Recommended: The Guy Not Taken

I am a fierce reader. If the book is that good (and there have been many that are), I will stay up all night to finish it. But lately, I have had less and less time to read. With 2 kids, various activities, school meetings, and of course, my own business, spare time is few and far between. And so unfortunately, reading has taken a hit.

But a few weeks ago, in an ongoing effort to keep up with my health, I joined a gym. And being the multi-tasker that I am (that, and the machines get bor-ing after about ten minutes) I've started reading while I work out. Of course, in an ongoing effort to keep up with my finances, I have been going to the library; so it's not like I'm reading just-released best sellers. I have been fairly lucky, however, and have found a couple of books by familiar authors that I ended up really enjoying.

One of them was The Guy Not Taken, by one of my new favorites, Jennifer Weiner. It's a collection of short stories, some old and some new; all well-written and intriguing. But what really got me: at the end of the book, there was a little blurb about each one; when and why she had written each story.

A few years ago, Jennifer Weiner had come to the Fairfield Library on a publicity tour for her then-latest book Goodnight, Nobody. I had read and enjoyed her previous books, so I went. And it turns out, not only is Jennifer a talented writer, but she's a really cool person, and a really engaging speaker. She chatted with the crowd like we were a bunch of girlfriends she was catching up with; telling stories of her grandmother, and the movie that was coming out based on one of her books (In Her Shoes, starring--in her words--her new bff, Cameron Diaz). She wasn't stuck up at all, nor was she a jaded writer just going through the motions; each of her stories was funny and full of zest--I'd definitely recommend seeing her in person if you ever get the chance.

As for The Guy Not Taken, it's not just another chick lit book, as the title may lead you to believe; the stories are at once funny and sad, the characters come alive on the page and make you care about what happens to them. All in all, a great read.

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