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the everyman memoirs

The official blog of author Tali Nay.

The Boys in the Boat


If you haven't read this, you must find yourself a copy pronto. It is everything a good book should be. And it really happened.

That's all.

PS - Why didn't I ever become a rower? My arms would be so toned.




I know I've been overwhelming you with books posts lately, but wouldn't you know it that just after posting my top ten books (Top Ten Books that I Love), I've read a new one that just might bump something else out. And at the risk of subjecting you to a book reviewy post (isn't that what Goodreads is for?), I simply have to say that if you are a single girl--or anyone who thinks reading about significant female writers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who bucked tradition by staying (or at least preferring to be) single--you simply must read this book.

Let me be clear. I'm not one of those women who loves to hate on marriage or shout about how I don't need a man. It's true, I don't need a man and have most of the time found being single preferable to being in a relationship (the exception being the one time I was in love), but I am still a person who wants to be married. In that if I could choose for this, my life, to go any way, I would choose to someday have the opportunity to be married. So in that regard I don't relate as much to the author and her "awakeners'" single-or-bust mentality.

That said, our society could use a crash course on the single woman, and this book was consequently a fascinating and refreshing read. Because spinster didn't used to have such a negative connotation. Interesting then that it--spinsterhood--has over the course of time transformed into the one thing every girl hopes will never happen to her. And why exactly is that? How is it that we've come to believe that ending up alone is the worst possible thing that can ever happen to you? A question made even more blatantly ridiculous after reading about these remarkable, interesting, and fascinating women who not only achieved success and acclaim without a man by their sides, but also didn't spend decades of their lives drowning in the sea of societal pressure surrounding marriage. (Sister ain't got time for that, and, quite frankly, neither do you.) And that's what our society--or, at the very least, the minds of female singletons--could use less of; this constant drone of marriage and when it will happen and where it will happen and with whom it will happen and if it will happen and how many eggs I'll have left when it happens and what if there are no eggs left at all when it happens and maybe I should freeze some just in case it happens and on and on for the rest of the days of your bag lady, multi-cat owning unfortunateness. If you ask me, that is what sister ain't got time for. So get on with it. Life. Yours.


I finally did it.


I joined.


Heads in Beds


Here's why this memoir works. Well, it's fabulous. But more than that, it's an ideal kind of memoir to read. It's not so removed or unrelatable as many memoirs today are (I lived in the slums of some third world country for a year, I was in jail, I climbed mount Everest, blah blah blah.) True that those memoirs can be fascinating, but they have nothing to do with us and our lives. Heads in Beds offers both fascination (more like genuine shock and intrigue) AND accessibility. Relatability. The hotel industry affects all of us. Business trips, vacations, get-a-ways. We all stay there, and we all know nothing about what it's like behind the scenes. It's a dynamite combination.

If I were on Goodreads (I know, I've already admitted that I should be on Goodreads), I'd give it 4 out of 5, only because I did find the swearing excessive to the point of being distracting, but honestly, if you like memoirs and can tolerate some irreverence and more honesty than you might be comfortable with about what actually goes on inside our homes away from home, this book will be a treat. And if you don't believe me, here's a baby brick. Which should help you see it my way.


To Goodread or not to Goodread


I want to use Goodreads. People tell me I should use Goodreads. Everyone swears by Goodreads. And still I do not use Goodreads. Because, and I'm embarrassed to say this, I don't read very many books. Probably one of the worst things a writer can fess up to, but there you have it. I don't have time, and reading always ends up last on my priority list. Actually I take that back. Playing guitar always ends up last on my priority list. I still remember (because it was only last year) having to awkwardly tell Jake, my guitar teacher, that I was stopping lessons on account of not having enough time to practice. And yes, it kills me that I've lost some skill at the six string, but I did manage to strum out a song for my nephew this weekend while in town for his 4th birthday. Should've Been a Cowboy, one of his favorites. A boy after my own heart.

But back to the books. And the fact that I should read more, which I fully acknowledge. I should also use Goodreads, because after I read a book, I am filled with the desire to share my thoughts with others (read a deliciously revealing memoir on the plane over the weekend that I can't wait to tell you about). I guess where I struggle is the whole "catch up" aspect. If I joined Goodreads, I'd feel a pull to rate books I've read over the years so people would know that I have in fact read more than 5 books in my life. But what an overwhelming undertaking that would be. And most of them not even fresh in my memory. When (if) I do join, I think it's best to just start with now. Just promise you won't judge the piddly number of books I read. Piddly.

And for those of you who are on Goodreads, I'd be curious to know how you manage it. Do you backtrack and rate books you've read prior (even much prior) to joining? Or only the books you've read since joining?


Holiday Book Giveaways

I began my Christmas shopping this weekend. So far I'm spending way too much per gift (as well as spending way too much time in each store), but that's neither here nor there. Since most of you are probably also thinking about holiday gifts, I thought it might be nice to give some books away. So here's how it works:

Option #1: Anyone who posts a review of Schooled on Amazon or Goodreads will be entered to win one of a few signed copies I'll be giving away in time for Christmas. If you post a review on both of those sites, you'll be entered twice. Just contact me so that I'll know where the review is and make the connection that the reviewer is you. Use the email in the About Me sidebar on this blog if you don't have my personal contact info.

Option #2: There's a free book in it for anyone out there who gets their local indie bookstore (or library) to stock the book. Again, contact me so I know which store now has it and where to send your book.

Option #3: For shoppers out there looking to purchase at least 5 copies, contact me and I can send you a discount code to be used when you place the order.

**One last thing. Anyone receiving a free copy of Schooled will have the option of choosing a copy of my second book instead. Just bear in mind that it's only halfway done. So you might be waiting a long time. To the tune of a couple of years possibly. But still, it's an option. Email me with questions, and certainly to let me know if you're interested in participating in any of these giveaways. And whatever you do this shopping season, stay away from Anthropologie. Especially if they're having a dress sale.