23 July 2010

Featuring . . . Everything Is Going to Be Great by Rachel Shukert

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.

Everything Is Going to Be Great at Powell's
Everything Is Going to Be Great at Book Depository
These links lead to affiliate programs.

Published by HarperCollins / Harper Perennial, July 27, 2010
ISBN-13: 9780061782350


Beth Kephart 7/23/10, 6:10 AM  

I had not heard a whisper about this one. Thank you. And I loved getting this glimpse of your youth!

Robin 7/23/10, 6:16 AM  

I did do the backpacking through Europe thing, though mine was in the late 80's, so this sounds great to me. Thanks for the heads up.

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Julie P. 7/23/10, 7:14 AM  

Oooh! I want to read this one. I absolutely adore coming of age stories - as you probably know.

Molly 7/23/10, 8:38 AM  

This is the first I have heard of this book, but it is a must read for me. I adore travel memoirs - especially those that take place in Europe!

bermudaonion 7/23/10, 9:26 AM  

This sounds perfect for me too!

nat @book, line, and sinker 7/23/10, 11:23 AM  

two of my favorite genres in one--sounds like a winner! haven't heard a peep about this one but will be on the lookout for it. love your friday spotlights--i can always find something new i want to read.

enjoy the weekend.

Andi 7/23/10, 12:49 PM  

I've heard the rumbling of hype about this one and I hadn't actually read a blurb until now. MUST try it since these are two genres I enjoy as well. Looks like a good one!

Anonymous,  7/23/10, 1:01 PM  

I did the backpacking thing in college, but it sounds like my experience was MUCH tamer. Still, I love me a good travel memoir, so I'm sure I'll be reading this at some point.

heavenisabookstore 7/23/10, 1:19 PM  

Ohh that looks good. I enjoy coming of age books too.

Margot 7/23/10, 2:44 PM  

I've always wanted to backpack Europe too. I'll do it through this book.

Sandy Nawrot 7/23/10, 4:42 PM  

Yeah, I never sowed my wild oats throughout Europe either. Too big of a chicken, but I'd totally do it now. Of course, I'll have to wait for the kids to move out! I may have to live vicariously through others as well. This sounds fun, and I love the title. I say that alot.

CGLnyc 7/23/10, 9:14 PM  

Thanks so much. Especially grateful for the tip on her signing her in NYC. I'll tell her BFR sent me. ;)

dining room table 7/24/10, 5:13 AM  

I am hearing this story in some of my friends. I get so interested that is why I search it in net. I am so lucky that I found it in this blog.

Jenners 7/25/10, 9:06 PM  

Oh ... this sounds like a good one!!! Funny travel memoirs are right up my alley!

Jennifer 7/27/10, 5:19 PM  

This sounds like its going to be a really great memoir/travel log. And I love the idea of getting to just travel around Europe, to find yourself in all the unexpected adventures. I always imagined myself traveling through Europe sometime in my 20s but right now, I'm not sure if that's going to happen. Still, it would be nice to read about someone else doing it.

Dawn @ sheIsTooFondOfBooks 8/2/10, 9:04 PM  

Add my name to the "I'll live vicariously thru the author's story" gang!

Jen - devourer of books 8/4/10, 12:33 PM  

I'm reading this right now and it is super entertaining. Sort of reminds me of David Sedaris when he talks about traveling, or the time he spent living in France.

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