THE SMART ONE
AND THE PRETTY ONE
BY CLAIRE LAZEBNIK
"This sparkling novel about two sisters is both witty and stylish. Even if you don't have a sister of your own, you won't be able to resist LaZebnik's charming take on modern relationships. Read it!" - Holly Peterson, bestselling author of The Manny When Ava Nickerson was a child, her mother jokingly betrothed her to a friend's son, and the contract the parents made has stayed safely buried for years. Now that still-single Ava is closing in on thirty, no one even remembers she was once "engaged" to the Markowitz boy. But when their mother is diagnosed with cancer, Ava's prodigal little sister Lauren comes home to
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I grew up in Newton, Massachusetts, the youngest of five kids, and went to college about twenty minutes away from home. One of my sisters and my brother were both already enrolled at the same school, so it wasn't exactly a leap into the unknown--neither was my subsequent move to New York, since two of my sisters and my brother lived there by then. But when I moved to Los Angeles in the mid eighties, I was finally mapping out some new territory (although my sister Nell joined me seconds later). I thought eventually I'd move back to the east coast. Turns out I was wrong.
Now I live in the Pacific Palisades (a city in Los Angeles, not far from the ocean) and my four kids are growing up true Californians: they wear tank tops and flip-flops and don't even know what a "snow day" is. My husband writes for TV which doesn't impress people all that much until I mention that he worked on "The Simpsons" for a year and a half and then people get really impressed. Especially teenaged type people.
When I was a kid, I wanted people to think I was really smart, so I read the most impressive writers I could get my hands on, like DH Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. No one was going to catch me with a child's book in my hand. In college, I majored in English Literature and read all the traditional Brits, like Austen, Bronte, James, and Eliot. Charles Dickens was the best, though: here was a guy who not only knew how to entertain and wrote totally absorbing page-turners, but who also made you feel like you wanted to be a better person by the time you finished any of his books. I love Dickens-not his most famous books, though, but the weirder, more modern ones like Our Mutual Friend and Bleak House.
I doubt my night table reading pile would impress anyone these days-now it's all about keeping myself entertained enough to make it to the end of a book, no easy task for someone like me who has no attention span. Ironically, I now prefer kids' books to most adult ones (I like to read what my kids are reading, if it's good)-JK Rawling, obviously, but also Suzanne Collins, Nancy Farmer, Louis Sachar, and Jeanne Duprau, among others. But my true mainstay is fantasy. The best fantasy writers are closer to the tradition of the great Victorians than most modern "literary" writers, as far as I'm concerned. My current favorites are Robin Hobb, George RR Martin, Tanith Lee, and Neil Gaiman.
Two of the funniest people I know have written, collectively, several of the funniest books I've read, so check out Cathryn Michon and Bruce Cameron. You'll laugh a lot, but you'll also keep thinking, "Hey, that's kind of really true." Cathryn writes a blog for ivillage.com and somehow manages to convey something fresh and interesting in every entry.
Best book of all time that doesn't have a romance and was written by someone who's still alive? Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. If you haven't read it, you should, even if you wouldn't normally touch something that falls under the sci-fi category. But don't read any of the other Ender books. Only Ender's Game-it's perfect.
WANT TO WIN THIS BOOK?
THANKS TO MIRIAM AND THE
HACHETTE BOOK GROUP, I HAVE
5 COPIES OF THIS "PRETTY" BOOK
TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT YOU
NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!
--U.S. AND CANADIAN RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!
HOW TO ENTER:
+1 MORE ENTRY: NOW TELL WHY YOU CHOSE TO BE THE SMART ONE OR THE PRETTY ONE IN YOUR FIRST COMMENT
+1 MORE ENTRY: IF YOU BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY, LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW
6 PM, EST, SEPTEMBER 24