Allison Winn Scotch's 5 BEST EVERS

Today's guest: Allison Winn Scotch Why we love her: Y'all know we've loved her for years--since the day Lisa stumbled upon her book, Time of My Life, in Barnes and Noble.

Her latest: The Song Remains the Same (Out in paperback today!)

The scoop on it: She’s a wife, a sister, a daughter…but she remembers nothing. Now she must ask herself who she is and choose which stories—and storytellers—to trust. One of only two survivors of a plane crash, Nell Slattery wakes up in the hospital with no memory of it, or who she is, or was. Now she must piece together both body and mind with the help of family and friends who have their own agendas. Although Nell can’t remember all that came before, something just doesn’t sit right with the versions of her history given by her mother, her sister, and her husband.

Desperate for a key to unlock her past, she filters through photos, art, music, and stories, hoping that something will jog her memory, and soon, in tiny bits and pieces, Nell starts remembering. . . .

Our thoughts: One of Lisa's favorite books of the year was even better the second time around.

Fun fact: Today marks the 6th time Allison has been a guest on CLIND!

Giveaway: FIVE copies! Just leave a comment and be entered to win. We'll select the winners on Sunday, January 6th after 3PM PST.


BEST SONG: Nope, can't do it. Music is my muse, and my "best song" depends on whatever is happening in my life at that particular moment, at that particular emotional need. That said, I think my go-to answer for this, simply because it will never NOT be one of my greatest songs ever, is Read My Mind by The Killers. Everything about the song resonates with me: the beat, the melody, Brandon Flowers' voice, the haunting but uplifting lyrics about perseverance and finding a better life…I don't know. It's just…brilliant. And sometimes it makes me cry and sometimes, it's the background music for a long run. Any time, any situation, it's basically perfect.

BEST BOOK: Oh lord. I can't choose a best book. Seriously. There are too many influences, too many beloved chapters. How about if instead, I offer my best books (that I read) of 2012? My three favorites were WILD (a raw, gorgeous, searing memoir), THE FAULT IN OUR STARS (I cannot say enough good things about the genius and emotional poignancy of this book), and BEAUTIFUL RUINS (so clever and creative, and I admired the heck out of what the author pulled off because I don't think I could have done the same thing).

BEST MOVIE: I am a huge pop culture fan, so this is hard for me. I know it's a bit of a cliché, but I'm going to go with Love, Actually. From a writer's perspective, I find the movie genius: the way that all of the plot threads both stand alone and weave together.  And then, from a romantic's perspective, I love the honest, hilarious, touching exploration of love in all its different forms. I don't think I'll ever tire of watching Colin Firth jump into the lake full of eels or Hugh Grant singing Christmas carols to little kids or Andrew Lincoln exposing his inner-feelings on flash cards. It's all just perfect.

BEST MOMENT: Ooh, toughie. Of course, I want to say the birth of my kids or marrying my husband, but honestly, the first thing that comes to mind is turning 30. Which was quite a few years ago. But I remember my parents called me and said, "Wow, can you believe that you're 30? Are you overwhelmed with it?" Or something like that. And I said, "No, actually, I feel like I've earned it. Like I'm finally an adult and that everything that I've done so far has led up to here." My 20s were tumultuous in the way that one's 20s often are – trying to figure out my relationships, my career, all of that. By the time I hit 30, I felt like I had a certain peace with everything, all of the choices I'd made, all of the wrong turns I'd taken. It was sort of this really gratifying moment: okay, I'm here, it's great, I'm happy, exhale.

BEST ADVICE: Don't Quit. Growing up with the last name of "Winn," my father's go-to line was "What's your last name?" What he meant by that is actually the verb version of my last name: win. It wasn't that he expected us to win all the time, but he did expect us to carry ourselves like winners, which translated to the fact that we kept going, we didn't quit, and we always tried our best even if we really, really didn't want to. Now that I'm long past childhood, this message has served me well: in the book world (when my first manuscript didn't sell or when sales from my debut weren't what I wanted and I had to regroup to figure out how to sell my second book) or even in my marriage (when the relationship ebbs into the more difficult moments that long marriages inevitably face). Don't quit. Keep going. There's a lot of wisdom in that simple advice. Quitting never feels good in the long-term, but finding that you have the strength to come out on top – not necessarily victorious but still in a better place than you imagined – is the best reward possible.

Thanks, Allison! Happy New Year, everyone! xoxo, Liz & Lisa