Three Things I'm Crushing On: Bob Guccione, Jr., Founder and Editor of WONDERLUST

Three Things I'm Crushing On: Bob Guccione, Jr., Founder and Editor of WONDERLUST

. 6 min read

In this new series, readers like you share recommendations for the things they love the most, right at this moment.

Three Things I'm Crushing On: Bob Guccione, Jr., Founder and Editor of WONDERLUST

1.   Folktale Wines (various prices)
I love wine. This does not make me unique, I understand that. And I know nothing about wine, which makes me, frankly, even less unique. But I know what I like and lately I’ve been loving the wines of Folktales Winery and Vineyards. (The name sounds redundant, right? But it accurately describes the boutique producer they are.) They have a small vineyard, from which they make a couple of wines, and the rest of their production is relatively tiny numbers of bottles from meticulously sourced small, nearby vineyards. They make about 24 different wines and I have had about [scrambled… static…inaudible] different bottles. I didn’t have a bad one. My favorites are: The 2019 Creator Pinot (outstanding!), NV Folktale Orange 3 Year and 2020 Folktale Carbonic Sangiovese.

Not really in stores, so order from here.

2.   Inspector Montalbano novels ($25, give or take)
I voraciously read crime fiction, my escapism of choice from my everyday life, which involves reading and editing millions of words a year. I particularly adore/quasi worship the Inspector Montalbano series by Andrea Camilleri, who died in 2019, at the rich, life-lived age of 93. The books, all superb, are set in Sicily in a lazy — except for the murderers, they’re not lazy! — coastal region around the imaginary seaside town of Vigata. The mafia pervade like humidity, and control most of daily life just as invisibly. Montalbano, surrounded by a gloriously entertaining, mixed bag of officers, is a complicated, never fully resolved, often insecure, organic character, who solves crime in a particularly Sicilian way, which means some things are sometimes deliberately left unsettled, and some people spared an indignity that would serve no one.

Start with Rounding the Mark (because I did). Do not read the last book until the very end…

3.   The Blue Fox Motel, Narrowsburg New York  ($200 - $400 a night)
It’s not natural to want to go to a motel as much as I like going to this place. So I better explain: First, it’s not really a motel, it’s a chic, luxurious intimate hotel spread across a glorious hollow of land surrounded by huge, sky-poking forest, that was once a boy scout camp, then a hunting camp and finally a bog-average motel, curiously, and somehow legally, only for Russians. Present owners Jorge and Meg took it over a few years ago and started repairing the dilapidated property, and refitting rooms in exquisite and sometimes wonderfully quirky ways. It has a retro feel but a modern shine. At night you sleep the sleep of peace that Heaven promises. The restaurant is country casual and convivial and gastronomically superb.

Do you have a TOPIX essay you’d like to contribute? Send me all your ideas at

3 Things I’m Crushing On: Dish Stanley, Master of Ceremonies, PrimeCrush

1.Nora Ephron’s Essay Collections,, about $14.83 each
I Feel Bad About My Neck
I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections
Wallflower at the Orgy

Last year it was Joan Didion’s essays. For over a month now it’s been Nora’s. Once you spend a month with Nora’s essays, you can’t call her anything but Nora. This is not true of Didion, by the way. After a month with her essays no one would presume to call her Joan. Nora, though, is a chatty essayist. For Nora the personal is political. When she writes that her tits are too small, she is making a larger statement about women’s place in society. Small tits are something I knew nothing about until reading Nora, but what’s typical of a “Nora experience” (how I’d characterize reading her essays), is that while I’m with her on the objectification point I am also somehow relieved that I don’t have small tits. I worry that I make her sound trite, but she’s not. She is true. And a hoot to spend time with. It’s too late to ever be invited to one of her fabulous dinner parties, but partaking in her essays is the next best thing. Written in the ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s, they are still spot on about midlife and many other matters, and are as relevant, funny, devastating and entertaining as ever. Though I do now hate my neck. I didn’t need that, Nora.

2. New Zealand, Direct flight JFK to Auckland $7,998 Business Class
Air New Zealand

New Zealand finally opened back up to the world in August, and shortly thereafter Air New Zealand launched the first-ever direct flights between New York and Auckland. It is a long 17 hour flight - I know because I spent the month of October there. Well worth it. New Zealand was perfect for me: naturally gorgeous, effortlessly charming, warm and inviting, bountifully loving. Another short-term soul-pumping fling. Take me, kiwis.


Perhaps this sounds a little self-serving but I’m absolutely positively in love with our new TOPIX column. We’ve only just announced it but you can’t imagine the confessions I’m already hearing! Let me backtrack. TOPIX is a new column we’ll be publishing regularly in The Crush Letter to share anonymous stories about how we are really constructing our relationships in midlife now. Not Divorced But Not Really Married Either, Sleeping in Separate Wings, Platonic Friendships That Function Like (and Better Than) Marriages, Lifelong Romantic Partners Who Will Never Marry. “Just reading about what TOPIX will cover makes me feel validated,” wrote on CRUSH Reader. Oh, the places we’ll go!

Three Things I'm Crushing On: Liza Lentini, Managing Editor at

1.Prada Cashmere Sweater, $1,720.00

I’ve tried to analyze why I love these sweaters so much and, moreover, why I prefer the men’s sweaters to women’s, but really it all comes down to one factor: comfort. I’m very tall, so generally men’s sweaters tend to be longer and looser and more comfortable for me. I don’t need to tell you why cashmere is so luxurious, but I will say, sometimes you really do get what you pay for, and this sweater is worth every penny. Treat it right and you’ll have a classic style you can wear forever.

2.INFINITIPRO by Conair Hot Air Paddle Styler Dryer Brush, $19.99

I have very fine hair, so when I finally found this under-twenty-dollar miracle cure for making my hair look like I stepped out of a salon, I pondered: “What the heck took me so long???” You don’t live to midlife without wasting way too much money on frustrating beauty fails, so when something actually works, it feels like a dream.

3.Revolution Pro Blur Stick Universal Face Primer, $15.00

When it comes to makeup, I’m easily the laziest person you’ll ever meet. I rarely wear it at all. However, I can’t deny that I look so much less like a swamp creature with just a little bit of makeup on in virtual meetings. What I love most about a great face primer is that you can grab it five minutes before the meeting starts, smear it all over your face and you’re (sort of) meeting-ready. It’s not heavy and I still look like myself in natural light. I found this one after my Milk Blur Stick ran out—they’re both quite excellent.

If you love me as much as I love you (and I really do love you!), then please help me grow by forwarding this {love} Letter to a friend!  And I'd love to have you join us on instagram, facebook & twitter.

The Crush Letter
The Crush Letter is a weekly newsletter curated by Dish Stanley on everything love & connection - friendship, romance, self-love, sex. If you’d like to take a look at some of our best stories go to Read Us. Want the Dish?


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