Diana Spechler’s 5 Do’s and a Do-Over

We’re giddy with excitement. Our cheeks are flushed with joy. Our hearts are beating faster. Because we’ve fallen in love- yet again. Diana Spechler is our latest crush. When we read her latest novel, Skinny (out today!) we were beyond impressed. And we’re not alone. Some of our favorite authors, Allison Winn Scotch, Laura Dave and Janelle Brown have all given Skinny majuh praise! What especially intrigued us about Skinny is it’s loosely based on Diana’s real life experiences making it an even juicier read.

Synopsis: In the aftermath of her Orthodox Jewish father’s death, twenty-six-year-old Gray Lachmann finds herself compulsively eating. Desperate to stop bingeing, she abandons her life in New York City for a job at a southern weight-loss camp. There, caught among the warring egos of her devious co-counselor Sheena, the self-aggrandizing camp director Lewis, his attractive assistant Bennett, and a throng of combative teenage campers, she is confronted by a captivating mystery: her teenage half-sister Eden, whom Gray never knew existed. Now, while unraveling her father’s lies, Gray must tackle her own self-deceptions and take control of her body and her life.

Watch the book trailer here.

And if you leave a comment, you’ll be entered to win one of five copies of Skinny! We’ll randomly select the winners after 6pm PST on Thursday, April 28th.

We’re thrilled to have Diana on the site today and love her 5 Do’s- especially #3. Neither of us ever thought we’d be ever see the inside of a yoga studio but Lisa started yoga when she was pregnant and has fallen in love with it and Liz has recently started getting her downward dog on and isn’t lookin’ back!



1. DO change things up. At 31, I’ve lived in more than ten towns and cities, sometimes just for brief stretches. My mother, who, despite infinite electronic alternatives, still keeps a Roll-A-Dex, has a dozen “Diana’s address” cards.

I’ve loved the adventures—traversing the country, living for days on gas station snacks and Subway veggie six-inchers, learning that one region’s rummage sale is another region’s garage sale is another region’s yard sale, and turning every place into my comfort zone. And then leaving.

Recently, I was shocked to open my mailbox and find a jury duty summons. I pressed a palm to my chest and whispered, “How did they find me?” as if I were a Wild West outlaw on the lam. I wondered if it was time to move again.

2.  DO give yourself permission to do the art you want to do. So many of us, yearning to be creative, take jobs that promise “opportunities for creativity,” when what that really means is that you’ll write memos.

If you want to dance, dance. If you want to do a leaf rubbing, grab a leaf. If you think you have a book in you, take a writing class at night and get started. Everyone’s entitled to create freely. The nicest thing I do for myself is ignore the voices in my head that yell, “You suck! Get a job! No…a real job!”

3.  Do yoga. I used to think that yoga was for wimps, that if I didn’t bench-press, I wasn’t worth my salt. Okay, I never bench-pressed. But I must have fancied myself some kind of jock, running for miles and miles as my bunion grew and whined and protested. Yoga is a sanity-saver. A bunion-saver, too. Also, it’s not for wimps.

4.  DO own red high heels. I just got a pair. Peep-toe. They make life better. (Don’t lecture me about my bunion.)

5.  DO buy books. If you are a voracious reader (yay for voracious readers!), I understand that you might not be able to afford three new books a week, but at least buy one every month or two. Books are my go-to gifts for birthdays and holidays. Even when there’s no occasion, if I love a book, I buy a few copies and give them to friends. If I feel like doing something nice for myself, I buy a guilty-pleasure book—one of those I have no business reading if I still haven’t read Mrs. Dalloway or Crime and Punishment.

Just buy books. We can’t let television win!


DON’T go through your twenties without learning how to properly apply makeup. I made this mistake, and now I don’t have the patience to learn. Old dog, new tricks, or something like that. I have no idea what to do with my face, except stare at it in the mirror and wish I were married to a makeup artist.

For more information about the lovely and talented Diana Spechler, visit her website and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

Thanks, Diana!




61 Responses to “Diana Spechler’s 5 Do’s and a Do-Over”

  1. Emilee

    Great advice! Suddenly feeling a desire to sign up for a yoga class and go buy red shoes!

  2. Jerriann Graff

    I agree about not letting the television win… I love reading books and will read any book I can get my hands on. I used to buy a few books a week but becuase I am now unemployed I can not buy any, I can’t even afford to go to the library so I am reading books in my to read pile and have found ones I wish I would have read a long time ago…

  3. Nina

    You always feature such great books on this site, and it sounds like you’ve delivered again! I love the premise of it! (Okay, so maybe when I watch all those weight-loss camp shows I secretly wished I worked at one of them…). And Ms. Spechler gave some really great Do’s! Thanks again, CLIND!

  4. Shannon J.

    Oh why do you do this to me?!!! Another must read book!!! I totally agree with #5!! and the don’t- couldn’t agree more because if that doesn’t sum me up nothing does and now at 36 I’m almost afraid to try putting make-up on for fear of resembling a clown!!! oh and might just have to try #4 bunions be damned!! :)

  5. Sara P

    I agree with the Yoga comment….Yoga has saved me (and my body) in more ways than I will ever realize.

    The book sounds fabulous! :)

  6. Sharon Cuslidge

    Sounds like a great read! I solved the make-up problem. I just don’t wear any!

  7. Kerrie

    This is one book I will have to read! I started yoga about 6 months ago mostly for meditative purposes…. thought it would bring calm to a chaotic time in my life :) It does have that benefit, but it also gave me kick-A** abs! Diana’s DON’T cracked me up because my sister (1 year older) “taught” me how to wear make-up when I was ~ 13 y/old. So, I went through my 20’s looking sorta like a teenage clown college dropout!

  8. Kimmi

    I’m too boring to change things up and I keep telling myself to do yoga, but I’ve got the red shoes and I do buy books….I guess it’s a start.

  9. Rachel

    This one sounds really good.
    I have to say I agree with the learning make-up one. No one ever taught me how to do make-up so what I know comes from my time in the theatre. That doesn’t always transfer well to day to day wear. So I got a few books, watched some YouTube videos and I’m doing much better now. A lot less likely to be spotted from space.

  10. valerie

    I love #5. I love to read and always have something to read with me. Yes, I will read cereal boxes if that is all that is available. I used to buy whatever book I wanted, but now that I am unemployed, the library is my best friend. I keep a list of books I want for gifts, and Skinny is on that list, unless I win it here first. :)

  11. Shonda

    I agree about not letting TV win. For years I was ruled by my numerous TV shows. Then along came DVR and I didn’t feel quite so trapped. Now I’ve cut back on how many TV shows I watch and my reading time has increased! I love, LOVE yoga. It has done wonders for my sleep and overall attitude. Great list! Thanks for hosting the giveaway. I’m excited to read SKINNY!

  12. Lori M

    Pick me, pick me. I want this book. And it’s true…yoga is no joke!

  13. Michele

    This sounds like an absolutely fantastic book! I am truly looking forward to reading it.

  14. nova c.

    would love to win this book! all of the do’s and the one don’t are great suggestions! i even read that moving helps people with depression, which i suffer from. it gets you out of a rut and gets you to a different frame of mind and changes your surroundings. putting this book on my must read list!

  15. Tiffany D.

    I also love #5. I can’t read enough! While most of my family and my husbands family love to read, our daughter came out fully against it. She reads at school and on a rare occasion she will read on her own at home. Most of the time I have to assign her reading time. I am still on a desperate search to find that one book that makes her realize how much better books are than tv. I won’t give up!

  16. Jeannette P

    Excellent list! Sounds like a great book ~ hope I win!

  17. Emily

    While I love my e-reader, and downloading $0.99 books and FREE books (Holla!!) makes me uber-giddy, there is nothing like the smell and feel of a brand-spanking new book with crisp pages, crease-free covers, and no pieces of whatever is lying around to hold my place!!!! Also, LOVE my red shoes!!

  18. Kara Mitchell

    I do not have red heels, because I am afraid I would fall off. I do buy books at the right store.

  19. curlysarah29

    I love her Do/Do Not list. I have said to my mom several times that I am sure I haven’t been summoned to jury duty because I am always moving – a change of scenery does wonders sometimes. :) And YES to yoga!! I recently started Bikram (105 degrees + 40% humidity + 90 minutes = the most intense thing I’ve ever done!!) and I love it.

  20. nina priddy

    # 5 is my very favorite, always love buying books, they’re my weakness !!

  21. Elise

    Wish I’d read that DON’T many years ago! I have the same issue, and was mortified when in my thirties, my little sister had to pull me aside and give me a makeup lesson. Sigh… at least it was a good lesson…

  22. Wanda Z

    #5 is my favorite!! Love, love buying books….and of course, reading them. Would love to read this one!

  23. Stephanie S.

    I completley agree with #5, books are soemthing I never deprive myself of!

  24. Meredith Schorr

    I had the pleasure of meeting Diana when she book doctored my first novel. She’s incredibly talented. I’d love to win a copy of Skinny but, if not, I’ll still buy a copy and perhaps get it autographed if she agrees to critique my second manuscript!

  25. Mary

    What great advice ! Good for her for following her heart. I’m hoping it is not to late for me.

  26. Betsy

    I love her don’t!!!! Totally agree! I didn’t start learning until I turned 30, by then most of the styles I wish I could do I’m to old for.

  27. faith w

    I have lived her don’t, through my 20’s and now i’m 39 and NEVER wear foundation. I fix my eyes, quickly, and some gloss

    kyfaithw at aol dot com

  28. Diana Spechler

    Obviously, don’t choose me to win a book, because I wrote the thing, so I have a giant box of them in my apartment. Just wanted to hop on to thank all of you! Your comments have made my day. Meredith, you are lovely and talented and I hope to see you at my book launch! Mary, it’s never too late! All of you, if you live in New York, Boston, or Texas, I hope you’ll come to one of my book parties! http://www.dianaspechler.com/events

  29. Katy Santandrea

    I’m pretty sure this is my favourite Dos & Don’t list on here yet. Also, pretty sure that I want to be BFFs with Diana Spechler!!
    Definitely putting this book on my “need to read” list!

  30. Karin Erickson

    HI everyone! I loooooooooove the fact that one of the “Do’s” is to buy books! Obviosuly I am an avid reader. I love reading the first couple of pages of a book, and having that feeling like…”yup, this is gonna be a great book”. Thats what gets me sucked in. If those first few pages are good, I’m hook, line and sinker!! LOL! Recently my mother has past away and talk about passing down something to your kids! She absolutley loved to read! Anywhere, Anytime. Obviously that has been past down to me. And, not only me, but it was one of my mother’s favorite things to do with my 13 yr old niece. They would LWAYS go to the library and sit for hours and look at the books and then take more than they should home! LOL! So to have that as a “DO”, well……..that is ONE “DO” that I will DO!!! Thanks again for all these great books that you spotlight!

  31. Jennifer C

    Sounds like a fun read! Thanks for sharing CLIND! Love her do’s and don’ts

  32. Lauren

    Love Diana’s do’s and don’t – especially #2 – one I really need to work on! :)

  33. Jessica

    Thanks for the opportunity to win! Sounds like a great book.

  34. Susan S

    I totally agree with #5 and want to start living #1! Thanks for the giveaway!

  35. Nicole T.

    I buy lots and lots of books! I couldn’t imagine live without books and music. I definitely own a pair of red heels. Ooh-la-la. lol I tried yoga ONCE. Darn, it’s tough. I never went back, but I want to just to prove to myself that I can do it.
    Great list. I hope I win this book!!

  36. Liz

    Diana!!! Thank YOU so much for being on the site-we LOVED your book and your Do’s and Don’t! xoxo, L&L

  37. Nina

    I may have lived at as many different places. I have actually taken up two pages in my mom’s address book!!

  38. Jordan W.

    This book is right up my alley! I cannot wait to read it!!

    And for the red high heels – I’m on top of it with 4 pairs :) What can I say, I love my shoes!

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