Open Book with Amy Blumenfeld

As we wind down these final days of summer there is still PLENTY of beach reading time!  Amy Blumenfeld’s debut novel, The Cast is the perfect choice to beat the end of summer scaries- P.S. that is a real thing 😉  It has got friendship, drama, heart and a complex cast of unforgettable characters. I was thrilled to ask her a few questions for my latest Open Book.  I have to say- her vacation spot is on my bucket list, her lipstick choice needs to be a reality and her life advice is something I always forget but is so true!  Thanks for sharing Amy ❤

THECASTfor Amazon

via Amazon ~

Twenty-five years ago, a group of ninth graders produced a Saturday Night Live–style videotape to cheer up their ailing friend. The show’s running time was only ninety minutes, but it had a lasting impact: Becca laughed her way through recovery, and the group—Jordana, Seth, Holly, and Lex—became her supporting cast for life.

On the silver anniversary of Becca Night Live, the friends reunite over the Fourth of July to celebrate Becca’s good health—but nothing goes as planned. The happy holiday card facades everyone’s been hiding behind quickly crumble and give way to an unforgettable three days filled with complex moral dilemmas and life-altering choices. Through humor, drama, and the alternating perspectives of five characters, The Cast explores the power of forgiveness, the importance of authenticity, and the immeasurable value of deep, enduring friendships to buoy us when life plays out differently than expected.

AmyBlumenfeldHeadShotWEB

What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?  

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Robin Williams, Oprah

Current binge series? 

Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee and 

My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman

Last favorite book?

The Book of Separation by Tova Mirvis and Limelight by Amy Poeppel. Very different books, but equally engrossing. 

What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it? London. A good book, tickets to a West End show, and the key to the Kensington townhouse I’ll be renting so that I can pretend I’m a local.

Sunday NYT or US Weekly? 

Sunday NYT

Last person you sent a text message to? 

My husband

Book you read that you wished you wrote? 

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer? 

I did not have a teacher who encouraged me to become a writer but I did have a professor in graduate school who suggested I turn my master’s project into a book. Although it was a very circuitous route, The Cast is what eventually blossomed from the seed he planted all those years ago.

Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who? 

No. The characters in my head make enough noise!

Describe your writing space? 

As soon as my daughter is off to school I make a mug of tea and sit down at the dining room table with my computer. By the time she gets home, my laptop and I have usually relocated to a sofa, an area rug on the floor, my bed, or if the weather is nice, a spot outdoors. 

Coffee or tea? 

Though I love the aroma of a coffee shop, I’m definitely a tea person.

Do you have a favorite book that you gift? 

For kids, I like to give My Book About Me by Dr. Seuss. For adults, it’s all based on the recipient. I match the book to the person.

If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why? Just the Way You Are by Billy Joel. First, because I am a huge Billy Joel fan – my first big concert as a kid was seeing him play at Yankee Stadium. Second, I believe in the importance of authenticity and gravitate to people who stay true to themselves. 

What/Who inspires you? My parents, husband, brother, and daughter. 

Bravo reality TV- yes or no? No

Favorite Instagram account? It’s a tie between Jennifer Garner and my 20-something-year-old nieces living in Chicago. 

If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? Great Expectations. It would be a nude shade with a little shimmer.

Current #TBR pile? Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult, The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer, The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall, Beauty in the Broken Places by Alison Pataki, The Book of Essie by Meghan MacLean Weir, When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi, Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

Best advice you’ve ever received? One step at a time. No matter how great or small the goal, I find this to be the most practical piece of advice I’ve ever received. I apply this to nearly everything I do – from packing a lunchbox to hosting a party to writing a book. This is what I keep in the back of my mind and it tends to get me to the finish line. 

 

Follow Amy:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

Advertisements

Open Book with Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Two summers ago, fully pregnant, I had the good fortune of meeting Liz and Lisa while they were on tour.  They are exactly how you would picture them- fun, bubbly, sparkly, gorgeous and vivacious- basically the gals you want in your squad.  I am always thrilled to support them and read their literary gems.  I love having them on the blog and am excited to share their “Open Book” answers.  They have picked the perfect book to lipstick shade, shared their current reads and really live by the best motto- read below and see why they truly are the book besties dreams are made of ❤

Girls'+Night+Out_300dpi+copy.jpg

via Amazon ~

From the bestselling authors of The Good Widow comes a chilling novel of psychological suspense that will make you think twice about what your best friend may be hiding…

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

L&L+final+headshot

 

  1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Elizabeth Gilbert, Judy Blume and Barack Obama

  1. Current binge series?

Lisa is binging Seven Seconds on Netflix and Liz is binging Dietland on AMC. 

  1. Last favorite book?

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier and Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone 

  1. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Books (Does that count as one? Lol), bathing suit and birkenstocks.

Grand Cayman! Together! 

  1. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

US Weekly! 

  1. Last person you sent a text message to?

Lisa–my husband

Liz–Lisa!

  1. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

You by Caroline Kepnes 

  1. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Lisa didn’t have a teacher. It was her mom who encouraged her. Liz had so many teachers that encouraged her—it would be impossible to choose just one! 

  1. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

YES! Lisa listens to Kenny Chesney and various other country artists. Liz loves Sia and plays her on repeat! 

  1. Describe your writing space?

Lisa has a loft, hidden away from the rest of the house with sweeping views of the treelined streets below. Liz has a tranquil office that relaxes her. 

  1. Coffee or tea?

Coffee for both of us! 

  1. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

Lisa enjoys gifting Eat Pray Love. Liz loves to gift The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle. 

  1. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Ours! The Good Widow or Girls’ Night Out! 

  1. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

Don’t Worry, Be Happy for Lisa. So much easier said than done! For Liz: Girls Just Want to Have Fun! 

  1. What/Who inspires you?

Hard workers—people that hustle to get to the top. 

  1. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Yes! We love Million Dollar Listing–any city!

  1. Favorite Instagram account?

We love @vilmairisblog and also @thesatoproject, a really cool organization that saved dogs in Puerto Rico. 

  1. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

Double Life. It would be that perfect shade of red and would go with The Good Widow

  1. Current #TBR pile?

Lisa has The Subway Girls by Susie Schnall, An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen, Our House by Louise Candish. Liz is reading The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang and Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier. 

  1. Best advice you’ve ever received?

Never give up. And we won’t!

 

Follow Liz and Lisa:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ M.J. Rose

Tiffany’s, romance, the Jazz Age and a historical mystery are all the ingredients to M.J. Rose’s latest, Tiffany Blues which of course makes it the perfect beach read.  It’s the magical escape to a time that was enchanting and lively.  I was lucky enough to have M.J. share her vintage Gucci and Louis Vuitton with me which were equally as enchanting.  This is a woman who appreciates a beautiful, vintage bags and knows the history about them too 🙂

tiffany-blues-9781501173592_hr

via Amazon~

Everything looked more beautiful through the stained glass… except her past.

“A lush, romantic historical mystery…a heroine to root for.” –Kristin Hannah, NYTbestselling author of The Nightingale

NYT bestselling author, M. J. Rose crafts a dazzling Jazz Age jewel–a novel of ambition, betrayal, and passion.

New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell has escaped her past… her hard-hearted stepfather, murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women where she spent 2 years.

Now as one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s can’t help but be inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her promising future, her love, her friendships, and her very life.

“Fascinating…an enchanting glimpse of Jazz Age New York.” –Christina Baker Kline, #1 NYT bestselling author of Orphan Train and A Piece of the World

 

unnamed-2unnamed-1unnamed

What is your bag of choice?

I’m obsessed with bags. Vintage bags. New bags. My great grandmother’s bags. Bags I buy that are impractical but that I can just look at in my closet and be happy about.

But my favorite everyday bag is this Gucci Jackie O that I bought to celebrate a book contract I signed in 2009. I have had it repaired 3 times.

The Jackie was originally called the ‘Constance’ but was re-named in honor of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis after she was photographed several times wearing the bag while working as a consulting editor at publishing firm Doubleday. I had loved the bag for years but Gucci had stopped making it and then in 2009 they started to reissue it.

 

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products

Too many. I carry around enough product so that if I got stranded in a blizzard in a New York hotel room without any luggage I could completely be dinner party ready. From Caudalie Beauty Elixir- a really refreshing spray to my Chanel light blue eye pencil to use on the inside bottom lid. And perfume. Always a small spray bottle of my go to perfume. Une Rose by Fredrick Malle. Given my name probably it won’t surprise you that I am addicted to rose perfumes. And this is my favorite. It’s the only perfume that when I’m wearing it – everyone from cab drivers to bank tellers – ask me what I’m wearing.

 

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)

The Glass Ocean. A wonderful novel by Lauren Willig, Beatriz Williams and Karen White. I’ve read all their individual books as well as the last novel they wrote together, The Forgotten Room and was enchanted.

 

Any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you 

My notebook (bought in Paris 15 years ago in my favorite green color and a pen from the same trip). Even if don’t open it. It’s like a talisman for me.

And the dog tags from all my beloved dogs are on my keychain.

And my wallet – it’s my mom’s Louis Vuitton wallet. She died 21 years ago and I’ve been using it ever since.

 
MJRB&W

 

Follow M.J.:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

 

What’s in my Bookish {Beauty} Bag? ~ Elyssa Friedland

Books are basically the chicest accessory you can have and its even better when the author writing these books is just as chic.  Elyssa Friedland is just that author.  She first graced our TBR’s with her debut novel, Love and Miss Communication and her latest, The Intermission has been getting high praise and making all the “Best of Summer” lists.  The Intermission takes on the subject of how well do we really know the person we are sleeping next to?  Elyssa was so kind to share her fabulous bag and accessories with me as well as introducing me to a beauty line I had never heard of!  Oh be still my books and beauty heart ❤

Intermission cover jpg

via Amazon ~

A HelloGiggles Best New Release
A PopSugar Best Book of July
A BookBub Editor’s Pick
A SheReads Best Book of Summer
A GoodReads Buzzy New Release
A Mind Body Green Best Book of July
A PureWow Best Beach Read of Summer 2018

Have you ever had a secret so gut-wrenching you couldn’t tell anyone, not even the person who shares your bed?

Told from the alternating perspectives of a husband and wife who both have something to hide, this incisive novel pulls back the curtain on a seemingly-happy marriage, posing the question: how much do we really know–and how much should we want to know–about the people we love the most?

After five long years, the unshakable confidence Cass Coyne felt as a bride is gone. Her husband, Jonathan, on the other hand, is still smitten. It’s true that the quirks he once found charming in his wife–her high standards, her refusal to clean the dishes–are beginning to grate. But for him, these are minor challenges in a healthy relationship.

So it comes as a complete shock to Jonathan when Cass suddenly requests a marital “intermission”: a six-month separation during which they’ll decide if the comfortable life they’ve built is still the one they both want.

Aside from a monthly custodial exchange of their beloved dog, contact will be limited. But as the months pass, they begin to see that calculated silences just like these have helped to drive them apart–and that it may finally be time to confront the blistering secrets they’ve been avoiding.

IMG_2495

What is your bag of choice?

The Mansur Gavriel leather bucket bag. I have it in black and tan. It can be worn cross body, on one shoulder and sometimes I tie the strap to make it shorter and wear it in the crook of my elbow. I hate bags with lots of compartments and zippers. I just want one big receptacle for my stuff.

What are your top favorite beauty picks?  

Youngblood is my favorite makeup brand. It’s organic and the color selection is very cool. The lipstick is long-lasting and I swear by the shade Just Pink. I also love Laura Geller black mascara. It thickens and lengthens but doesn’t make me look like a stripper. Giorgio Armani is my brand of choice for foundation. 

 

What do you always carry in your bag/purse/carry-on for beauty products?  

Wallet, phone and sunglasses are typically all I take with me. Sometimes a lipstick if I remember. I’m a relatively no frills person and am totally comfortable going out during the day without makeup. That will probably change as I get older but I’m hoping to ride this au natural thing through my thirties. The sunglasses are an absolute requirement, even in the winter. I think I have light sensitivity (or maybe I just like being able to pretend I don’t see people on the street I don’t feel like talking to!). 

 

What are you currently reading (can be books/magazines)?

The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang on my Kindle and I’m listening to The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand. Both are excellent and I’m not just saying that. 

 

And any other fun item/must-have that you always have with you?

My ear buds for my iPhone because I am always listening to a book on Audible. If I forget them, I’m one unhappy camper. 

Elyssa.Friedland. credit Lucia Engstrom

Follow Elyssa:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

 

What’s in my Bookish “BEACH” Bag? ~ Elizabeth Klehfoth

All These Beautiful Strangers was getting major buzz before it even hit shelves.  Tapped as the potential next Gone Girl and optioned by Bruna Papandrea’s Made Up Stories for development, this debut novel by Elizabeth Klehfoth is a thrilling page-turner that deals with elite boarding schools, missing family members, and a mysterious secret society.  I was thrilled when Elizabeth shared her beach bag with us and let us know her must-haves and current reads.  Keep your eye on her readers, I see many great things from Miss Klehfoth ❤

AllTheseBeautifulStrangers_HC

via Amazon ~

“This is going to be big.” –Entertainment Weekly

“Juicy, clever, and beguiling.”- Cecily von Ziegsar, author of the Gossip Girl novels

A young woman haunted by a family tragedy is caught up in a dangerous web of lies and deception involving a secret society in this highly charged, addictive psychological thriller that combines the dishy gamesmanship of Gossip Girl with the murky atmosphere of The Secret History.

One summer day, Grace Fairchild, the beautiful young wife of real estate mogul Alistair Calloway, vanished from the family’s lake house without a trace, leaving behind her seven-year old daughter, Charlie, and a slew of unanswered questions.

Years later, seventeen-year-old Charlie still struggles with the dark legacy of her family name and the mystery surrounding her mother. Determined to finally let go of the past, she throws herself into life at Knollwood, the prestigious New England school she attends. Charlie quickly becomes friends with Knollwood’s “it” crowd.

Charlie has also been tapped by the A’s—the school’s elite secret society well known for terrorizing the faculty, administration, and their enemies. To become a member of the A’s, Charlie must play The Game, a semester-long, diabolical high-stakes scavenger hunt that will jeopardize her friendships, her reputation, even her place at Knollwood.

As the dark events of past and present converge, Charlie begins to fear that she may not survive the terrible truth about her family, her school, and her own life.

Beach bag_BlissBeautyBooks

What is your bag of choice for the beach?

I have a simple Nautilux striped canvas tote that fits my beach towel and essentials.

What do you always carry in your beach bag for beauty products?

I keep things pretty simple in terms of beauty products when I head to the beach. I always pack my Burt’s Bees Beeswax Lip Balm–it contains Vitamin E and peppermint oil, so my lips always feel moisturized and fresh, and my GlamGlow Mega Illuminating Moisturizer for my face, which is great for dry skin and also enhances my complexion with a nice glow.  Sunblock is a must.  I use Equate Sport Sunscreen SPF 30, because it gives me good coverage and doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily. I also pack a couple of black elastic hair ties so I can keep my hair up and off my face.  

What are your top favorite beauty picks?

For every day, I use Origins Checks and Balances face wash, Cetaphil Moisturizing Cream (it’s the only body lotion where I can be 100% sure I won’t break out), CoverGirl Outlast Stay Fabulous 3-in-1 foundation, CoverGirl Clean powder, Almay Gel Smooth Liner in black, Almay Intense I-Color Everyday Neutrals eye shadow for blue eyes (I love these palettes!  They really make my eyes pop and I never get creases), and CoverGirl Full Lash Bloom mascara in black.  For nighttime, I’m obsessed with Origins High-Potency Night-a-Mins Mineral-Enriched Renewal Cream.  It smells faintly of oranges and I always wake up with my skin feeling smooth and soft.  

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently reading The High Season by Judy Blundell.  It’s an engrossing tale that follows three women in the town of Orient, located on the North Fork of Long Island, for one summer.  Ruthie Beamish is a fortysomething woman who lives in Orient year-round, but who must rent out her house during the summer in order to keep it.  Jem is Ruthie’s 15-year old daughter, who’s juggling a falling-out with the popular girls at school and a crush on the handsome and troublesome son of the tenant renting her house for the summer.  And then there’s Doe, a young woman who’s trying to make her way in the world despite a troubled past by rubbing elbows (and snapping Instagram shots) of the well-to-do in the Hamptons.  This poignant story explores the dividing line between the have and the have-nots, is full of laugh-out-loud lines and heartbreak, and is all about second chances, finding yourself, and new beginnings.  It’s a must-read for the beach this summer.

Any other fun item/must-have that you always have in your beach bag?

In addition to my beach read, I always pack my iPhone and headphones so I can listen to music while I veg, a fluffy beach towel, and my crystal rose and calico Raen sunglasses.

Elizabeth Klehfoth Author Photo

 

Follow Elizabeth:

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

Open Book with Susie Orman Schnall

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!

The Subway Girls COVER

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.

SusieOrmanSchnall

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.

 

Follow Susie:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

 

*Thanks to BookSparks for facilitating this interview.

 

Open Book and a Beauty Bonus Round ~ with Jenna Blum

We have an extra special, extra fabulous guest today who is a sparkly Boston gal whose latest gem of a read is out now!!!!  Drumroll and marquis lights please….Jenna Blum is in the house and we have a special “Open Book” today!  The Lost Family is a non-negotiable for your summer reading list.  It is set over 3 decades, told from multiple perspectives and filled with love, loss and hope.  I am so thrilled to have Jenna on the blog and to support such a wonderful local author ❤

y648

via Amazon ~

The Lost Family is an extraordinary read, the kind of book that makes you sob and smile, the kind that gives you hope…. It is compassionate, masterful and disturbingly contemporary.”—Tatiana de Rosnay, bestselling author of Sarah’s Key

The New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Save Us creates a vivid portrait of marriage, family, and the haunting grief of World War II in this emotionally charged, beautifully rendered story that spans a generation, from the 1960s to the 1980s.

In 1965 Manhattan, patrons flock to Masha’s to savor its brisket bourguignon and impeccable service and to admire its dashing owner and head chef Peter Rashkin. With his movie-star good looks and tragic past, Peter, a survivor of Auschwitz, is the most eligible bachelor in town. But Peter does not care for the parade of eligible women who come to the restaurant hoping to catch his eye. He has resigned himself to a solitary life. Running Masha’s consumes him, as does his terrible guilt over surviving the horrors of the Nazi death camp while his wife, Masha—the restaurant’s namesake—and two young daughters perished.

Then exquisitely beautiful June Bouquet, an up-and-coming young model, appears at the restaurant, piercing Peter’s guard. Though she is twenty years his junior, the two begin a passionate, whirlwind courtship. When June unexpectedly becomes pregnant, Peter proposes, believing that beginning a new family with the woman he loves will allow him to let go of the horror of the past. But over the next twenty years, the indelible sadness of those memories will overshadow Peter, June, and their daughter Elsbeth, transforming them in shocking, heartbreaking, and unexpected ways.

Jenna Blum artfully brings to the page a husband devastated by a grief he cannot name, a frustrated wife struggling to compete with a ghost she cannot banish, and a daughter sensitive to the pain of both her own family and another lost before she was born. Spanning three cinematic decades, The Lost Family is a charming, funny, and elegantly bittersweet study of the repercussions of loss and love.

x300

 

1. What three celebrities/authors/figures- living or dead, would you want to have a bookclub with?

Hemingway, Frederick Douglass, Obama.

 

2. Current binge series?

The Handmaid’s Tale. I wish Season 3 would begin way before April 2019–we may be living in Gilead by then.

 

3. Last favorite book?

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead.

 

4. What 3 things to you pack in your bag for your dream vacation?  Where is it?

Book, iPad, snacks. A beach anywhere!

 

5. Sunday NYT or US Weekly?

NYT always.

 

6. Last person you sent a text message to?

My dear friend Stephanie Ebbert at the Boston Globe, who writes on gender issues.

 

7. Book you read that you wished you wrote?

The Stand by Stephen King.

 

8. Do you have a teacher who encouraged you to become a writer?

Yes! Mr. Laskowich at Watchung School in Montclair, NJ, who read to us each day for 1/2 hour before lunch. Mr. Phillip Stern at Glenfield Middle School in Montclair, who didn’t mind when I wrote a whole novel about him in 7th grade (I had a major crush).

 

9. Do you listen to music while you write? If so, who?

Never. Music to me is a language and it competes with the language in my head.

 

10. Describe your writing space?

It’s usually covered with images from the book I’m working on. Black Lab Woodrow snoring on bed because he finds writing very boring.

 

11. Coffee or tea?

COFFEE

 

12. Do you have a favorite book that you gift?

I generally give newly published books by friends to help them get out into the world.

 

13. Book that you wished they would make a movie out of?

Mine! 🙂 (Those Who Save Us, my first book, is under option. I’d love The Lost Family to become a movie as well—or a series on HBO, SHOWTIME, Hulu, Amazon Prime….)

 

14. If you could have one song as the theme song of your life what would it be and why?

Free To Be You & Me, because I believe in the sanctity of personal choice and respect.

 

15. What/Who inspires you?

Injustice inspires me to try & do something about it. Also the Obamas.

 

16. Bravo reality TV- yes or no?

Nope!

 

17. Favorite Instagram account?

My dear friend writer/ yoga guru Sara DiVello. Selma Blair. Reese Witherspoon’s book club.

 

18. If you could name just one lipstick after a book, what would you call it and what shade would it be? 

Those Who Save Us and it’d be blood red.

 

19. Current #TBR pile?

So much! I actually have a TBR ottoman. I’m traveling on book tour for The Lost Family right now so I’ll have to do this from memory. Many chef memoirs, continuing research for my next book. Anthony Bourdain. Curtis Sittenfeld short stories. Julian Barnes.

 

20. Best advice you’ve ever received?

“Jen, do your best.” My dad.

 
 
BONUS SECTION*
 
1. Favorite place to shop in Boston? Anthropologie!
2. Biggest fashion splurge? Anthropologie! 
3. Beauty must-haves? Anthropologie! Also concealer, waterproof mascara & eyeliner. I wear cat-eyes to the gym because I’m from Jersey originally and that’s what we do.
4. What do you carry in your purse for beauty products? Matte lipstick from Revlon that would stay on during a nuclear winter.
5. What type of purse/bag do you carry? Normally, I don’t—I have a Coach wristlet but I like to travel light. When traveling for book events, a Coach tote bag. 
FOLLOW Jenna: