The Art of Forgetting

Best Books of 2011 by Liz

We love this time of year!  Warm hats, scarves, sassy boots and a reason to curl up by the fire with a good book and drink hot chocolate.  And it's been a great year here at CLIND-we've had so many fantastic authors on and have enjoyed every single one. (Thank you authors!) We also launched our own e-book, The D Word and relaunched I'll Have Who She's Having this past June-Thanks for all your support-we truly appreciate each and every one of you. We also read a shitload of books in 2011.  And there were so many wonderful ones that making a short list was was VERY difficult.  In fact, Lisa and I had such a hard time deciding that we each decided to come up with our own list.  Look for her's later this week!

And what kind of end-of year post would this be without an AWESOME giveaway?  Leave a comment and you'll be entered to win a BUNDLE O' BOOKS that includes novels from Cecelia Ahern, Josie Brown, Jenny Nelson and Joanne Rendell, among others!  Check out the picture below to see all TEN books the winner will receive. We'll choose the winners on Monday December 26th after 6pm PST.

So without further adieu, here's my list.  And don't forget to tell me what YOUR fave novels of 2011 were!


1. Girls in White Dresses by Jennifer Close I read this debut while on vacay in Hawaii over the summer and let's just say that I'm pretty thankful neither of my kids drowned while I was engrossed of this witty, refreshing tale of a group of friends after they graduate from college and struggle with heartbreak and career changes, all while attending endless bridal showers. A MUST read if you were a big SATC fan-the narrative really captures the spirit of Carrie & co.  It's not too late to pick this up for your stocking!


2. The Art of Forgetting by Camille Noe Pagan Another great debut!  When Marissa's BFF Julia gets hit by a cab and suffers brain damage, it changes the dynamic of their friendship forever. As Julia struggles to regain her memory, things come up that Marissa would much rather forget and things get a bit complicated.  A engaging story about friendship and forgiveness that I couldn't put down.  I highly recommend you grab a copy for you and your bestie TODAY.  One of my favorite covers of the year too!


3.  Skipping A Beat by Sarah Pekkanen I. Loved. This. Book! As a self-delared emotional robot, I found myself bawling like a freakin' baby during the last few chapters of this delightful novel.  When Julia's husband Michael has a near-death experience, he rewrites the rules of their struggling marriage, forcing her to choose whether to stay and take a leap of faith or leave forever. Insightful but also with with a healthy dose of Pekkanen's trademark humor, you won't be able to put it down- I PROMISE!


4. The First Husband by Laura Dave When Annie's long-time boyfriend suddenly leaves her, she rebounds with a vengeance, marrying a down-to-earth chef after three short months of dating. Soon Annie finds herself in a small Massachusetts town and wondering if she was too quick on the trigger.  When her ex returns and wants her back, things get really complicated...  Laura Dave is one of my fave writers, her narrative on love and life always hits home and The First Husband is no exception.  I devoured this book in four hours flat-a new record for me. The perfect gift to give yourself this season!


5. Best Kept Secret by Amy Hatvany Cadence thought she had it all-good job, successful husband and adorable son-until her marriage went off the rails and the stress of single motherhood drove her to start drinking heavily. It's only when her five-year old son is taken away that she realizes that her best kept secret has been discovered. Will she ever be able to find her way back and earn back the trust she's lost? Honest and thought-provoking, I promise you'll be thinking of Cadence long after you finish this fantastic book.

And one YA bonus pick!

Y'all know I have love for those young adult's my fave of 2011.

Bumped by Megan McCafferty- When a virus makes everyone over the age of eighteen infertile, things get a little bit CRAZY.  Would-be parents pay top dollar for teens to conceive and carry babies, making them the most prized citizens in society-and the most genetically blessed are in the highest demand and considered celebrities. I LOVED this book-very high concept about the business of having babies, and our increasing desire for genetic perfection. I'm anxiously awaiting a sequel!



Thanks for such a great year and here's to a wonderful 2012!  Don't forget to leave a comment to be entered to win a BUNDLE O' BOOKS!  xoxo, Liz

Lit IT Girl: Debut Author Camille Noe Pagan

One of the very best perks of this gig is that we often get to read books before they go on sale.  Nothing makes us happier than when we open the front door and see the (totally hot!) FedEx guy dropping off yet another book. A few months ago, the aforementioned hot FedEx guy arrived with a copy of Camille Noe Pagan's The Art of Forgetting.  We instantly fell in love with the fabulous cover and were thrilled to discover that the story was even better. The Art of Forgetting is a must-read from an author who we think may be the next big thing in women's fiction. And she wears her Lit IT girl crown very nicely! We highly recommend that you RUN, not walk to the nearest bookstore and get yourself a copy.

Marissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine, thank you very much. After all, taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy diet magazine; allowing her to keep the peace with her critical, weight-obsessed mother; and enjoying the benefits that came with being best friends with gorgeous, charismatic Julia Ferrar.

Sure, coming up with 15 different ways to lose five pounds month after month could be mind-numbing. And yes, Julia was a walking, talking reminder that Marissa would never be the type to turn heads. So what? There was no reason to upend her perfect-on-paper life.

But when Julia is hit by a cab and suffers a personality-altering brain injury, Marissa has no choice but step into the role of alpha friend. As Julia struggles to regain her memory—dredging up things Marissa would rather forget, including the fact that Julia asked her to abandon the love of her life 10 years ago—and to return to the sharp, magnetic woman she once was, their friendship is shaken to the core.

With the help of 12 girls she reluctantly agrees to coach in an after-school running program, Marissa will uncover an inner confidence she never knew she possessed and find the courage to reexamine her past and take control of her future.

The Art of Forgetting is a story about the power of friendship, the memories and self-created myths that hold us back from our true potential, and most of all, the delicate balance between forgiving and forgetting.

See? It sounds fab!  That's why we have five copies to giveaway-just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win.  We'll choose the winners on Sunday, June 12th after 6pm PST.


1. How many agents did you query before you found "the one"? Five (which isn't a lot, I know!). I was really fortunate that a publishing colleague of mine--the generous and extremely talented Allison Winn Scotch--recommended I query her agent, Elisabeth Weed. Elisabeth called me three days after I submitted to her and offered to represent me, and one phone conversation convinced me she was "the one". The rest, as they say, is history! (Btw, Elisabeth has a fabulous blog -- -- where she breaks down the mysteries of publishing.)

2. What was your rock bottom moment during the process? I recently received a review from a trade publication that was so nasty I wondered if I'd somehow crossed the reviewer (who was anonymous, so I'll never know). I'm of the school of thought that if you can't find something nice to say, don't say anything at all--which is why I never write negative reviews on Amazon, Goodreads or other forums. A dear friend and fellow author, Sarah Jio, says horrible reviews say more about the reviewer than the author, and I try to remind myself of that when I encounter them.

3. How long did it take to write your book? Just under five months; once I get a solid idea, I write pretty quickly. That said, the revisions for TAOF took longer than the first draft did--so there are some disadvantages to writing fast!

4. What did you do to celebrate your book deal? My husband and I went out to a nice restaurant for dinner and had champagne. I'm a big believer in celebrating the steps along the way--finishing a draft, signing with an agent, getting the first box of ARCs, etc.--because becoming a published author is a dream come true and I want to enjoy every minute of it.

5. Knowing what you know now about publishing your first novel, what would you have done differently? I'm still too close to the process to know for sure what I could or should have done differently. That said, it always seems like a little more could have been done--another edit, more publicity, more networking--but at some point, you have to let go and let it happen.

6. What's your biggest distraction or vice while writing? Email is such a time-suck for me (as are Facebook and Twitter). When I'm writing, I force myself to enter "full screen" mode so my manuscript takes up my entire computer screen. Otherwise, I'll get online and the next thing I know, an hour will have passed.

7. Who is your writer crush? Jonathan Tropper. His books are funny and sad in the most perfect way.

8. GNO drink of choice? Gin and tonic, or a really good glass of red wine.

9. Favorite trashy TV show? Tori & Dean. I so relate to Tori's Type-A dysfunction. Plus, it's a relief to see a celebrity couple be honest about their imperfect marriage.

10.What celeb would you love to have a Twitter war with? None of them! Even after a year+ on Twitter, I still question whether I have the hang of it. I'd get schooled by anyone I attempted to take on.

Thanks Camille!  xoxo, L&L

To read more about Camille, head over to her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.