By Tall Poppy Writer Kelly Simmons

Don’t like the cover.  Don’t like the title. Yet love the book?

Every so often, I wrinkle my nose at a book cover I find dumb, or derivative, or obvious, or just an icky color that reminds me of having food poisoning.

Yet I pick it up and open it anyway.

Sometimes being repelled means something, like:  Don’t be so judgy, Kelly.  Someone spent years writing this. Give it a TRY.

Such was the case with LESS, by Andrew Sean Greer.  I know, a MAN wrote it.   And I the cover felt like a Mad Men rip-off, which irritated me.  But then I gave it a second chance.  What is happening to me?  Have I gone soft?   How did I get mixed up in this tome with this dude?

Simple.  I opened it because I thought the title was crazily bold to the point of absurdity. So short. So negative.  And yet, huge, in caps.  Who would do such a thing? Who would pound a reader over the head with this title?  Madness!

But then, curious, I read a bit.   Then a bit more.  In a real live bookstore.  And I thought, oh, yes, this one, with the weird cover and odd name is for me.  And I was so, so right.

I usually prefer female authors by a landslide, but this mid life crisis road trip mixes universal themes of love, grief, and career angst brilliantly, and simply, and with a healthy dose of humor.  There were paragraphs in it that made me stop and sigh with appreciation and recognition.  And the moment I finished it, I wanted to start all over again.

Which is the biggest compliment I can give.  They should have titled it MORE.

About Kelly

Kelly Simmons is the author of the critically acclaimed novels Standing Still, The Bird House, One More Day, and the just-released The Fifth of July. In addition to Tall Poppy Writers, she’s a member of Women’s Fiction Writers Association and The Liars Club. She has a lot of children, dogs and cats, but not much jewelry.