photoLara Smith blogs and writes about books, but who doesn’t? For the past ten years, she’s dined and dished with her own book club, The Book Babes. Jess Walters considers her his best friend (according to the copy of Beautiful Ruins he signed) and Ann Patchett told Lara she loves her (who cares that Lara said it first in a gushy, superfan meet-up at a book signing?). Plus, she minored in English; that has to account for something. Her favorites from 2012 were Beautiful Ruins by BFF Jess Walter, Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain (just to have one more than Jennifer). You can find her reviews over on the Book Reviews tab.




Jennifer Spiegel writes fiction, mostly, but will also mouth-off in other forums whenever given a classy and highfalutin opportunity. Her books include The Freak Chronicles (a story collection) and Love Slave (a novel), and you can find her on the web at Surprisingly, her fiction is pretty serious stuff, except for Love Slave which is very funny. She thinks the best books of 2012 were Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk by Ben Fountain and The Festival Of Earthly Delights by Matt Dojny.