Are You Kidding Me? A Surprise Cover Reveal

Greetings from the Northern satellite office of Notes from the Shallow End. I hope your summer is going swimmingly. Get it? Swimmingly? Hehe.  Speaking of swimming, it may be warm where you are, but here it’s so cold I had to chisel through ice on my cereal bowl this morning. It’s so cold last night a bear climbed into my bed to snuggle.

I know we’re only partway through summer but it’s going fast. If you’re the type to start making your fall reading lists ahead of time (because I know you’re just that organized) I have a book for you to put on your must-read list.

Stacey Gustafson is a writer whom I was lucky enough to meet at the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop back in April. I also got to see her bravely do stand-up. (Spoiler alert: she nailed it!) She also lives in California where it’s probably very warm right now. But I’m not bitter. Okay, yes I am. But despite the fact that I’m currently swaddled in layers of fleece and Stacey  is probably lolling about on a beach like some kind of, um….beach loll-er,  I’m happy to help with the surprise cover reveal for her new book, Are You Kidding Me? My Life With An Extremely Loud Family, Bathroom Calamities, and Crazy Relatives, due to be released in fall 2014.

Are You Kidding Me?

Laugh-out- loud funny, Stacey is the person you wish was your BFF or at least your neighbor. A talented humorist, blogger, and mother of two teens (which alone should qualify her to win all the things her work has also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, several Not Your Mother’s BooksMidlife BoulevardErma Bombeck Writers’ WorkshopGeneration FabulousZestNowMore MagazinePleasanton Patch, Lost in Suburbia, and Better After 50.  Her new book will be available in print and eBook on Amazon, B&, and other retailers. Here’s a sneak peek from the publisher:

Hop into your minivan and get ready to cruise through the crazies of Suburbia! Humorist Stacey Gustafson makes an entertaining tour guide in Are You Kidding Me?, a brash, voyeuristic peek inside the topsy-turvy world of suburban motherhood, midlife madness, and all points in between. If you’ve ever called SWAT on a neighbor, faked a heart attack in church, or pulled your hair out while questioning the sanity of your family, Stacey’s tongue-in-cheek brand of humor will resonate with you. Enjoy the ride and don’t forget to fasten your seat belt.

Now, doesn’t that sound like the perfect fall book? Nothing better curling up with a hilarious read with plenty of laughs to keep you warm when there’s a chill in the air. Now, I’ve got to go put on another layer of fleece, because the bear isn’t returning my calls.  Happy Wednesday, everyone!


Summer Reading List 2013

Morning Readers!

Warm weather is finally here, school is almost out, and for me, that signals the return of my Summer Book List.  Just to set the stage, I’m an obsessive reader. Book. Nerd. As in, I get panicky if I arrive at a vacation destination having neglected to bring a book. I will literally make my husband drive to a local bookstore before we check  into the hotel. (As I type this, I’m beginning to realize that his reasons for buying me a Nook weren’t entirely altruistic . Well played, husband. Well played.)

Before every summer, I spend a month or so researching what’s new-ish in the publishing world, and compiling my list so I am never at a loss for a book when warm weather hits. There’s just something about kicking back in a lounge chair with a book and a glass of iced tea while my kids play in the sprinkler that epitomizes summer. Also, our summer always includes a trip to a cabin on a lake, where there is no TV or internet. (I think last year I read eight books when I was up there.) This year I decided to share what’s on my list, because the next best thing to reading all of these great books is to recommend them to others.

My tastes lean heavily toward memoir, with some humor  and fiction thrown in as well.  So if you’re  like me, always on the hunt for an interesting read, maybe you’ll find something on this list that grabs you. So, without further ado, here’s what I’ll be reading this summer:


The Interestings The Interestings/Meg Wolitzer





WonderWonder/R. J. Palcio




The Burgess Boys The Burgess Boys: A Novel/Elizabeth Strout





The Astor Orphan The Astor Orphan: A Memoir/Alexandra Aldrich





Chanel Bonfire Chanel Bonfire: A Memoir/Wendy Lawless





Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls/David Sedaris





A Spoonful of Sugar A Spoonful of Sugar: A Memoir/Brenda Ashford





Ladies Night Ladies Night/Mary Kay Andrews





The Tao of Martha The Tao of Martha/Jen Lancaster





A Dog Walks Into a Nursing Home A Dog Walks into a Nursing Home: Lessons in the Good Life from an Unlikely Teacher/Sue Halpern





calling Me Home Calling Me Home/Julie Kibler





 At Least My Belly Hides My CanklesaAt Least My Belly Hides My Cankles/Paige Kellerman









Thinking of YouThinking of You/Jill Mansell






Time Flies Time Flies/Claire Cook





The Why of Things The Why of Things/Elizabeth Winthrop






The Engagements The Engagements: A Novel/J. Courtney Sullivan





The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girlss The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls/Anton DiSclafani





Silver Star The Silver Star: A Novel/Jeannette Walls





Dad is Fat Dad is Fat/Jim Gaffigan






The Smart One The Smart One/Jennifer Close







Wishing you a comfy spot in the shade and ice cubes that never melt. Happy reading everyone!


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