top five, book love edition

Greetings, friendly neighbors! I don’t know about you, but I am having the best time with my spring reading. SO many outstanding books to escape into. For example…

1. You know how you and everyone you know binged 13 Reasons Why the second it appeared on Netflix? Well I am still savoring the sweet anticipation of watching the entire season for the first time. Initially it was because I was waiting for a key component of viewing to arrive. Because hello! No way was I watching without my binge box!

Susane Colasanti with her 13 Reasons Why binge box

Some post office drama ensued when I did not receive the first binge box sent to me. Jay Asher, who is the sweetest human being ever, had our publisher send me another one. When that one arrived, it became clear what happened to the first one. Someone totally stole it. I mean, the box is printed on the outside with 13 Reasons Why graphics and Jay has like a zillion fans. Obvs someone snapped it right up. But yay that the second binge box arrived, and yay for all the nifty gifties inside, and yay for an upcoming chunk of time dedicated to bingeing what I know will be a phenomenal show because all I hear is how much everyone LOVED it. Thanks, Jay!

2. In other dope packaging news, the ARC of Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith also arrived in a gorgeous box with pretty tissue paper and a sweet note. You guys know I am Jen’s #1 fangirl. Her writing is just so beautiful, so evocative, and her stories always resonate with me. Windfall is an absolutely brilliant story. How does Jen always come up with the best ideas?! Seriously, the girl defines high concept. I loved how Jen dug even deeper with her writing this time around. No spoilers, but she weaves this poignant island / peninsula / landlocked metaphor throughout the story that was incredibly on point. Windfall comes out on May 2, and you will def want to add this gem to your TBR pile.

Oh, and if you’re in the Los Angeles area? You might want to swing by the launch event.

Jennifer E. Smith and Lauren Graham

3. I recently read The Museum of Intangible Things by Wendy Wunder and just had to give it a shout-out. I love WW’s writing! This is the kind of book that makes you smile on every page. I had an extra attachment to the story, which took place in Middle of Nowhere, NJ. That’s where I’m from, and as it turns out Wendy grew up not too far from me in the woods. Different woods, but all New Jersey woods are connected, so different but the same. There is something about being from New Jersey that automatically connects everyone from New Jersey in a way that is both nostalgic for past experiences we didn’t have and the ones that shaped who we are today. Anyway. If you’re looking for a unique story with outstanding writing, this book is for you!

4. What am I currently reading?

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli

Oh, I don’t know. Just one of the best books ever written in the history of teen literature.

BOOM.

I mean, can words express my love for Becky Albertalli’s books? No. No, they simply cannot. Becky is inside your head. This girl knows all the things. And she says the things we all know but usually don’t say because they’re too embarrassing or we think we’re a weirdo for thinking them or we just feel too desperately alone. The Upside of Unrequited is taking me right back to all those shiny happy Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda feels. So. Much. LOVE. ❤ ❤ ❤

5. What’s up next? I’m feeling Goodbye Days by Jeff Zentner. JZ (see what I did there?) is one of the most interesting people I know. The dude has done so many things with his life, and is still innovating like a mofo starboy. He’s had careers in the music world, legal world, performance world, and of course book world. Jeff is a shining example of living life out loud, taking risks, and being a badass. Can’t wait to escape into his latest world.

Happy reading 🙂

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the search for everything

Today is the day, John Mayer fans.

The Search for Everything is out in the world.

As John Mayer’s biggest fangirl, my search for everything ended on February 25, 2010 when I scored impossible front row center seats to his Madison Square Garden show. One of my favorite activities is making the impossible possible. And that was the best. night. EVER.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

I’m celebrating today by kicking it old-school with a mix of Room for Squares / Heavier Things combined with the new album. Our attention spans are so short now (8 seconds on average, while the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds) that artists are releasing singles in waves before albums because few us of can handle an entire album anymore. Part of me aches with nostalgia for the days when a new album would be released and everyone would go buy it, then take it home and listen to all the songs together. Hearing those songs for the first time, all of them in an order that meant something, was the biggest rush. An album release was something to look forward to. Something to cherish. Something to share with your friends.

But another part of me appreciates that JM released “Love on the Weekend” first. I grooved to his classic musical sound, euphoric that he was connecting to his roots full-circle. Then Wave One came out with “Moving On and Getting Over,” a super fresh jammer, and Wave Two brought us “Still Feel Like Your Man” and “Emoji of a Wave,” a song that always makes me tear up. John Mayer has been playing the soundtrack of my life since 2001, and The Search for Everything brings that history home.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Oh yeah. I was pretty much sitting on John Mayer’s lap that night. That thing where there are fifteen thousand people in the room but it just feels like the two of you? Is something I’d never experienced before and probably will never experience again.

Which is why I remember that concert so clearly. The pure euphoria of making my big front row center dream reality. Finally there was nothing between us. No heads getting in the way of my pictures. No arms in the air obscuring my view. Jumping up and down to “Bigger Than My Body” as John smiled right at me, knowing that I totally understood every nuance of that song. The charged rush of “No Such Thing.” The swoony spell of “Assassin.” Putting my camera away during “3 x 5” out of respect. Every time I hear those songs, I am right back there with John again.

John Mayer at Madison Square Garden, 2.25.10

Wondering how I made the impossible possible? You can read my blog post from 2010 here.

Wishing you sweet karma for the ultimate concert experience of your dreams, friendly neighbors. Rock on ❤