are unforgettable and the conflict is examined from every angle. I love all of Haigh’s novels, but I think this is her best."
"Erica Weiner jewelry. A few years ago, my sister, who is nine years younger and far cooler than I, suggested we pop into this jewelry shop on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn, not far from where I live. Ever since, we’ve both been obsessed with Weiner’s designs (even my mom is now in on the action.) Each of us owns a few pieces from her Erica Weiner Collection. They’re casual items that are super affordable (under a hundred dollars.) My favorite is a brass ring I wear every day that's made from a 19th century wax seal and says Such Is Life."
Follow Courtney:
Twitter: @jcourtsull // Facebook: @jcourtneysullivan
...and see more of her recs on the UNDRRATED site (launching soon)! 
When my friends Joyce and Aya came back from an epic two-week trip across India, which I followed in awe on Instagram, I asked Joyce how she had the energy to plan all those details and destinations. She told me she used Black Tomato, a luxury travel agency (think multi-city, bucket list experiences) that takes into account your interests and does the planning and budgeting for you. Now I can't stop trolling their site for travel inspiration and dreaming of a big trip to Japan. 


J. Courtney Sullivan photographed by Michael Lionstar.

UNDRRATED is a newsletter from magazine editor Marina Khidekel, where notable creatives share the under-the-radar culture, food and style finds they love. Liking it? Forward to friends so they can sign up too. 

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