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The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High Hardcover – Bargain Price, June 9, 2009
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From Publishers Weekly
Though it may in part revere the tall, essayist Cohen proclaims, clearly "society is not built for us." Six-foot-three Cohen (Confessions of a High School Word Nerd) covers many taken-for-granted challenges facing "talls," including public toilets, exercise bikes, doorways, couches and airplanes. Especially complicated is dating; some tall women would never "date down"-that is, a man shorter than they are-while other talls (i.e. men) refuse to date anyone but the short. Being tall costs more, due to expenses like "double-price clothes," "high ceilinged homes," and "the food," but it also pays better: tall people earn approximately 2.5% more per inch. Height also helps get presidents elected; 26 out of the last 30 presidential contests went to the taller candidate. Cohen has been frustrated, ever since she was a 5'3" eight-year-old that no one has written a book about tall people ("The Dewey Decimal index didn't even assign a classification number to tall people. Surely the world kidded"). She fixes that problem handily with a guide both practical and proud, and with enough self-deprecating humor to charm readers of any height; an ideal gift for talls, their loved ones, and (perhaps) their jealous detractors.
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“Given her smarts, inquisitiveness, and warm wit, I'd follow Ms. Cohen up any learning curve. With The Tall Book her assignment is personal, and richer for it. The result is a real resource for giants of all ages (and those who love them) so that we can fully appreciate the advantages and navigate the downfalls of our standing. Not since Randy Newman's "Short People" have those of us of a certain stature had a better rallying cry.”—Brad Wieners, 6'7", Editor, Men's Journal
“This is a funny and lively book that belongs -- quite literally -- on the top shelf of American literature. One of us 'talls' will be happy to get it down for you.”--Steve Rushin, 6'5", Sports Illustrated columnist and author of Road Swing
“As a 12-year-old, told to act my age and not my shoe size, I could honestly say, 'They're the same.' Arianne Cohen has written a book for everyone, like me, who grew up (and up) to be proud of their height.”--Rebecca Lobo, 6'4", Olympic gold medalist basketball player and ESPN Commentator
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1) Tallness isn't unhealthy, it's not a strain on your heart or your bones as is widely believed. (Phew!)
2) Tall girls lust after tall guys (I thought they were just staring like everybody else!)
3) Tall people sued an airline over their tiny seats a decade ago, but lost.
There's a lot of "when I was a girl, I couldn't fit into nice stuff and at school everyone gawked at me"-type stories that I could have done without (though female readers may find solace in them?), and there's also some tall activism ("if NYC bus seats are too small, call the MTA and tell them, no one ever has before!"), and tons of anecdotes and cute little statistics from all over the world.
But after reading The Tall Book, I don't really feel better informed, and my outlook on life hasn't been altered, so it's kind of like I never read it at all. :(
I'm a 6' tall woman, age 57. Growing up tall in Fort Worth Texas, home of the macho cowboy wannabes, was no fun, let me tell you. The preferred nicknames for me were Jolly Green Giant and Skinny Legs. I had cars full of boys hurl insults at me nearly every day as I walked home. I never had a date until I was a junior in high school, and when I did he was 21 (and a nice guy I might add). I would have probably dated him even if he wasn't because he was the only guy who had ever asked me up to that point (I was about a half foot taller than all my classmates in high school.)When I was 19 I married the first man who asked me because I feared that no one ever would ask again. And I should probably tell you that I wasn't a bad looking girl. I was pretty enough to get lots of attention at clubs and hangouts for college kids. It was just that high school boys were scared of me.
Reading her experiences along the same lines made me realize that girls today go through the same thing. They are just a better equipped to handle it. And Cohen's book will be a huge factor in making future generations of tall people proud of being tall. Now at 57, I finally am. And I am buying two copies right now for my two sons who are over 6' and already proud of being tall. This book will just make them even happier about it.
In short, short people don't get "it". This book explains why.