-books that push at the margins of genre expectations
-serious subjects taken seriously but in a funny way
-stories about drinking that don't suffer from that Dylan Thomas-esque braggadocio
So how lucky for me to find all these things in one neat package. Nice Recovery (Penguin Books), Susan Juby's YA memoir, is out today - click through here to read an excerpt.
If you want to know why I like Susan Juby, I can best explain by pointing you to the following passages:
Books hoodwinked me into believing a set of lies about what was and was not important in life. In books and in my family, having a good vocabulary was crucially important. When I went to school it turned out to be a serious liability.And:
I've always wondered how other people experience alcohol, how their bodies interact with it, and how they feel after a few drinks. I'l tell you how I felt. Like I'd just been cast in the next John Hughes movie as the quirky but adorable female lead, who had coincidentally just been accepted to Harvard on a full scholarship and had recently won a gold medal in a popular sport.And:
Remember those old public-service drug announcments featuring a brain and a fried egg? You know the ones: This is your brain, then the image of the egg being fried: This is your brain on drugs. Turns out these ads were fairly accurate, although our brains are likely being poached, soft boiled, or scrambled, depending on what substances we use to cook them.
And from there I would further direct you to her very funny Alice, I Think series and her recent novels Getting the Girl and Another Kind of Cowboy.
*Full disclosure: I know Susan. I met her after I interviewed her on the publication of her first book, Miss Smithers. The thing is, even before I knew her, I knew I liked her work. So I trust my judgment. You can make up your own mind.