Friday, July 3, 2009

My Summer Reading with Jennifer Taylor of GreetQ

This week it's on our series My Summer Reading we have a dear guest from Seattle - Jennifer Taylor, the owner of GreetQ.

GreetQ offers a unique service: shoppers can buy paper greeting cards online, add a personal message, then schedule the cards to be sent on a specific date. GreetQ then mails the personalized card to the recipient on behalf of their customers on that specific date. The scheduled cards, which can be scheduled for up to one year in advance, are queued online in the customer’s “card-queue.”

GreetQ is collaborating with Eco-Libris to plant a tree for every 10 greeting cards purchased through the's website.

Hi Jennifer, what are you reading now?
It's Not How Good You Are, It’s How Good You Want to Be: The World's Best Selling Book - I believe the target audience for this book is graphic designers and marketers. However it works as a sort of self-help book for creative types of all sorts, serving as cheerleader with the intention of convincing readers that they can accomplish the impossible. It's a brief read and I've actually completed it already but plan to carry it around in my summer tote, referring back to its more epiphanic sections all season.

What I’m planning to read + recommendations:
Points of View: An Anthology of Short Stories by Moffett and Mcelheny - The short story format is perfect for librophiles when on summer days everyone's pressuring you to put down the book and pick up a Frisbee. You can get your literary fix in 50 pages or less while still enjoying long sunny days.

I've been a long-time fan of this genre ever since it was introduced to me by one of its top purveyors, my college professor, who's also a brilliant prize-winning short story writer,
Josip Novakovich. And although his work is still one of my favorites, I often find myself longing for the classics like Updike & Capote. Which is exactly why the "Points of View" anthology, loaned to me by a friend, is right up my literary alley. I have a lot of anthologies but this is the best collection I've seen thus far. And it includes one of my all time faves: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson.

The Bedside Baccalaureate -
It's full title, "The Bedside Baccalaureate: A Handy Daily Cerebral Primer to Fill in the Gaps, Refresh Your Kno
wledge & Impress Yourself & Other Intellectuals," sounds a bit pretentious but you'll be thankful you bought it when at your 4th of July BBQ someone asks "Hey, who wrote the 1st draft of the Declaration of Independence again?"

Okay, maybe that won't happen but you'll feel great when by the end of the summer you've filled in all of those pesky knowledge gaps. And like the short-story anthology, the information in this book is given in brief, summer-sized bites on topics ranging from Environmental Science to Art History to Philosophy.

1984 - This is a must-read that I've passed over for far too long. Described as one of the best works of modern fiction of all time, I've decided to finally give it a go this summer.

Bitter is the New Black : Confessions of a Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry A Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office - Again, a book with a very long title but as intended, it certainly caught my attention. I'm not usually a fan of "chick-lit" but how can one pass up a read with a title like this? I may have to make a fake "War and Peace" bookcover to read it however. After all, this is Seattle.

What is your favorite place to read in the summer?

I don’t abandon my beloved coffee shops during the summer. They really are the perfect place to read year-round.

There aren’t enough coffee shops with outdoor seating here but the next best thing is shops with lots of natural sunlight and plenty of big windows. Like the Seattle’s Best Coffee shop across the street from Pike Place Market whose large storefront windows swing open. Or Zoka which also has huge windows, lots of wood paneling, big comfy leather chairs and sort of resembles a library. In the fall, you’d be hard pressed to find a seat, but come summer when all of the college students have headed home, it’s the perfect place to park with a book for an hour or two.

Thanks Jennifer!

More information on GreetQ can be found at

So far on My Summer Reading series:

Christian Valentiner of the Norwegian publisher Flux

Avrim Topel, co-author of 'My Green Beginnings'

Tania Hershman, author of 'The White Road and Other Stories'

Elisabeth Baines, author of the upcoming book 'Too Many Magpie'

Erica Caldwell of the bookstore Present Tense

Sue Schrader of the bookstore Sources of Hope

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting green publishing

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