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 🙂

happy spring, friendly neighbor style

Happy first full day of spring, friendly neighbors! The vernal equinox occurred early yesterday morning, and I wanted to write this post yesterday while I was in full-on first day of spring celebration mode. But my 2017 Year on Fire was en fuego with activity yesterday. I will be writing other posts specifically on my 2017 Year on Fire as incredible news unfolds to illustrate the power of positive energy in manifesting big dreams. For now, this is all about the positive energy of spring.

Mutts by Patrick McDonnell - Spring 2017

Let’s go back to yesterday for a minute. Not only was March 20 the first day of spring, it was International Day of Happiness and Fred Rogers’ birthday. ALL ON THE SAME DAY.

Mind. Blown.

That’s like one of the biggest non-coincidences I’ve ever seen.

I was freaking the eff out. First of all, I could feel the power of spring energy in the air the second I woke up before I even remembered it was the first day of spring. You know that groggy feeling you have when your alarm goes off and you want to sleep for two more hours? That’s me pretty much every morning. But yesterday? I did something I’d never done before. My alarm went off and I actually raised the roof in bed. Raised the roof a second after I woke up because I was wide awake and so happy. And then I remembered it was the first day of spring and I could just feel the positive energy spring brings and I visualized everything this season will manifest. It was the ultimate TGIM wake-up call.

All day I was busting out happy dances and throwing confetti around, as I do. How fitting that it was International Day of Happiness – oh snap! I just realized that connection to feeling so happy when I woke up! – on Fred Rogers’ birthday. As you know, I worship Mister Rogers in a godlike way. Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood was the inspiration for my whole friendly neighbors thing. Fred Rogers was the OFN (original friendly neighbor) and I love how he taught so many kids about the importance of kindness, compassion, and being exactly who you are.

Fred Rogers, Mister Rogers' Neighborhood

I’ll leave you with this quote by Fred Rogers when he was testifying on the importance of educational programming for kids in front of the US Senate to encourage funding for the National Endowment for the Arts:

If we can only make it clear that feelings are mentionable and manageable, we will have done a great service for mental health. I think that it’s much more dramatic that two men could be working out their feelings of anger than showing something of gunfire.

Wishing you much love and light this spring ❤

top five, signs and signals edition

Here in New York, the first day of school was yesterday. Which, I mean, what? We’re actually into September already? Really? WHAT IS HAPPENING. But yes, these are the last days of summer to cherish, and yes, it is still summer. It is still summer until September 22 when it will officially become fall and don’t let anyone tell you any different. So keep working your graphic tanks and snapping those flip-flops with purpose as you walk down the street enjoying the summer breeze. Speaking of graphics…

1. You know you are dorktastic to the max when your idea of a fun night out is rocking your matching Mister Rogers and Bob Ross tees.

Mister Rogers + Bob Ross tees

We found these tees earlier in the summer and I freaked. out. My plan was to wear them to some upscale restaurant like the total dorks we are. So we went on a Citi Bike ride down the East River, chilled at Ost Cafe on the Lower East Side, rode to South Street Seaport and had dinner at Barbalu, a restaurant we discovered on a Citi Bike ride last summer that is so fantastic it will appear in Forever in Love, the final book of my City Love trilogy. But of course it was Labor Day weekend and no one was even around to notice the ironic fabulousness of our tees. What can I say? We were on fire.

2. In other Forever in Love news, I recently finished reviewing the copyedits. Which I was sort of avoiding because after copyedits there is only one step left in the publication process: looking over the first draft, a hard copy of the book’s layout. It has been really hard to say goodbye to my girls. After three books and so much more to write about, this is a difficult transition. Fortunately I am super excited about the new book I am working on!

Are you into audio books? You can listen to an audio excerpt of Lost in Love here.

3. Here’s a throwback to 9.09.09.

Susane Colasanti at Katikies in Santorini

What was I doing seven years ago today? Oh, I don’t know. Just chilling in this world famous infinity pool at Katikies in Santorini! Santorini is the most beautiful place in the world. The resort I stayed at was positioned on a steep slope on the rim of the caldera. So in this photo you are looking at me blissfully floating at the top of a volcano. How incredible is that?

4. Shout-out to my girl Andrea on Twitter for designing this:

John Mayer in Waiting for You by Susane Colasanti

If you’ve read any of my books, you might have noticed that I love including music. It makes me so happy when readers tell me they are into The Cure or R.E.M. or Paul Simon or Fleetwood Mac because they were inspired by my books. But I don’t just include old-school sound. John Mayer is a big part of Waiting for You, a story of a girl dealing with anxiety and depression, and that makes this graphic especially sweet.

5. I don’t know how long it will take for me to not burst into tears when I hear “Empire State of Mind” around September 11, but apparently it’s longer than 15 years. This Sunday, September 11 will mark the 15th anniversary of the Twin Towers attacks. I cannot believe that was 15 years ago. I remember lots of details about that day, both big and small, mostly because I have relived September 11, 2001 so many times: how perfectly blue the sky was, what I was wearing, that excitement I always felt as a teacher at the beginning of a new school year. And of course the fact that, out of all the possible days I could have gone, I had plans that day to go to the Twin Towers with my friend Stephen. We were going to meet up after school and go to the observation deck. But we didn’t because the Twin Towers were…gone. You can read archives of my past September 11 posts linked from here.

Our plan for that day was a sign. Every day since for the past 15 years, I have been grateful to simply be alive.

This September 11 I will be broadcasting my walk down to Ground Zero on Periscope. You can find me there @SusaneColasanti if you want to see the Tribute in Light. Every year when I see the Tribute in Light, I see it as a signal reminding me to be grateful for everything I have. And every day when I see One World Trade, now standing proud and tall near the footprints of where the Twin Towers once stood, I see it as a sign of better things to come.

Anything is possible. This is New York.

One World Trade

We will never forget. ❤

top five, good vibes edition

Yay for cooler summer breeze! Here in New York, it has been so hot and humid and rainy under this heat dome that the past two weeks haven’t been the most exciting outdoor times. But now the good vibes of summer are back with the return of sunshine and highs in the low 80s. Even more good vibes: This Saturday, August 6 I will be at the Read Up book festival in Greenville, SC. It should be a total blast. Hope to see those of you in the area there!

1. Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while know that I am addicted to summer fruit. All the berries, melons, cherries…these are the days. So it makes sense that my refrigerator also LOVES summer. Especially since I am a vegetarian. I’ve been a vegetarian since college, for over 20 years, and it’s all about the fresh fruits and vegetables. That is why I ate an entire watermelon last week. A really big one. By myself. Addiction is a powerful thing.

Summer refrigerator

Oh how I wish my refrigerator could look like this all the time. Which just makes me enjoy this time with my fresh summer forage even more.

2. I have so much love for my readers I can’t even contain myself. But there is a special place in my heart for my boy readers. When Jenefer tweeted a photo of her student reading Something Like Fate, which was his choice bookstore purchase, it was one of the best warm fuzzies ever.

Something Like Fate summer reading

Summer reading feels!

3. Mr. Rogers was probably my earliest mentor. I remember watching him when I was little, like 3 or 4, and feeling like he was talking directly to me. I even ran over to my Gramp one time when I swore Mr. Rogers said my name to tell him that Mr. Rogers was saying hello to me! You know how I have this whole friendly neighbors thing? Well Mr. Rogers was the OFN (Original Friendly Neighbor). So naturally I am geeking out over this PBS Mr. Rogers remix.

There is also a Bob Ross remix, for all the “happy little trees” enthusiasts out there.

4. In other good vibes news, Apple is replacing their pistol emoji with a green water gun. And they are adding a pride flag. More reasons to love Shiny Happy Apple World.

5. My mantra for this week:

I choose to be happy

Choose happiness. Choose kindness. Choose love. ❤

epic reads author fun facts

When Epic Reads said they wanted to do an author fun facts video with me, I was psyched out of my head. We all know Epic Reads is the biggest and best book lover community out there. And they do the most adorable videos.

You should not be surprised to discover that my author fun facts video is dorktastic to the max. Watch me geek out over David Letterman, The Office, and my Top Five Husbands List. Oh yes. The list is featured.


In other book news, this Barnes & Noble Readout gives you a taste of what happens in Lost in Love after City Love. Spoiler alert! If you haven’t yet read City Love and are considering it, you might want to skip this excerpt.

Epic Reads posted a fun summer paperbacks feature and 40 Perfect Paperbacks for Summer, including City Love and a bunch of other hot reads. If you are looking for summer reading recommendations, check out the books featured there. And it looks like there’s still time to enter their Summer Reading Prize Pack giveaway. You can win TEN BOOKS, a beach towel, a water bottle, and a tote bag. Get it!

Epic Reads Summer Reading Prize Pack
In the book blogger world, this Lost In Literature review of Lost in Love is super cute. Love the buddy chat! Thanks for spreading the book love, Lisa and Becca.

Happy summer reading, friendly neighbors ❤

top five, deadline edition

TGIM! Today’s Top Five is going to be cat quick, as I am on deadline with line edits and have snuck over here like a ninja. So here are some super fast things…

1. New York City! I will be at the Barnes & Noble B-Fest this Friday, June 10 from 5:00 to 7:00pm at the Citigroup Center B&N. There will be games and prizes, including a raffle of those ginormous canvas book covers hanging all over the store! Hope to see you there.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016

2. I am loving this Booklist review of Lost in Love: “Teens who are drawn to new-adult titles and dream of romantic, parent-free summer escapades will be well rewarded.” Like all of my previous books, the City Love trilogy is YA, but I was hoping it would have crossover appeal. Good to see Booklist agrees! You can explore Lost in Love things here, and City Love here.

3. So there’s this sculpture called Looking Up by Tom Friedman that is on temporary display on Park Avenue. The second I read about it, I knew I had to go see. I mean, Look up is one of my main mottos, even right on the cover of City Love. It’s also a theme in So Much Closer. My whole thing is that we miss so much when we don’t look up. When we look up, not only do we discover beauty and history that we probably passed without noticing a hundred times before, but we invite positive energy into our day that can make magic happen. Anyway, I bookmarked an article about the sculpture and made a note to go see it before July.

The other day I was walking down the street when I looked up and noticed a cool sculpture. It was of a guy looking up. I was like, “Sweet! Look up!” But I totally forgot about the sculpture I had bookmarked. The next day I found it and realized I was on Park Avenue when I saw the guy looking up. I saw Looking Up without even realizing it at the time…all because I looked up. Full-circle meta, yo.

Then last night I looked up from my computer to look out my window and saw this.

New York City rainbow, June 5, 2016

There were lots of rainbow pics on social after the storms we had. But how many of those rainbows were radiating from a water tower? And dude, I have a thing for water towers. Always look up…

4. Taking a fangirl moment, I just have to say that this diagram perfectly quantifies my eternal love for the soul mate magic of How I Met Your Mother and Jason Segel as Marshall.

ceciliachart

I have been a huge Paul Simon fan since forever, so this dorktastic intersection of a fave musician and a fave show in science/math form blows my mind. Well played, HIMYM.

5. I will leave you with a warm fuzzy for the week about your time. Make the days count.

Make the days count

Much love ❤

top five, fangirl edition

Exciting times, friendly neighbors! Spring flowers are in full bloom, daylight hours will keep increasing until the first day of summer, and the first good berries are right around the corner. Oh, and my new book comes out one week from today! Lost in Love will be released on May 3. Lost in Love is the second book of my City Love trilogy, and you can pre-order it now on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound.

In other exciting news, some things I am fangirling over…

1. Is anyone else freaking out that Gilmore Girls and Prison Break are coming back? From our mutual fangirling on Twitter and Facebook, it sounds like you’re just as excited as I am.

Okay, keeping this a spoiler-free zone? Prison Break is coming back with all the key players, which means a certain someone is ALIVE. I cannot tell you how relieved I am to hear this. Seriously, I was bawling for days after watching the series finale. Of course they staged the grave visit for whichever bad guys were lurking in the bushes. Moving forward I should always assume something like that when my fave characters die. Believe. If you haven’t seen Prison Break, just watch the pilot and you will be hooked. Let me put it this way. Season One of Prison Break is Breaking Bad good…if not even better. Yeah, I said it!

Michael Scofield

And Gilmore Girls? I mean, I cannot even contain myself. As I am often late to the party, the Gilmore Guys podcast has only recently come to my attention. Dude. That ish is riveting. The first podcast I listened to was around three hours long. At first I was like, “Whaaaat? There’s no way I’m going to play this for three hours. That’s OD.” But it was not OD at all. Two hours in and I still wanted more. So yeah. Go listen.

2. In other fangirl obsessions, Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli blew my face off so hard I had to check to make sure my nose was still on.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Simon is my new role model. I love his voice so. freaking. much. I love his squad. I love his astute observations of the universal human condition. Simon made an excellent point about how we are all houses with vast rooms and tiny windows. And how there shouldn’t be a white/straight default. There shouldn’t even be a default. Shine on, Simon. Snaps for Becky Albertalli on her phenomenal debut!

3. While I was at the RT Booklovers Convention in Las Vegas, I discovered that the Serendipity 3 on the Vegas strip puts those red and blue straws in their frozen hot chocolate just like in the movie. The New York location does not. You know what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…like if a certain someone ordered two of these. Because straws.

Serendipity 3, Las Vegas frozen hot chocolate

4. The Bookish Bookkeeper was the first book blog to review Lost in Love…and gave it five stars! She said, “I can’t tell you how much I love this series and all its warm fuzzies and random acts of kindness things. This book makes me want to be a nicer, kinder, better person.” Wow. Thanks for your amazing review, BB!

5. There were SO many highlights of the Chicago Young Adult Book Festival this past weekend. Like finally meeting Emery Lord and having refreshments with John Green. They were both really chill to kick it with. Somehow C-3PO wandered into the mix…

Susane Colasanti, John Green, and Emery Lord at The Book Cellar in Chicago

Thanks to The Book Cellar for hosting this fantastic festival!

My Lost in Love tour continues this weekend in Santa Monica with YALLWest. Which is going to be amaze. It is a YALL, after all. Plus my birthday is May 1! Party on the pier, people! If you’re going to YALLWest, you can find me on April 3o at 1pm moderating the He Said, She Said, They Said panel, and signing right after at 2pm. And of course I will be at the Smackdown at 5pm. Then on May 1, I have a panel at 12pm and am signing at 3pm. And am eating birthday cake. Preferably funfetti with buttercream frosting. We’ll see what happens.

For those of you in the New York area, the Lost in Love launch event will be on Tuesday, May 3, 6-8pm at Books of Wonder. Later this summer on April 6 I will be at Read Up in Greenville, SC. Really looking forward to everything…and hope to see your smiling face!