This Friday and every Friday for the next several months I'll be featuring a book in the Harper Perennial Imprint. Some were recently published, some will be released later this year, all are worth a closer look.
I am a fairly eclectic reader, but there are a few genres I'm attracted to more than others. Two of them are coming-of-age stories and travel memoirs. When I realized that Rachel Shukert's new book Everything Is Going to Be Great is both genres in one, I knew I was going to have to read it.
Here's the Harper Perennial summary:
When she lands a coveted nonpaying, nonspeaking role in a play going on a European tour, Rachel Shukert—with a brand-new degree in acting from NYU and no money—finally scores her big break. And, after a fluke at customs in Vienna, she gets her golden ticket: an unstamped passport, giving her free rein to "find herself" on a grand tour of Europe. Traveling from Vienna to Zurich to Amsterdam, Rachel bounces through complicated relationships, drunken mishaps, miscommunication, and the reality-adjusting culture shock that every twentysomething faces when sent off to negotiate "the real world"—whatever that may be.And what's more, Shukert has a reputation for being funny. This is not a spiritual or inspirational memoir, it's a look back on a carefree reckless time that can happen only when we're in our twenties. Although I'm sure Shukert had a wild time, I was glad to see that Entertainment Weekly concluded their review by saying, "But lurking beneath the jabs and one-liners is an affecting—and pretty unforgettable—coming-of-age tale."
I missed out on the backpacking through Europe craze that was popular in the 1970s because I was focused on school. And by the time I crossed the ocean for the first time, I was twenty-eight and a doctoral student, and I was there as a professional. I'm glad I'll have a chance to live vicariously through Shukert.
Everything Is Going to Be Great will be released on July 27. If you're in New York City, you can attend a signing that night at McNally Jackson, a bookstore that was just featured by Dawn at She Is Too Fond of Books. To learn more about Rachel Shukert, visit her website or follow her on Twitter.
This book was featured as part of my Spotlight on the Harper Perennial imprint. For information about the imprint, please read Erica Barmash's welcome note posted here on June 18, 2010. I encourage you to add your reviews of Harper Perennial books to the review link-up page; it's a great way to discover Good Books for Cool People. You might also want to visit the The Olive Reader, the Harper Perennial blog.
These links lead to affiliate programs.