There is no shortage of fierce, female driven beach reads this year. A the top of this list is the gorgeous Susie Orman Schnall’s latest, The Subway Girls. A historical read with beauty, ambition and two determined woman is all that is within this gem of a read. I was thrilled when Susie agreed to be my latest “Open Book”. She is just as fabulous as her two main characters. Perfect lipstick selection, stellar dream book club picks and a delectable TBR stack. She is beyond!
via Amazon ~
From the author of The Balance Project comes a dual-timeline narrative featuring a 1949 Miss Subways contestant and a modern-day advertising executive whose careers and lives intersect.
“Schnall has written a book that is smart and timely…Feels perfect for fans of Beatriz Williams and Liza Klaussmann.” —Taylor Jenkins Reid, acclaimed author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
“A fast-paced, clever novel filled with romantic possibilities, high-stakes decisions, and harsh realities. Perfect for fans of Fiona Davis’s The Dollhouse, this engrossing tale highlights the role that ambition, sexism, and true love will forever play in women’s lives.” —Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions
In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.
Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.
The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.
1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?
Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, and Barack Obama.
2. Current binge series?
Just finished binging Good Girls Revolt. I’m so sad there won’t be a season 2. And I can’t wait until the next seasons of The Handmaid’s Tale and Big Little Lies are released.
3. Last favorite book?
My favorite three I’ve read recently are Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation? Where is it?
1. A bag full of good books (that just counts as one thing!) 2. Cozy sweats. 3. Dark chocolate and English breakfast tea. Then I’ll gather all of those things on a beautiful porch of a beautiful house overlooking a beautiful sea.
5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?
Sunday NYT. (And the crossword.)
6. Last person you sent a text message to?
My middle son. About the geometry compass he needs for school 😉
7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?
The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?
Not particularly. But I have an English professor from college, Al Filreis, who once read an essay I wrote out loud in class. I had taken a lot of risks with it and I almost didn’t turn it in. When he read it aloud, I felt an unbelievable sense of pride and it made me feel so validated. We still keep in touch.
9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?
No. Has to be really quiet. I get distracted easily.
10. Describe your writing space?
I have an office off my bedroom. It’s got this gorgeous crazy floral wallpaper, a big desk with lots of room to spread out all my notes, cozy chairs, and lots of book shelf space. And a big window to look out of when I can’t figure out what to write next. I love having my own space.
11. Coffee or tea?
Rishi English breakfast tea.
12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?
Not one in particular but I do love sending books to people unexpectedly if one has come up in conversation or if I think they’ll like it.
13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult.
14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?
My favorite song is If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out by Cat Stevens. It’s just so uplifting and has so much potential! “You can do what you want
The opportunity’s on
And if you can find a new way
You can do it today”
15. What/Who inspires you?
Women today! My goodness, women are killing it. I love the ambition, and bravery, and outspokenness that is all over the place today. It makes me want to spread my wings and soar.
16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?
Of course! In doses.
17. Favorite Instagram account?
Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx. She can go from posting something inspiring and motivational and then the next day it will be something hilarious. She’s incredibly authentic. You should definitely follow her. @sarablakely
18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be?
Eat Pray Love. A flattering glowy pink that you can use when you eat, pray, love, and everything in between. I need the items in my life to multitask!
19. Current #TBR pile?
Humongous! Highlights: The Last Mrs. Parrish by Liv Constantine, Americanah by Chimimanda Ngozi Adichie, A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles, This Is the Story of a Happy Marriage by Ann Patchett, Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue, Salvage the Bones by Jesmyn Ward, and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. It just keeps growing…
20. Best advice you’ve ever received?
Done is better than perfect – Sheryl Sandberg says that in Lean In.
*Thanks to BookSparks for facilitating this interview.