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Chelsea Handler's Must List

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Brian Bowen Smith/Netflix; HBO

Chelsea Handler’s about to serve real talk — and not just to celebrities anymore. On her new talk show, Chelsea, she’ll investigate social issues well beyond the bounds of Hollywood. “It’s the college education that I never got, that Netflix is paying for,” she jokes. “It’s me growing up.” But rest assured, not everything has changed: “I’m still being an idiot,” she says. Before her show bows, the unfiltered host fills us in on her latest pop culture obsessions. 

1. Downton Abbey

“I love soap operas. I can’t get away with watching General Hospital in real life, so Downton‘s the next best thing. I just love the music, and I love the period.” 

2. The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars by David Bowie

“I had never been a David Bowie fan, but when he died, I started listening to him — what he did for so many people moved me. I got into his music and loved it.”

3. The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

“It’s a beautifully written book of stories woven together about love and what it means to love someone. When you’re running around through life, it’s nice to be reminded of that.”

4. Girls

“This season has been great. I loved the episode about when Marnie’s ex-boyfriend shows up a completely different guy. Just the line ‘You’re talking with an accent’ made me laugh.”

5. Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert

“I never read all the classics, probably because of skipping college, so when I took the [past] year off, I read so many. I’m taking my time with this one.”

6. Coffee Break, a podcast teaching foreign languages

“I bought a house in Spain last year, so I gotta buck up and learn Spanish, or it’ll completely screw me over. I’m a little slow on the uptake, but I can, like, definitely go into a restaurant and order food.”

7. By the Sea

“It’s a ridiculous movie, and I don’t mean that as a compliment. I watched it three times, all stoned, and I recommend to anybody who watches it to also get stoned. It’s fantastic.” 

8. Metamodern Sounds in Country Music by Sturgill Simpson

“I think a lot of country music is cooler than it’s given credit for. A friend turned me on to this, and I worked out to it seven mornings in a row.”

9. The Allusionist, a podcast about language and etymology

“I just like the history of words, because meanings change a lot. When I was growing up, all four walls of my bedroom were taped with vocabulary words.” 

10. The Art of Tough by Barbara Boxer

“It’s a great book about female empowerment and what it takes to be a member of society and how one person can make a difference. There’s a domino effect with everything.”

Chelsea will stream on Netflix Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays starting May 11.

A version of this story appears in issue #1414 of Entertainment Weekly, available here.