Long before I worked in the Harper Perennial marketing department (back when my job involved writing back cover copy for mass market romances), I read Rachel Shukert’s first memoir, Have You No Shame? Recommended to me by my ex-boyfriend’s mother, HYNS is a collection of essays chronicling growing up Jewish in Omaha, Nebraska, and it was so funny that I couldn’t believe all the people drooling over Sloane Crosley (a perfectly worthy endeavor) weren’t drooling over it too.
So when I found out that we were publishing Rachel’s next book, I was beside myself with excitement. Everything Is Going to Be Great: An Underfunded and Overexposed European Grand Tour is just as funny as HYNS but perhaps even more widely appealing. Who wouldn’t love the chance to bum around Europe? To have accidental threesomes while in search of cheap dental surgery? To cry at the Anne Frank House (and not about Anne Frank)? To finally (sorta) grow up?
I’d also like to point out that Rachel is the only author I’ve almost seen Precious: Based on the Book Push by Sapphire with, a months-long endeavor of illness, hangovers, and mismatched schedules that ended when I watched it on a plane to Tokyo, wishing a) that I could actually hear anything through the crappy airplane headphones and b) that Rachel were there beside me. That is to say, she is one of the authors I most enjoy spending time with, whether with her book or in person, and I think you will too.