America is heading to the polls Tuesday to vote in the 2022 midterm elections.
The outcome of the election will determine the balance of power in both the House and the Senate.
Insider will have real-time live election results on thousands of races across the country.
Trump aides scrambled to stop him announcing his presidential candidacy on the eve of the midterms and upending the election: Report
Aides to former President Donald Trump persuaded him not to announce his 2024 presidential campaign on Monday, fearing it could upend the midterm elections, The Washington Post reported.
According to three sources who spoke to the Post on condition of anonymity, Trump had touted the idea of formally announcing his bid for the 2024 presidency at a rally for GOP Senate candidate JD Vance in Ohio on Monday night.
The suggestion prompted a scramble by top Republicans and Trump some aides to stop any announcement, two of the sources told the publication. Other aides, it reported, wanted Trump to go ahead.
Today America will vote on the midterm elections, with the consequences of results poised to reverberate across the government for years to come.
Insider will have real-time live election results on thousands of races across the country, including every House, Senate, Governor, and State Legislative election happening in the United States.
The most significant story is unfolding in dozens of House races across the country, as the Democrats’ tenuous control of the chamber is being challenged by the GOP. Midterms tend to be disastrous for the incumbent president’s party, and this election has control of the House very much up for grabs. Insider is tracking close to 90 of the most consequential races.
The Senate is currently split 50-50, and each party wants to get control of the upper chamber. Senators serve for six years, which means the impacts of this election will reverberate through at least 2028. The contest for control of the Senate might not be decided on election night, as it’ll likely come down to just a few individual races and counting could continue for several days.
There are also dozens of gubernatorial elections. These races are full of potential contenders for 2024, and, more consequentially, whoever wins the governor’s race in a number of key swing states will have control over the levers of power around elections.
Lastly, with the Dobbs decision at the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, a number of gubernatorial races will end up functionally deciding the legality and availability of abortion in any number of states.
This is why this cycle has a number of critically important state legislative races. As power to regulate the right to choose has been turned over to individual states, the battles over legislative chambers are of significant importance this cycle.
Lastly, many states will have ballot referenda for their citizens to consider. These run the gamut, with some potentially legalizing marijuana, others establishing or stripping citizens’ right to abortion access, and others opening up multi-billion dollar gambling markets.
Insider will be closely monitoring the coverage on all of this today, tonight, and through the final calls of the races. The first polls close at 6 p.m. EST, come along and follow all the critical races of this election here.
We turned to Goodreads reviewers to rank her most popular novels.
Julia Quinn is the author of the books that inspired the hit Netflix series “Bridgerton.” This eight-book historical romance series follows different members of the Bridgerton family as they each find their own complicated but steamy love stories.
Though the “Bridgerton” series is her most well-known collection, Julia Quinn has written over 30 novels and short stories, each loved for her charming writing style and swoon-worthy romance plots.
To rank Julia Quinn’s most popular books, we turned to ratings from Goodreads members. On Goodreads, over 125 million readers rate, review, and share their favorite book recommendations with the community. Whether you’re looking to dive into the adored “Bridgerton” series or searching for a perfect historical regency romance, here are the most popular Julia Quinn books, according to Goodreads reviewers.
The 21 most popular Julia Quinn books, according to Goodreads reviewers:
With nearly 250,000 ratings, “The Duke and I” is the most popular Julia Quinn book among Goodreads reviewers. Made even more popular by the Netflix series “Bridgerton,” “The Duke and I” is about the fake relationship between Daphne Bridgerton and Simon Basset, the Duke of Hastings. Daphne has struggled to turn friendships into romance in the past and is hoping her fake relationship will boost her prospects, while Simon is looking to deter the countless young women vying for his attention.
The Viscount Who Loved Me
“The Viscount Who Loved Me,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.50
In 1814, London’s most elusive bachelor, Anthony Bridgerton, has decided to marry and has chosen a wife: Edwina. Interfering in their relationship is Edwina’s sister, Kate, who does everything she can to sabotage their courtship to protect her sister — while secretly pining for Anthony herself — in this steamy “Bridgerton” sequel.
Romancing Mister Bridgerton
“Romancing Mister Bridgerton,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
“Romancing Mister Bridgerton” is the fourth book in the “Bridgerton” series and follows Colin Bridgerton, a charming bachelor regularly featured in a popular gossip column. Penelope Featherington can’t help but fall for Colin, her best friend’s brother, but when she discovers his biggest secret, everything changes between them.
The third book in the “Bridgerton” series is a “Cinderella” retelling, following Sophie Beckett, the daughter of an earl who has been demoted to a servant-like status by her stepmother. When Sophie sneaks into the masquerade ball, she finds herself dancing with the charming Benedict Bridgerton. When Sophie flees, Benedict knows he must find and wed the breathtaking maid with whom he felt an undeniable attraction.
To Sir Phillip, With Love
“To Sir Phillip, With Love,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.48
In this “Bridgerton” novel, talkative spinster Eloise Bridgerton and moody Sir Phillip get engaged without ever meeting each other but hope to find suitable partners in each other. When Eloise finally arrives by carriage, they both discover their new partner is far from what they imagined in this witty and ultimately heartwarming historical romance.
Michael Stirling was infamous for his way with women, a notorious rake until the moment he laid eyes on Francesca Bridgerton and fell madly in love, less than two days before her wedding. Now, Francesca is single once again and still unaware of Michael’s feelings — until the moment they step into each other’s arms and ignite the unruly passion between them.
When Gareth St. Clair inherits an old family diary, he’s desperate to uncover the secrets that may lie within the pages. Unfortunately, it’s written entirely in Italian, a language Gareth does not understand. When Hyacinth Bridgerton offers to help Gareth translate the diary, they discover the answers to Gareth’s questions not in the text, but in each other.
On the Way to the Wedding
“On the Way to the Wedding,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $4.48
In this final book of the “Bridgerton” series, Gregory Bridgerton is engaged to Hermione Watson, once hopeful that she was “the one” but now knowing she’s in love with someone else. When Hermione’s best friend, Lucy, offers to help Gregory win her affections, Lucy can’t help but fall for Gregory despite her own obligations.
“Just Like Heaven” is the first in a “Bridgerton” spin-off series, featuring Honoria Smythe-Smith and Marcus Holroyd who have known each other their whole lives as Marcus was best friends with Honoria’s older brother. When Marcus falls ill and Honoria cares for him, the two can’t help but slowly fall for each other in this delightful and entertaining romance.
The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever
“The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99
Years ago, Nigel Bevelstoke kissed 10-year-old Miranda Cheever and promised her that she’d become a great beauty one day. Now, Miranda is grown up and is determined to find the man who gave her the confidence she has today, until she finds him and discovers that Nigel’s spirit has been crushed by time and loss.
Because of Miss Bridgerton
“Because of Miss Bridgerton,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $5.98
“Because of Miss Bridgerton” is the first historical romance novel in the “Rokesby” series, a “Bridgerton” spin-off that takes place a generation earlier. Everyone expects Billie Bridgerton to marry one of the Rokesby brothers as their families have been neighbors for centuries and the children were practically raised together. The only Rokesby that Billie cannot stand is George, but when the two are thrown together, the passion between them becomes clear.
What Happens in London
“What Happens in London,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99
Olivia Bevelstoke decides to spy on her new neighbor when she hears rumors he may have killed his fiancée. When Sir Harry Valentine notices his neighbor spying on him, he’s instantly suspicious and is soon recruited to spy on her in return when he discovers the man she’s engaged to may be plotting England’s downfall.
Ten Things I Love About You
“Ten Things I Love About You,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
In this final book of the “Bevelstoke” series, Annabel Winslow’s family wants her to marry the old, rich Earl of Newbury, who is looking to find an heir before he passes so his fortune won’t go to his nephew, Sebastian Grey. When Annabel runs away from the earl, she meets Sebastian and the two decide to keep their identities a secret for the night — a secret that cannot be kept for long.
In this second book of the “Smythe-Smith Quartet” spin-off series, Anne is working as a governess to three young ladies when Daniel, the Earl of Winstead, returns from his three-year exile. As Daniel vows to pursue her, Anne must remind herself to not be tempted by a nobleman — until the danger that stalks Daniel finally catches up to him and pulls Anne into peril as well.
The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband
“The Girl with the Make-Believe Husband,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99
When Cecilia Harcourt’s brother is injured in a battle, she decides to cross the Atlantic to find him and nurse him back to health. In her search for her brother, Cecilia finds Edward Rokesby, an officer left unconscious and desperately in need of care, and tells everyone that she’s his wife so she may care for him. When Edward wakes up with no memory, he’s surprised to learn he’s apparently married to Cecilia, until the truth finally comes out.
The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After
“The Bridgertons: Happily Ever After,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.48
“The Bridgertons” is an eight-book historical romance series, each of which follows a different family member through their unique and steamy love stories. This novel is a collection of eight “second epilogues” for “Bridgerton” fans to discover what happened to their favorite characters.
Hugh Prentice is badly injured after a duel that nearly destroyed Sarah Pleinsworth’s family. Though Hugh believes Sarah is unrelentingly annoying and Sarah can’t find a way to forgive him for the duel, they uncover more than they ever knew about each other when forced to spend a week in close company. “The Sum of All Kisses” is the third book in the “Smythe-Smith Quartet” series, a “Bridgerton” spin-off.
The Lost Duke of Wyndham
“The Lost Duke of Wyndham,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99
Jack Audley is a highwayman who is devastated to find out he might be the long-lost Duke of Wyndham, a title and set of responsibilities he does not want. When Jack and Grace Eversleigh fall for each other, they each pray his paternity isn’t true, as they cannot be together if he’s truly a duke.
Published in 1995, “Splendid” is Julia Quinn’s first novel about Alexander Ridgely, the Duke of Ashbourne, who meets Emma Dunster when she saves his nephew’s life. Believing she’s a servant, Alexander knows he can’t fall for Emma, until she uncovers her true identity in her debut as an American heiress with no intention of falling for an Englishman.
How to Marry a Marquis
“How to Marry a Marquis,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $8.99
Elizabeth Hotchkiss knows she must marry for money to support her siblings, so when she discovers a handbook titled “How to Marry a Marquis,” she decides there’s no harm in skimming the pages. When Elizabeth meets James Sidwell, a Marquis posing as an estate manager, he offers Elizabeth to practice her new tricks on him to win the affections of a husband.
The Other Miss Bridgerton
“The Other Miss Bridgerton,” available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $7.99
In this third novel of the “Rokesbys” series set a generation before “Bridgerton,” Poppy Bridgerton is visiting a friend when she discovers a fascinating cave and is shockingly kidnapped by pirates and left bound on the ship captain’s bed. When Captain Andrew James Rokesby discovers Poppy, he knows he must marry her to avoid a scandal.
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Winter is here and that means you’ll likely need a warm and dependable coat.
The best coats of the season include trenches, wool overcoats, teddys, and faux leather styles.
Shop 30+ of the best coats on the market in a range of silhouettes and price points.
Now that Winter 2021 has made its debut, it may be time to think about procuring a new coat for the season. Our top choices for coats are ones that can work for varying conditions. They include sleek vegan leather pieces and timeless trenches which are especially helpful during a windy forecast, as well as extra fuzzy teddy styles or puffers for when temperatures really plummet.
Organized by style, the options in this guide are undeniably practical but also showcase the latest trends and most comfortable fabrics in a wide range of price points. Ahead, explore all the best coats we predict you’ll look forward to tossing on until spring makes its return next year.
Here are the best winter coats for women in 2021:
Due to their classic silhouette and typically not-too-heavy weight, trenches are considered an any-season piece of outerwear and ideal for transitional weather. The camel hue is timeless — and truly does complement anything it’s paired with — but feel free to branch out into other versatile shades such as army green or navy blue. Even try a fresh interpretation with leather detailing on the trench coat’s signature waist tie. The options are quite limitless — each of them perfect for layering with your favorite knitwear as the temperatures drop.
The ultimate no-nonsense winter coat is the puffer. Embrace the plush texture and often less-shape-defining silhouette (though, some come with belts) in this sporty, practical, and undeniably insulated option. Because the puffer is also a very classic and traditional winter style, you’ll find tons of interpretations from luxury labels to affordable brands.
Slick, sophisticated, and friendly to animals, vegan leather alternatives have skyrocketed in the past few years. Today the faux leather coat is one of the market’s most desirable options, with finishes that look buttery smooth and luxe, regardless of their price. You can’t go wrong with a classic black option that adds a little edge to any ensemble, but beautiful shades of green and tan are also great for wearing now and well into early spring, too.
In single- and double-breasted options, the wool overcoat takes cues from classic menswear with a boxier shape. Available in a range of lengths — anywhere from just under the bum to sweeping the floor — this evergreen coat silhouette can suit tons of different styles and outfits. For instance, toss a sharp wool coat over a sweatsuit for an elevated errand-running ensemble or drape it over your favorite blazer to head to the office on a chilly weekend.
The quilted coat is the puffer’s lightweight cousin that’s incredibly on-trend for fall and winter in 2021. Another great transitional piece of outerwear, quilted styles can take on the appearance of coat liners or a handmade piece by your family’s own craft master. Either way, the style features diamond-shaped seaming that’ll help keep you warm while you wear it.
The timeless wrap style offers the cozy feel of a wool overcoat with the cinched silhouette of a trench — the best of both worlds, if you will. In collarless and wide-collar options, this style offers some versatility as you can wear it open and loose or keep multiple layers neatly in place on your frame with the coat’s waistline tie.
For the highly tactile crowd, there’s no more satisfying coat than the teddy. Made of plush shearling or faux furs, this style is slightly oversized no matter what silhouette you choose. It’s also a coat option that’s innately statement-making. Feel free to allow your ensemble to remain pared-back and simplistic as any of these teddy coats pack quite a punch, while keeping you toasty, too.
Often made from heavy double-faced wool or cushy cotton, this coat has an easy-to-wear silhouette. What stands out most is its generous and dramatic shawl collar, which adds a special element to every ensemble and, ultimately, brings attention to your face.
We also included the 5 best online personal trainer certificate programs you can sign up for.
If you enjoy exercising, have a good rapport with people, and want to help them meet their fitness goals, becoming a personal trainer may be a good profession for you. Whether you already work in the fitness industry or are feeling ready to jump into a new field entirely, there are several online personal trainer certification programs you can choose to take your career goals to new heights.
Figuring out which online certification course is best for you can be tricky, so I spoke with two certified personal trainers — Evan Williams, CSCS, CPT, and CEO of E2G Performance and Kristie Alicea, CPT, NCSF, ACE, AFPA, and co-founder of ABC Fit Collective — to provide insight and tips on what to look for when deciding on an online personal trainer certification.
“One of the most fulfilling aspects to being a trainer is seeing your clients reach their goals,” says Williams. “As trainers, we play a big role in how they approach and view fitness so it’s important to deliver an exceptional experience while educating them on how to safely attain their goals in the most efficient way.”
For Alicea, the best part of her career is making a positive difference in a person’s life. “Watching my clients, many of whom are pregnant or postpartum, feel strong in their body and confident in their lives truly continues to fuel my passion,” she says.
Williams and Alicea both shared their advice on what you should keep in mind before you even look for programs, what legitimate programs should have as requirements, and their own recommendations for some of the best programs.
What to know before you look for or enroll in a personal training program:
The fitness industry is competitive, and becoming a personal trainer requires plenty of studying and, once you’ve obtained your certification, looking for a job or taking the steps to start your own personal training business.
Williams is frank about what it’s like in such a competitive field, especially when you’re starting out: “Being a personal trainer is a grind.” Alicea agrees that it can be difficult at first. “Just like any other industry, the beginning is challenging, but once you get your footing you find, there’s so much to learn,” she says.
It’s also important to know that a typical schedule is the opposite of a nine-to-five job. “As a personal trainer we work outside of normal hours: Think early mornings, after work, and weekends,” says Alicea.
5 tips for choosing an online personal training certification program:
With plenty of personal trainer certification programs to choose from, it can be difficult to decipher between the ones that are legitimate and worth the money and time commitment.
Williams and Alicea break down what you need to know to ensure you choose a program that fits your needs and professional goals:
1. Check out job listings to learn what your ideal employer is looking for.
As with any profession, jobs for personal trainers usually require specific studies or certifications in order to be considered. Williams recommends perusing personal trainer job listings to get a sense of what qualifications are necessary for the position to help you decide what may be the best fit.
2. Look for a nationally accredited certification.
Professional personal trainers go through lots of studying, training, and examination before they can start working with clients.
“You should look for a nationally accredited certification: One that has a curriculum that focuses on anatomy, science, trusted methodologies, and movement patterns,” Alicea suggests.
3. Only consider programs that make you take an exam to get certified.
With so many different institutions offering online personal training programs, sometimes it can be challenging to distinguish what is legit and what isn’t. But there are a couple of things to pay attention to.
“You should have to take an exam in order to receive your certification,” says Alicea. One warning sign that it’s a certificate instead of a certification is the time it takes. “No program should promise that you can get certified in a day,” she adds.
4. If a program seems too easy, it might be a scam.
“Some things to look out for are certs that are really easy to get and require little to no preparation or knowledge to obtain,” Williams says. Unfortunately, there are places offering certifications “that want to just collect money and could care less about you being prepared and knowledgeable,” he adds.
5. Think about your long-term goals.
The good news is there are a variety of legitimate certification programs available, but not all of them are one-size-fits-all.
Williams recommends that you know what type of work you want to do within the personal training field and the types of clients you’d like to work with. “I work with professional athletes, so it was imperative that I got my CSCS certification (Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist) from the NSCA, he says.
5 of the best online personal trainer certification programs:
National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA)
Price: $340 for members and $475 non-member price for the exam
Length: Not stated, but you must pass exams within a year of signing up
NSCA is a non-profit organization that focuses on training and educating professionals in different sport science careers. “It is arguably one of the most well-respected associations in the fitness industry,” says Williams. “They have tons of courses, quizzes, books, and content to help pass their exams.”
NASM is well-known in the world of sports medicine and fitness and offers a range of personal training programs online. “NASM is very well-respected and one of the most popular academies,” says Williams. “They offer a ton of content and resources [and] they have great pricing and bundles that they offer.”
Length: Study at your own pace, but you must take the exam within 6 months of signing up
A non-profit organization, ACE is dedicated to exercise and health coaching through its various programs from personal trainer to health coach. Alicea and Williams both recommend ACE because it’s been around for decades and is well-respected in the industry.
Length: 4- 12 weeks and up to 6 months to complete and take the exam
Created in 1988, ISSA is known internationally as a source for fitness trainers and sports scientists. It offers a range of personal trainer programs, depending on your professional goals. Alicea mentions that ISSA is known in the industry and its certification is accepted at most gyms.
In business for over 25 years, NCSF is dedicated to educating and training sport and exercise-focused professionals. It offers personal trainer certifications as well as strength coaching and sports nutrition. Alicea suggests the NCSF because it’s been around for a long time and offers comprehensive courses.
Insider and several other news organizations have this year identified 49 members of Congress who’ve failed to properly report their financial trades as mandated by the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act of 2012, also known as the STOCK Act.
Congress passed the law in 2012 to combat insider trading and conflicts of interest among their own members and force lawmakers to be more transparent about their personal financial dealings. A key provision of the law mandates that lawmakers publicly — and quickly — disclose any stock trade made by themselves, a spouse, or a dependent child.
But many members of Congress have not fully complied with the law. They offer excuses including ignorance of the law, clerical errors, and mistakes by an accountant. Insider has chronicled this widespread nature of this phenomenon in a new project, “Conflicted Congress.”
While lawmakers who violate the STOCK Act face a fine, the penalty is usually small — $200 is the standard amount — or waived by House or Senate ethics officials. Ethics watchdogs and even some members of Congress have called for stricter penalties or even a ban on federal lawmakers from trading individual stocks, although neither has come to pass.
Here are the lawmakers who have this year violated the STOCK Act — to one extent or another — during 2021:
The independent Office of Congressional Ethics, in part citing Insider’s reporting, found “substantial reason to believe” that Malinowski violated federal rules or laws designed to promote transparency and defend against conflicts. It voted 5-1 to refer its findings to the Democrat-led House Committee on Ethics, which confirmedon October 21 that it will continue reviewing the matter.
Schrier was more than two months late disclosing that her husband purchased up to $1 million in Apple Inc. stock, Sludge and Forbes reported. Schrier’s office told Insider that the congresswoman was initially unaware of the transaction.
Rep. Tom Suozzi, a Democrat from New York
Suozzi failed to file required reports on about 300 financial transactions, NPR reported, citing research from the Campaign Legal Center.
Rep. Warren Davidson, a Republican from Ohio
Davidson didn’t properly disclose the sale of stock worth up to $100,000, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.
Rep. Lance Gooden, a Republican from Texas
Gooden failed to file mandatory periodic transaction reports for a dozen stock transactions, per the STOCK Act, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research. Gooden’s office disputed to the Dallas Morning News that the lawmaker did anything wrong.
Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, a Republican from Tennessee
Lowenthal was late disclosing his wife’s purchase of a corporate bond in cloud computing and technology company VMWare, worth between $15,001 and $50,000, Forbes reported. “We have no comment,” Lowenthal spokesman Keith Higginbotham told Insider on November 18.
Rep. Jim Hagedorn, a Republican from Minnesota
Hagedorn was more than three months latedisclosing the sale of stock in a company that makes colon cancer-screening products.
Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas
Williams did not properly report three stock transactions his wife made in 2019, reported NPR, citing Campaign Legal Center research.
Not everyone in your life, like your friendly neighborhood mailman or the kid cousins you only see once a year, is going to receive a fancy gift from you during the holidays. However, it’s always a nice gesture to give them a small token of love and appreciation and show that you’re thinking of them.
Before you tackle the big-ticket gift purchases on your list for your mom, dad, or significant other, it’s easier to start small with the stocking stuffers you can buy by the armful. Under $10 is just about as affordable as you can get with gifts, but this low price point doesn’t mean your stocking stuffers can’t still be useful, thoughtful, and unique.
Check out our full list of 30 affordable stocking stuffers:
This wearable nail polish holder upgrades your DIY mani-pedi so your nails will look flawless and professional. This convenient holder is a must-have nail tool that helps to avoid spills and keep your nails in perfect condition.
These handy covers will help protect AirPods and cases from scratches, bumps, and dust. They also add a fun customization element since they come in 11 different colors, from cobalt blue to canary yellow.
Admittedly, they’re not the most glamorous stocking stuffer, but you can’t deny their usefulness. The long length is convenient and the cable delivers maximum charging speed to their device.
Although this product was below $10 at its time of selection, prices on Amazon can fluctuate. It may go back down under $10, so if you have a hard cutoff for your budget, bookmark the link above and check back in later.
This $10 power bank packs a lot of charge into a compact device, letting them fill up to a full battery around two times. Plus, it’s available in several eye-catching colors, from metallic gold to coral.
We know — PopSockets Grips are everywhere. But there’s a reason why even naysayers have been convinced. They offer a strong grip on your phone, double as a stand, and come in many different colors and prints.
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Smart TVs with built-in access to streaming services are now the norm, but navigation speeds and app selection can vary a lot depending on what model you own. If you’re someone who craves faster performance and a larger selection of services, a standalone streaming box or stick could be exactly what you need.
These compact devices connect to your display and handle all your streaming needs. Some even include integrated digital assistants. Separate streaming players are also a perfect solution for anyone who might still have an old “dumb” TV that needs some extra smarts.
Best streaming box for gamers: Nvidia Shield TV, $129 on Amazon The Nvidia Shield TV is a powerful media device with Google’s Android TV platform and support for gaming when you pair it with a controller.
With HDR capabilities, the Roku Ultra displays richer colors and better contrast when playing back HDR-enabled videos on a compatible TV. The latest Roku Ultra model also adds support for the advanced Dolby Vision and HDR10+ formats.
The Ultra comes with a voice remote so you can adjust the volume and search for content with spoken commands. If you’re watching at night, you can plug the included earbuds into the remote for private listening.
The Roku Ultra is the most versatile and reliable media player in this price range, and we like that it’s more universal than Amazon, Apple, and Google devices. There are cheaper alternatives with less advanced features, but we think this model is the best choice for most people with a 4K TV.
The Roku Express is one of the most affordable streaming boxes you can buy, and it offers a great interface with basic HD playback.
Pros: Cheap, compact design, easy-to-use, built-in OS
Cons: Doesn’t support 4K or HDR, no voice remote, no Ethernet
For buyers who want a simple and inexpensive streaming solution, the Roku Express is the perfect fit. This model is about as basic as they come, but for the money, you’re still getting a capable HD streaming box.
Perhaps the best thing about the Roku Express is how easy it is to use. The compact design makes it one of the smallest streaming boxes there is, and the package comes complete with an HDMI cable for simple setup. The interface is well-designed and extremely easy to navigate with access to all the major services you could want.
Unlike the Roku Ultra, however, this model lacks a voice remote, and it’s missing a USB port for playing external video files or Bluetooth for music streaming from a smartphone. The Roku Express also lacks 4K and HDR support, so we only recommend this model for people who have regular HDTVs.
Buyers who want 4K on a budget, should consider the Roku Express 4K+ instead. It’s similar to the standard Roku Express, but it has support for 4K, HDR, and AirPlay for a bit more money.
If all you need is basic HD streaming, though, there’s little reason to pay extra for a model more powerful than the Roku Express.
The Apple TV 4K is an ideal streaming player for enthusiasts who want easy integration with the rest of Apple’s products.
Pros: Well-designed interface, 4K and HDR, can serve as a HomeKit hub, latest model has HDMI 2.1
Cons: Expensive compared to the competition
If you’re looking for a high-end media player to integrate with your Apple account and other Apple devices, then you’ll want to consider the Apple TV 4K.
One of the best things about the Apple TV 4K is Apple’s tvOS interface, which is super easy to use. It can stream in 4K and has HDR support for improved contrast and colors. Like the Roku Ultra, the Apple TV 4K also offers Dolby Vision for better HDR on select services and TVs.
And with Siri, you can use your voice to search for content. Plus, you can access music, podcasts, games, and hundreds of apps, or cast or mirror content from an iOS or macOS device using AirPlay technology. In addition, the Apple TV 4K can even serve as a HomeKit hub for Apple’s smart home ecosystem.
On the downside, the Apple TV is more expensive than streaming options from Roku and Amazon. Most people who aren’t invested in the Apple ecosystem will be more than happy with the less expensive Roku Ultra instead. The deciding factor comes down to budget and the ecosystem you prefer.
The latest Apple TV 4K model came out in 2021, replacing the older version released in 2017. Though similar, the 2021 player adds an improved Siri remote and a couple new features, like high frame rate playback.
Pros: 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and HDR10+, Google Assistant voice remote, built-in interface and casting capabilities
Cons: Minor glitches, some lag
Google’s latest Chromecast model offers a sizable step forward in performance and usability over older versions. Though our previous pick in this category, the Chromecast Ultra, needed a separate phone, tablet, or computer to stream apps from, the Chromecast with Google TV actually features its own built-in interface with an extensive library of services.
You can still cast apps from a mobile device if you’d like, but the on-screen selection makes it more convenient to find your favorite shows and movies right on your TV screen. This makes the Chromecast a more worthy competitor to similar compact players, like the Fire TV Stick 4K.
Powered by the new Google TV platform, the Chromecast offers access to a huge collection of apps. Though a few services, like Vudu and Movies Anywhere, were initially limited to HD and SDR video, recent updates have added 4K and HDR playback.
From a design perspective, the new Chromecast features a similar puck-shaped form factor as older models, complete with a dongle connection that hangs from your TV’s HDMI port. Unlike older models, the latest version includes a handy voice remote with integrated Google Assistant support.
We encountered a few glitches while testing the new Chromecast and some lag here and there, but the device offers impressive value, especially for buyers already invested in Google’s ecosystem.
Pros: 4K streaming, Alexa voice control, compact, speedy navigation, support for all major HDR formats
Cons: Fire TV interface is cluttered, not a huge upgrade over previous model
Amazon’s latest streaming stick plugs right into the HDMI port on the back of your TV, adding access to a ton of apps with support for up to 4K playback. The Fire TV Stick 4K Max is also compatible with every major HDR format, so people who own Dolby Vision or HDR10+ TVs can watch videos in the best quality available.
An Alexa voice remote is included as well, so you can control playback and search for content with spoken commands. Though the remote requires you to press a button to activate Alexa, you can also pair the device with an Echo speaker for hands-free control.
Fire TV Stick 4K Max works with Netflix, Disney Plus, HBO Max, Prime Video, and many other popular streaming apps. Though some notable services used to be missing, Amazon’s selection is now on par with other major players like Roku.
Compared to the older Fire TV Stick 4K, the new 4K Max isn’t a huge upgrade, but it does offer some minor improvements. Most notably, navigation speed is a bit snappier, thanks to a slightly more powerful processor. This helps to cement the Fire TV Stick 4K Max as the fastest media device I’ve ever tested in this price range.
It also includes support for Wi-Fi 6 for more reliable connectivity when paired with a Wi-Fi 6 router. But, since most people don’t have a Wi-Fi 6 router, we don’t see this as a main selling point right now.
People who already own the old Fire TV Stick 4K don’t need to upgrade, but new buyers on the hunt for the best streaming stick with Alexa should snag this model.
The Nvidia Shield TV doesn’t just run Google’s Android TV, it also supports 4K streaming and can even pair with a controller for gaming.
Pros: 4K support, Dolby Vision capabilities, support for a separate gaming controller, Android TV operating system, powerful processor
Cons: Expensive, most buyers don’t need the extra power
Though pricier than other players, the Nvidia Shield TV is the ultimate streaming device for buyers who want beefy specs.
More than just a video player, the Shield TV is also the best streaming box for gamers. In addition to the included Google Assistant voice remote, you can add a separate gaming controller for playing games from the Google Play Store or through the GeForce Now cloud gaming service.
When it comes to raw specs, the Shield TV incorporates 2GB of RAM and 8GB of storage. The device is powered by the NVIDIA Tegra X1+, which is one of the most powerful processors used in any streaming device. This extra muscle even allows the device to take advantage of advanced upscaling technology, which can make HD videos look better on 4K TVs.
Unlike most streaming players, the Shield TV features a unique cylindrical design which takes the form of a compact tube that’s meant to be placed behind a display. This style won’t be for everyone, but it makes it easy to hide the device out of sight.
For buyers who want even more power, there’s also a Shield TV Pro model to consider. This more expensive version features a more traditional rectangular shape and upgraded specs with 3GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, and two USB 3.0 ports.
What you should look for in a streaming device
Before buying a streaming device, there are a few factors you should consider. First and foremost, you should ensure you really need a separate streaming player at all.
If you’re someone with an old dumb TV that has HDMI ports, adding a standalone streaming device is a no-brainer. But, if you already own a smart TV with access to its own built-in library of apps, the decision isn’t as simple.
If you’re satisfied with your TV’s app selection, speed, and connectivity options, there’s really no need to invest in another device. However, if you’re frustrated with laggy navigation or your display is missing a few apps you want to use, a standalone streaming stick or box is an ideal buy.
Of course, you’ll want to confirm that the device you choose has all the services you need. Most popular apps, like Netflix and Disney Plus, are supported on virtually all streaming players, but some smaller services are missing from certain devices.
You’ll also want to keep in mind the specs of your TV. Not all streaming sticks and boxes are able to handle 4K or high dynamic range (HDR), so if you have a 4K TV, you’ll want to get a device that can take full advantage of your display’s capabilities.
You should also consider the ecosystem you’re most plugged into. For example, Android users might be able to get more use from a Google TV device, while those using an iPhone or Mac might prefer the Apple TV, and Alexa fans might want to opt for a Fire TV model.
Roku devices, on the other hand, are the most versatile since they’re compatible with a variety of ecosystems. On the downside, Roku devices lack built-in support for Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant.
Check out our related buying guides for streaming and TVs
We estimated the net worth of members of Congress by analyzing financial-disclosure reports.
The reports cover 2020 and provide the most up-to-date estimate of members’ net worth.
The wealthiest 15 members were worth at least $1.3 billion, half of Congress’ wealth.
Each year, every member of Congress is required to file a detailed report disclosing their financial holdings. Designed for transparency, the disclosures provide insight into each member of Congress’ wealth and assets — and occasionally reveal potential conflicts of interest and violations of federal law.
Insider compiled members’ annual disclosures filed this year, analyzing thousands of pages of documents to estimate the minimum and maximum net worth of members of the US Senate and the US House of Representatives, including nonvoting delegates. Members disclose the value of their assets in broad ranges.
The documents cover 2020, a year in which the world’s richest people grew their fortunes by trillions of dollars. The 2020 financial disclosures are the most up-to-date financial documentation from Congress — disclosures from 2021 are not required to be filed until mid-May. Filers for the 2020 fiscal year were allotted an extra three months to submit their disclosures because of the pandemic.
Three newer members of Congress — Reps. Troy Carter, Melanie Stansbury, and Jake Ellzey — have not filed their official financial-disclosure reports. Insider used these members’ “candidate reports,” some of which include financial data from 2021.
Members of Congress come from a wide range of backgrounds — from local politics to business and entrepreneurship to professional sports — and their fortunes vary greatly. The wealthiest 15 members together had an estimated net worth of at least $1.3 billion, accounting for half of Congress’ total estimated wealth.
Starting at number 25, here are the wealthiest members of Congress based on their minimum estimated net worth:
25. Rep. Sara Jacobs, a Democrat from California: $21,428,125
A newcomer to Congress in 2021, nearly all of Jacobs’ wealth is stored in a trust that was created in 2009. The trust contains government securities, mutual funds, and more than $6 million in stock of Qualcomm, a semiconductor company co-founded by her grandfather, Irwin M. Jacobs.
Other notable stocks owned by Jacobs includes more than $100,000 invested in stocks of Apple, Microsoft, and Mastercard.
Jacobs listed one liability in her financial disclosure: a mortgage on a Washington, DC, property worth at least $500,000.
24. Rep. John Rose, a Republican from Tennessee: $23,362,065
Rose, who joined Congress in 2019, reported an ownership stake in several residential buildings across the country. Rose also owned at least $500,000 worth of stock in Citizens Bank and more than $100,000 worth of Alphabet stock, and he reported 100% ownership of Rose Farm, worth between $5 million and $25 million.
Rose submitted information for one liability: a monthly balance on his credit card amounting to at least $15,001.
23. Rep. Fred Upton, a Republican from Michigan: $24,692,218
Upton’s fortune mainly derives from an appliance company that his grandfather founded, Whirlpool, which the congressman reported holding at least $1 million of stock in. Upton also reported having at least $1 million in Pepsi stock. Other notable holdings of Upton’s include Apple, Raytheon, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, and Texas Instruments.
The representative reported one liability: a mortgage worth at least $15,001 through JPMorgan Chase.
22. Rep. Dean Phillips, a Democrat from Minnesota: $24,778,495
Phillips has an ownership stake in several businesses, various stock holdings, mutual funds, government securities, various life insurance policies, and hedge funds. He is a cofounder of Penny’s Coffee, a Minnesota-based coffee shop chain, a former chairman for Talenti Gelato, and the former CEO of Phillips Distilling Company.
Phillips held more than $250,000 worth of Apple stock, at least $50,000 worth of Facebook stock, and over $1 million in the SPDR S&P 500 Trust ETF.
Phillips, who joined Congress in 2019, reported at least $2 million in liabilities in the form of mortgages.
21. Rep. Kevin Hern, a Republican from Oklahoma: $26,761,380
Hern’s wealth is split between trusts and IRAs belonging to him and his immediate family. The trusts contain a combination of mutual funds, stocks, and electronic funds. Notable stocks held by Hern and his family included more than $250,000 worth of Amazon, at least $100,000 worth of Alphabet, and more than $530,000 worth of Microsoft.
Hern disclosed two liabilities: at least $500,000 used to purchase a McDonald’s restaurant, and at least $1 million that his spouse used to buy a separate company.
In 2021, Hern violated the STOCK Act by failing to properly disclose stock trades worth at least $1.06 million and as much as $2.7 million. Hern joined the House of Representatives in 2018.
20. Rep. Kathy Manning, a Democrat from Michigan: $27,202,287
Manning’s fortune is split among government securities, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, real property, and stocks. Notable stocks that Manning or her spouse held included Alphabet, Apple, Starbucks, Disney, Microsoft, Nike, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer.
The congresswoman reported two liabilities owned by her spouse: lines of credit amounting to more than $1.5 million.
She is a newcomer to Congress, joining the ranks in 2021.
19. Rep. Don Beyer, a Democrat from Virginia: $29,805,092
All of Beyer’s assets were jointly owned, in a combination of stocks, government securities, and real property.
Beyer reported at least $8.6 million in liabilities, almost all of which were mortgages on various properties he owned.
18. Rep. David Trone, a Democrat from Maryland: $32,927,094
Trone’s wealth is divvied up among mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and ownership of several shops across the country specializing in wine, beer, and spirits: Total Wine & More.
Trone’s wife independently owned stock in Alphabet, Apple, and Pepsi, among others. He reported one liability in his financial filings: a business loan worth at least $5 million from PNC Bank.
Trone is a relatively new member of Congress — he assumed office in 2019.
17. Rep. Jay Obernolte, a Republican from California: $39,250,014
The bulk of Obernolte’s fortune stems from his ownership of FarSight Studios, a video-game company in Big Bear Lake, California, that he launched in 1988. Obernolte, who joined Congress in 2019, also reported several investments worth millions in Vanguard tax-managed mutual funds.
Obernolte did not report any liabilities or debts.
16. Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat from California: $39,738,062
Peters’ wealth is mostly in government securities, though he and his spouse have also invested in several mutual funds. The congressman’s wife, Lynn Gorguze, is the president and CEO of a private equity firm, Cameron Holdings.
Peters reported two liabilities worth at least $30,000 in total, for “revolving credit.”
15. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, a Democrat from California: $46,123,051
Pelosi, the speaker of the House, reported personal wealth spread out among property holdings, mutual funds, and stocks owned by her husband. The only assets that Pelosi reported owning or joint-owning were her home in Napa, California, and a Wells Fargo bank account containing less than $15,000.
Pelosi’s husband had holdings in corporations such as Slack, Tesla, Disney, Visa, Salesforce, PayPal, Alphabet, Facebook, and Netflix — companies that together spend tens of millions of dollars each year lobbying the federal government.
Pelosi reported at least $20 million in liabilities that mostly involved mortgages on properties in California and Washington, DC.
14. Rep. Frank Mrvan, a Democrat from Indiana: $49,848,004
Before going to Washington, DC, Mrvan worked as a pharmaceutical sales representative and a mortgage broker.
Much of Mrvan’s wealth — estimated at about $50 million at minimum — is contained in an Indiana public employees’ retirement fund. Mrvan’s next-largest asset was his wife’s 401(k), valued at $100,000 to $250,000.
Mrvan, a newcomer to Congress, reported three liabilities in his financial filings worth at least $270,000 in total: his home mortgage, an auto loan, and credit-card debt.
13. Rep. Suzan DelBene, a Democrat from Washington: $52,156,097
Before joining Congress, DelBene was an executive at Microsoft. DelBene and her husband reported at least $1.1 million worth of shares in her former company.
DelBene’s wealth is spread out among mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and real-estate funds.
In late 2021, DelBene appeared to violate the STOCK Act by improperly disclosing her husband’s massive sale of Microsoft stock days before President Joe Biden nominated him for an administration post. DelBene’s office denied that the congresswoman violated the law, citing an email from the Committee on House Ethics.
12. Rep. Peter Meijer, a Republican from Michigan: $60,514,285
A part of the family behind the eponymous Midwestern grocery chain, Meijer reported that the bulk of his wealth was held in a “generation-skipping trust” that contained, among other assets, stock in Johnson & Johnson, Home Depot, Tesla, and Visa.
Meijer reported at least $1.95 million in liabilities in the forms of a mortgage, lines of credit, and promissory notes. He joined Congress in 2021.
11. Rep. Roger Williams, a Republican from Texas: $67,438,045
Williams’ wealth is primarily split among mutual funds, a few select stocks, real property, and the ownership of several car dealerships in Texas worth more than $5 million. Williams also reported a stake in two aircraft-leasing companies.
The congressman reported $4 million in liabilities in the forms of lines of credit, mortgages, notes payable, and a loan. Williams recently violated the STOCK Act by failing to properly file three stock transactions by his wife.
10. Rep. Doris Matsui, a Democrat from California: $73,872,062
Matsui’s husband, Roger Sant, is the founder of the AES Corporation, a Fortune 500 holding company specializing in electricity generation and distribution.
Matsui’s listed holdings were spread out among exchange-traded funds, money-market funds, limited liability companies, and trusts. She reported at least $165,000 in liabilities in the form of credit-card debt through various banks.
9. Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, a Republican from Indiana: $74,629,062
8. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat from Connecticut: $85,231,232
Blumenthal’s fortune is held almost entirely by his wife, Cynthia Malkin, with millions of dollars reported in various hedge funds, stocks, and real estate and property partnerships. Malkin’s father, Peter L. Malkin, is the chairman emeritus of Empire State Realty Trust — a commercial office and retail leasing agency for units across Manhattan including the Empire State Building — and the chairman of Malkin Holdings.
Blumenthal’s only liability listed in his financial filings was a 30-year mortgage on his home that his wife took out in 2011.
7. Sen. Mitt Romney, a Republican from Utah: $85,269,083
The bulk of Romney’s wealth derives from his success at Bain Capital, a private-equity investment firm where he rose to CEO. And much of Romney’s fortune is in Goldman Sachs mutual funds.
Romney’s wife, Ann, also boasts an extensive portfolio that includes millions invested in private-equity and hedge funds.
Romney reported at least $4.5 million in liabilities from his wife; each liability was listed as a “capital commitment.”
6. Sen. Mark Warner, a Democrat from Virginia: $93,534,098
Before venturing into politics, the 3-term senator and former Virginia governor ran a venture-capital firm, Columbia Capital, and a telecom company, Capital Cellular Corporation. Warner’s wealth is divvied up among mutual funds, private-equity funds, and hedge funds.
5. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat from California: $96,518,036
The majority of Feinstein’s wealth is from her husband, Richard Blum, according to her financial filings. Blum is an investor and the president and chairman of Blum Capital, a private equity company. Feinstein herself reported over $1 million in a deposit account, while a considerable portion of her wealth — at least $25 million — was held in a blind trust.
Feinstein listed three liabilities, each of which belonged to her husband, for a combined amount of at least $3 million.
4. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Republican from Florida: $113,384,088
Buchanan’s wealth primarily comes from his ownership of several car dealerships, in addition to a limited liability company that was labeled as “Aircraft Holding & Leasing” and valued at $25 million to $50 million. Buchanan also founded a printing company, American Speedy Printing, in the late 1970s.
Buchanan listed several liabilities in his financial filings worth at least $14 million, including loans for a plane and a yacht connected with the LLC.
Buchanan may have the authority to write American tax policy in coming years, as the congressman is likely to become the leading GOP member of the Ways and Means Committee after Rep. Devin Nunes announced his resignation to become the CEO of a new social media company founded by former President Donald Trump.
3. Rep. Darrell Issa, a Republican from California: $115,850,012
Much of Issa’s fortune comes from a car-alarm system called Steal Stopper and his time as the CEO of Directed Electronics. His financial filings indicated that each of Issa’s assets is jointly owned. Issa did not report owning any individual stocks — his wealth is largely held in diversified stock funds and his ownership of properties in California and Ohio.
Issa listed one liability: a margin account holding him liable for over $50 million.
The congressman served for 18 years in Congress before briefly leaving and becoming President Donald Trump’s nominee to head the US Trade and Development Agency. He rejoined Congress in 2021.
2. Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas: $125,880,292
McCaul is thought to be the second-richest person in Congress, though none of the assets or holdings reported in his 65-page financial disclosure were his alone, belonging to his wife or dependent children. The bulk of his fortune is from his wife, Linda, the daughter of the founder of the media giant iHeartRadio.
The McCaul family notably reported millions in limited liability companies and iShares funds, and at least $250,000 worth of Netflix stock.
McCaul did not list any liabilities or debts in his financial disclosure.
1. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican from Florida: $200,327,223
Scott, who assumed office in 2019, cemented his No. 1 spot on the list through his extensive holdings in stocks, bonds, LLCs, private-equity funds, gold trusts, and treasury notes. Scott holds relatively few individual stocks.
The senator is the cofounder of two healthcare companies: Columbia Hospital Corporation (now HCA Healthcare) and Solantic. He also worked as a venture capitalist, investing in several technology and healthcare companies.
Scott did not list any liabilities or debts in his filings.
The five least-wealthy members of Congress
A few members of Congress’ minimum sum of liabilities far surpassed the minimum sum of their disclosed assets.
These five members’ negative estimated wealth stemmed from high-priced mortgages:
Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, a Democrat from California: -$1,008,000
Rep. Steven Horsford, a Democrat from Nevada: -$1,047,992
Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a Republican from Wyoming: -$1,401,991
Sen. Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois: -$1,877,936
Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican from Texas: -$2,000,002
Members of Congress are required to disclose the value of their assets only in broad ranges, such as $15,000 to $50,000. Insider’s calculations are conservative estimates based on the minimum values disclosed by members. Each member of Congress’ wealth was calculated by subtracting the sum of their minimum reported liabilities from the sum of their minimum asset values.
Lawmakers are not required to disclose certain classes of personal assets, such as the value of their personal residence, so these assets are not included in Insider’s calculations.
This year, over 4.7 million votes were cast across 17 categories.
From fiction to fantasy, here are the best books of 2021, according to Goodreads members.
Goodreads is an online book reviewing platform where over 125 million readers rate, review, and share their favorite books with friends and the community. Every year, Goodreads hosts their highly anticipated “Goodreads Choice Awards,” where members vote in multiple rounds to narrow 20 choices down to one per genre.
In 2021, Goodreads members cast over 4.7 million votes to determine their favorite reads across 17 categories from fiction and fantasy to history and horror. With countless five-star ratings and rave reviews, here are the best books of 2021, according to Goodreads reviewers.
The 17 winners of the 2021 Goodreads Choice Awards:
“Beautiful World, Where Are You” by Sally Rooney, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80
In this novel about sex, love, and friendship, four friends are entangled in different kinds of romances that fascinate readers. Full of complex personalities and interesting conversations, this novel is perfect for anyone who also loved Sally Rooney’s bestselling novel “Normal People.”
Best Mystery & Thriller
“The Last Thing He Told Me” by Laura Dave, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he manages to slip his new wife, Hannah, a note reading “protect her,” clearly referring to Owen’s 16-year-old daughter, Bailey. When the FBI arrests Owen’s boss and shows up unannounced to their home, Hannah and Bailey find themselves caught in a tangle of secrets and are left searching for the truth about who Owen truly is.
“Malibu Rising” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80
In August 1983, the famous Nina Rivera and her three siblings are preparing to throw their epic annual end-of-summer party. Nina could not be looking forward to it less, having just been left by her tennis-pro husband. Switching between their childhood and the present, this novel uncovers the siblings’ shared history while traversing a night that will change all of their lives forever.
“A Court of Silver Flames” by Sarah J. Maas, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.84
“A Court of Silver Flames” is the final book in the hugely popular “A Court of Thorns and Roses” series, which began as a “Beauty and the Beast” retelling. In this novel, Nesta is still trying to find her place with her new role in the High Fae world but must overcome her haunting past, her complicated feelings toward Cassian, and the threats brought about by human queens.
“People We Meet on Vacation” by Emily Henry, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.98
Alex and Poppy have been best friends since college when a summer road trip brought them together and spurred years of annual summer vacations. But two years ago, everything changed between them. Though they haven’t spoken since, Poppy is determined to get her best friend back and suggests one last trip for them to seek a new start.
Best Science Fiction
“Project Hail Mary” by Andy Weir, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.49
In this immersive sci-fi read, Ryland Grace wakes up on a ship in space with no memory and two dead crewmates beside him. As his memories start to return, Ryland realizes he is on a desperate, last-chance mission to save humanity, millions of miles from home with an extinction-level threat to conquer ahead of him.
“The Final Girl Support Group” by Grady Hendrix, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $15.78
This unique horror/thriller book focuses on “final girls” — the ones who fight back and survive horrible murders, emerging as trauma-burdened heroines. In this story, Lynnette Tarkington and five other “final girls” have been meeting and healing in a support group for years — until something terrible happens to make their worst fears come true.
“Broken (in the best possible way)” by Jenny Lawson, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $14.66
Jenny Lawson is an American journalist and blogger who does not hide the fact that she suffers from depression and anxiety. In this heartfelt and hilarious memoir, Jenny shares personal anecdotes about her physical and mental health journey towards healing.
“The Anthropocene Reviewed” by John Green, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.80
“Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $16.16
In this beautiful and moving memoir, Michelle Zauner grew up as one of the few Korean American kids at her school, finding solace in her grandmother’s kitchen in Seoul while carrying her mother’s high expectations of her. When her mother receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, Michelle begins a journey of reckoning, forging her own identity from her childhood experiences, lessons from her mother, and dreams for her future.
Best History & Biography
“Empire of Pain: The Secret History of the Sackler Dynasty” by Patrick Radden Keefe, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $25.99
“Empire of Pain” is a history and biography of the Sackler family, one of the richest families in the world, who were once known for their charitable donations until the origin of their fortune was uncovered. Meticulously researched and told with an enthralling voice, this nonfiction read documents the Sackler family’s rise to riches through the creation of OxyContin and, ultimately, the opioid epidemic.
Best Graphic Novels & Comics
“Lore Olympus: Volume One” by Rachel Smythe, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.99
Originally an online comic series, this fantastical graphic novel portrays the love story of Hades and Persephone in a romantic and stylized reimagining. With stunning visuals and a fresh angle, Rachel Smythe brings this well-known Greek myth to life.
“The Hill We Climb: An Inaugural Poem for the Country” by Amanda Gorman, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.58
Amanda Gorman is the first person to be named National Youth Poet Laureate and delivered her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the Presidential Inauguration in January. Passionate and inspiring, this poem aims to bring hope to Americans despite the chaos in the world.
Catalina Martín needs to quickly find a boyfriend to bring to her sister’s wedding in Spain. Although he’s gorgeous, she really does not want to bring her pain-in-the-butt colleague, Aaron Blackford, but might have no other choice in this fan-favorite, enemies-to-lovers romantic comedy.
Best Young Adult Fiction
“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $10.23
“Firekeeper’s Daughter” focuses on 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine, a biracial and unenrolled tribal member who witnesses a terrible murder. When the FBI begins to investigate, she goes undercover to conduct her own investigation in this intense journey loved for its strong characters.
Best Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction
“Rule of Wolves” by Leigh Bardugo, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $13.78
“Rule of Wolves” is the concluding novel in Leigh Bardugo’s “King of Scars” duology, where the Demon King, the Stormwitch, and the Queen of Mourning are each affected by war and looking to create a brighter future. The newest addition to the adored Grishaverse world, this novel is perfect for any reader looking to get lost in a new and impeccably built fantasy world.
Best Middle Grade & Children’s
“Daughter of the Deep” by Rick Riordan, available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $9.99
In this middle grade retelling of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,” Ana Dakkar is a freshman at Harding-Pencroft Academy, hoping she has what it takes to succeed and make her late parents proud. When a terrible tragedy occurs while her class is on a bus ride to a ship, a long-time feud between schools boils over — with Ana and her class caught in the middle.
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Long distance relationships are hard, but small items and gestures can keep you connected.
Gifts like connected jewelry, e-love letters, and digital picture frames can help deepen your bond.
Any relationship is work, but a long-distance relationship takes true effort. You have to go the extra mile to remind your partner that you’re thinking about them all the time, even if you’re not seeing them all the time — which is why small gestures like sending flowers, virtual experiences you can do together, or little gifts that reference inside jokes can help you stay close despite the distance. Here are the best gifts for long-distance relationships that show you care.
Here are the 20 best long-distance relationship gifts:
A digital picture frame to display your best memories together
Photos are the best way to keep the memories alive, but moving them off your phones and onto a countertop is a real gesture. The Carver frame shuffles through countless digital photos as it holds unlimited storage space.
A weighted blanket can help ease the loneliness of missing that body next to you at night. It’s certainly not the same, but that warmth still brings comfort — especially if it was gifted by you. This blanket from Carver is our top pick for an extra-heavy weighted blanket among those we tested.
A bracelet that vibrates when your partner is thinking of you
Nothing brightens up a lonely room or says, “Wish I could be there” for special occasions you’re missing quite like a gorgeous bouquet of flowers. Urban Stems is the best flower delivery service we’ve tested with so many different arrangements, perfect for any partner.
Love letters in the mailbox are great, but this unique gift let’s you deliver them instantly. After sending them the physical box, you can send your partner special messages via the app and a large red heart spins on their box to inform them their digital love letter inside is ready to read.
Netflix — erm, Disney+ — and chill from across the country with a subscription that lets you both access movies from nostalgic Disney classics to Marvel hits. The streaming service contains a variety of old and new content that’s available to watch in multiple countries.
This Spotify glass art lets your partner scan a custom song code to pull up a playlist you’ve created of all the tunes that remind you of each other. And the art piece comes on a wooden stand so it doubles as something nice to look at on the nightstand.
An extra-long weekender is exactly what they need for when they get to come visit you. This Dagne Dover bag prepares for any type of weekend trip as it contains a shoe bag, water bottle holder, and a laptop sleeve on the inside.
When they’re having a stressful day, this neck and back massager is a soothing companion when your hands are too far for a massage. The heated massage device has eight kneading massage nodes and three speeds level to alleviate muscle soreness and stiffness.