When I was a little girl...
I could never find a doll that looked like me. (No wonder I wanted a blonde ponytail in sixth grade!) But that was then, and now there's a new line of Barbies in town: The Fashionistas come in all kinds of facial shapes, skin tones and eye and hair colors—because it turns out blondes don't have any more fun than the rest of us.

Photo: Robert Trachtenberg/NBC
I know where I'll be...
the night of September 15: tuned in to NBC, watching Best Time Ever with Neil Patrick Harris. Who better than a guy with five Emmys and a Tony to host a live show filled with stunts, pranks, skits, mini game shows, musical performances and audience giveaways? I'd watch Harris even if he were hosting a silent retreat!

Photo: Courtesy of Gayle King
Taraji P. Henson told me...
that Cookie Lyon is the best role of her career, and it's easy to see why. Every time she's onscreen, you know something is gonna go down. Maybe one of these days I'll find the courage to channel my inner Cookie and wear an over-the-top outfit, but for now I'm just looking forward to September 23, when Empire is back for season 2.

Photo: Courtesy of Timothy Hollister
How well do you know your kids?
His Father Still is Tim Hollister's painfully frank account of life with his son, Reid, who died at age 17 in 2006 when he crashed his car while hurrying to get friends home before curfew. After the accident, Hollister learned that automobile crashes are the number one cause of teen death, and in retrospect, he questions whether he managed to strike the complicated balance between permissive and protective when parenting Reid, with "the sparkling aqua-blue eyes." May Hollister's soul-searching serve as a cautionary tale for every reader.

Photo: Theo Maniatis
I'm always looking...
for a good restaurant tip, and the best I received recently was Myrtle + Gold in Brooklyn. The neighborhood joint serves comfort food with flair—mac and cheese with parsley Parmesan bread crumbs; the world's crispiest roast chicken; bread pudding laced with bourbon caramel, apricots, almonds and white chocolate. If you can't get there, you can find the recipe for the bread pudding here.

Photo: Courtesy of Fox/Searchlight
I dare anyone...
to watch the documentary He Named Me Malala and not come away inspired. We see Pakistani student Malala Yousafzai—who was shot by the Taliban for defending a girl's right to education—as both a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and an ordinary teenager who teases her brothers and can't stand homework. She believes "it is better to live like a lion for one day than to live like a slave for 100 years," and she's proof of that!


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