A couple years ago I joined my friend Gloria, her husband and some friends for a few days in Hawaii. I asked Gloria about the book she was reading with the intriguing title, "Such a Pretty Fat", and she told me about one of her favorite authors, Jen Lancaster, and that she reads one of her books for fun every year when she goes to Hawaii.
Having just finished a serious novel ("Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese, which I loved), I was looking for a little lighter reading. I Googled Jen Lancaster (doesn't everyone do a background check on an author before you read?), read up a little, got caught up in her blog and discovered she writes memoirs where the action mostly takes place in my old home of Chicago. I downloaded "Bitter is the New Black" to my Kindle and was instantly smitten.
Although not quite a decade older, I could relate to some of the stories and certainly the terrain. No, I'm not snarky or the mean girl to my colleagues, but I secretly enjoyed the thought of having the nerve to unleash one at one of my accounts, at just the perfect opportunity. I did it vicariously through Jen.
However, I had a secret weapon - if I can't Read Ms. Lancaster, then I'll read what she recommends! That's how I came to read a non-fiction book about cells: "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks" . I loved it.
Thanks, Jen, for being there when we need you. Good luck with your social media experiment and please come to Long Beach/Orange County on your next book tour.