CRUSH book


Writers reflect on love, longing and the lasting power of their first celebrity crush

What people are saying …
“The seemingly lightweight premise of an anthology built around celebrity crushes yields an outstanding selection of poignant and thought-provoking stories.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Charming…The authors do a remarkable job collecting different types of crushes while keeping the reminiscences short and sweet…A book that balances heartbreak and relief, blind love and terror. ”
— Publishers Weekly

“This solid, legitimate anthology that reflects on a compelling and universal phenomenon will put readers back in touch with their younger selves.” — Library Journal

“There’s a lot to enjoy in these…pieces.”
— Washington Post

“Entertaining…Some stories are funny…others are inspiring…Reading these short, angst-packed essays about starting at movie screens and listening to transistor radios is like reminiscing with old friends…[A] reminder that first loves are always worth recalling.”
— Booklist

You never forget your first crush . . .

CRUSH brings together stories of heartbreak, humiliation, and hilarity from a roster of popular luminaries, including James Franco, Stephen King, Roxane Gay, Jodi Picoult, Emily Gould, and Hanna Rosin, who share intimate memories of that first intense taste of love. Here are funny, whimsical, sometimes cringe-worthy tales of falling head over heels for River Phoenix, Mary Tyler Moore, Howard Cosell, Jared Leto, and a host of other pop culture icons.

Swoon-worthy and unforgettable, the essays in CRUSH will leave you laughing, make you cry, and keep you enthralled—just like your first celebrity crush.


Up for Renewal


Up for Renewal

Now in paperback, the memoir of a woman who tackles the mess she’s made of her life by turning it over to a stack of women’s glossies.

Cathy Alter’s Up for Renewal has captured the public’s imagination, from Cathy’s appearances on the Today show and her numerous write-ups in publications such as The New York Observer, The Atlantic, and Allure. Now in paperback, Up for Renewal is just right for beach-readers eager to hear the laugh-out-loud story of how one woman turned her life around by following the simple wisdom found in women’s magazines. By age thirty-seven, with a failed marriage under her belt, Alter was continuing down the path of poor decisions, one paved with a steady stream of junk food, unpaid bills, questionable friends, and highly inappropriate men. So she dedicated her life to the women’s magazines for the next year, resolving to follow their advice without question. By the end of her subscriptions, she would get rid of upper-arm jiggle, crawl out of debt, host the perfect dinner party, run a mile without puking, engage in better bathtub booty, ask for a raise, and overhaul her apartment. At least that was the premise of her social experiment. What actually happened was much less about cosmetic change and much more about internal transformation. Singular in its voice and yet completely universal, Up for Renewal appeals to all who have ever wondered if they could actually make their life over.

From Publishers Weekly

Realizing she needed to do serious work on her junk food/junk sex–littered lifestyle, Alter, a recently divorced thirty-seven-year old freelance writer, decided to spend each month of the coming year following the advice of a major women’s magazine without question. She picked nine titles focusing on a how-to ethos more or less aligned with her own demographic: ElleMarie ClaireOAllureSelfCosmopolitanGlamourInStyle and Real Simple. Each month she’d work on a particular damage zone—diet, social fears, clothes, relationship snafus, cooking, sex, etc.—and follow the advice of her chosen magazine as earnestly as possible. Meanwhile, she’d also begun dating a new guy, which brought up relationship challenges her magazine mentors loved to address—spicing up the sex, learning to cook instead of eating out and deciding if his birthday present meant a marriage proposal was imminent. While she ends up feeling positive about the self-improvement her magazine experiment has brought, she knows if she hadn’t been ready and willing to change, all the advice in the world wouldn’t have helped. In the end, fans of Bridget Jones will also enjoy Alter—she’s funny and endearing. (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. –This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


“A funny, wise-crackey, addictively readable coming-of-maturity.” — Cathi Hanauer, author of Sweet Ruin and editor of The Bitch in the House

“Cathy Alter’s Up for Renewal is witty and whimsical. You’ll want to stay with her well-developed voice all the way to the end.” — Rachel Sontag, Author of House Rules

“You know that warm, relaxed, pleasurable feeling you get when cracking open the latest issue of your favorite magazine? That’s what reading Cathy Alter’s Up for Renewal is like. Prepare to not only have a great time but also to get truly inspired.” — Mandy Stadtmiller, “About Last Night” New York Post columnist

Virgin Territory


Virgin Territory

Virgin Territory by Cathy AlterFrom Barbies to Bras to Botox . . .

Of course you remember your first period, but what about the first time you donned a suit and a pair of sensible pumps for a job interview? How about the first time you were catcalled while walking down the street? The first time you said something that sounded just like it came out of your mother’s mouth? Do you remember the first time you lost a dear friend? Or the first time you experienced the trauma of the department store makeup counter? How about your first earth-shattering orgasm?

A woman’s life is one of passages, of stages marked by changes in our bodies and in our minds. Our lives are shaped by a series of “first times,” and Cathy Alter presents a wonderful array of these experiences in Virgin Territory. Here are first-
person accounts from a cross-section of women from a rich variety of backgrounds that will remind you of all those special firsts in your own life, both mortifying and monumental, including:

• First Frill: Tales of bras, designer jeans, stilettos, and all the other things we wear (and do) to make ourselves beautiful
• First Flash: Adventures with dirty books, obscene phone calls, and those naughty little pleasures we never reveal
• First Flicker: Accounts of the awesome power of T&A
• First Field: Escapades from the working life—it’s not all pantyhose and briefcases
• First Farewell: Sagas of leaving home, breaking up, and moving on

Whether you are in love for the first time or experiencing your first hot flashes, Virgin Territory will remind you of the sisterhood we women are fortunate enough to be a part of and inspire you to sit down with your gilfriends and share your firsts, too.