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Tall Book: A Celebration of Life on High

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Tall people: Smart. Wealthy. Successful. U.S. Presidents, Oscar Winners, NBA players, CEOs.

Scrunched into airplane seats. Unable to find good clothes. Why?

In this, the first book of its kind, Arianne Cohen—all 6’3" of her—takes us on a tour of the tall world, traveling from endocrinologists’ offices to the annual European Tall Club Convention to unlock the mysteries at the center of talldom: why do tall people succeed professionally, ...

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The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High

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Tall people: Smart. Wealthy. Successful. U.S. Presidents, Oscar Winners, NBA players, CEOs.

Scrunched into airplane seats. Unable to find good clothes. Why?

In this, the first book of its kind, Arianne Cohen—all 6’3" of her—takes us on a tour of the tall world, traveling from endocrinologists’ offices to the annual European Tall Club Convention to unlock the mysteries at the center of talldom: why do tall people succeed professionally, financially and intellectually far more than others? Why are tall men the most successful dating and mating group on earth, while tall women have low birth rates? And who the hell is behind those airplane seats?

Part investigation and part personal story, The Tall Book follows Arianne as she circles the globe, meeting the tallest people in the world, questioning them on how to raise a well-adjusted tall kid, and yes, becoming one half of America’s tallest couple.

Lively, witty, and erudite, The Tall Book is a must-read for the tall, the not-so-tall—or anyone searching for the secrets of living the high life.

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Editorial Reviews

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Library Journal

Inspired by her own height and a serious lack of popular material on tallness, 6'3" journalist Cohen (coeditor, Confessions of a High School Word Nerd) takes great pride in announcing that tall people have higher IQs, earn more money, and live longer than average-height folks. Cohen discusses the economic, physical, and psychological benefits and disadvantages of being a tall person in a personal and humorous tone. She arranges her book into a series of thematic essays that address the biological causes of tallness, its economic, sociological, and medical aspects, and the consequences of living daily life in an infrastructure created for shorter people. Readers come away understanding how one's height can affect everything from one's relationships, personal and professional, to national economies. VERDICT With more material available on the causes and ramifications of short stature, Cohen's book fills a gap in the popular literature, complementing Susan Cohen and Christine Cosgrove's more academic Normal at Any Cost: Tall Girls, Short Boys, and the Medical Industry's Quest To Manipulate Height. Her work includes references, graphs, and illustrations but is defined by its humor and the filter of personal experience. Recommended for good leisure reading.—Kate Farley, Armstrong Atlantic State Univ., Savannah, GA

—Kate Farley
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596913080
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
  • Publication date: 6/16/2009
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 999,248
  • Product dimensions: 5.74 (w) x 9.50 (h) x 0.92 (d)

Meet the Author

Arianne Cohen is a writer for New York and Marie Claire magazines. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, O, Real Simple, Redbook, Health,, and the New York Times Magazine. A 2003 graduate of Harvard University, she is also the author of Help, It’s Broken!: A Fix-It Bible for the Repair-Impaired and the coeditor of the essay book Confessions of a Word Nerd. She previously used her 6'3" frame as a nationallevel swimmer, and now lives the tall life in New York City with her 7'2" partner, whom she met researching this book. They are perhaps the country’s tallest couple

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 12 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Bought as a gift

    I confess, I haven't read this; I only read sections. I bought it as a gift as the reviews I read said it was funny. The few sections I read didn't seem very funny at all to me; they actually seemed crude. For a more fair review, check out someone who read the whole book

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  • Posted March 31, 2010

    even if your'e short...don't miss it

    I am not a tall person, but was intrigued by the title, and certainly was not disappointed. Ms Cohen skillfully puts the reader into her and other tall people's experience and thoughts. The book was a lot of fun to read; plenty of examples from science and anecdotes sad and funny, with plenty of wryly delivered opinions, and even a little naughtiness. No dry social history, this!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2010

    Terrific - informative and entertaining book

    Anyone who is tall, male or female, should read this book. And anyone who loves a tall should read this book, too. If you're a parent of a tall child, you should DEFINITELY read The Tall Book. It's well-researched, and the writing is engaging. One of the best non-fiction books I've read!

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    Great read for people of all heights!

    The book is a collection of facts and interesting stats about tall people combined with humorous (or sad, depending on where you stand) stories about the author and other tall people. Arianne Cohen does a superb job at finding out many unknown or under reported facts about tall people and combine it with her own experience of growing up and being tall.

    The author's writing style makes the book a fun reading experience and it makes the "digestion" of statistics easier. I am sure that some chapters of this book will affect people more than others, and the chapter on Tall Psychology is one that I feel can impact parents of tall kids in a very positive way. Understanding what it means growing up tall can be hard for anyone, and Ms. Cohen does a great job at explaining some strategies that can help parents and kids alike.

    This was one of the best books I have ever read mainly because this is the first book that hits close to home in the height department. I am 6'9" and have long dealt with the issues that come with being tall. Seeing that there are many more people like me out there was great, and Ms. Cohen smart and funny writing style helped making this reading a great experience.

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  • Posted January 10, 2010

    Above and Beyond!

    The Tall Book is a wonderfully entertaining and incredibly insightful look into tall culture. Cohen digs deep into worldwide research to bring out the truth behind tall salaries, tall history, and tall love. Spirited by her own experiences as a vertical dynamo, Cohen's words describe the not-so-secret life of sizeable society. From awkward adolescence to literal long-gevity, The Tall Book draws on the personal experience of professional athletes, endocrinologists, and economists to explain all that is tall. A must-have for all those of amazing altitudes, Cohen's whimsical wit offers a fascinating read for all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    A book for parents to tall kids

    This book has done for my 18 year old, 6'2'' daughter, what I was not able to give her as a mother. Make her proud and comfortable with her height. And to give her an identity as one of a group and not a single outstanding "taller than the rest" girl. As a parent this is an extraordinary experience. To observe that she suddenly wears high heels when going out because "my legs look better that way, Mom - can't you see that?". And she is not partying with the tall people, she is out with her old friends. But with a new attitude. I wish that this book had been available for me to read when she was younger. Skip all the other books about how to raise children, and read this one. This is all you need to give your own kid, what it takes to be a proud and self confident woman that stands tall. She is beautiful with her new found identity. She is glowing. Thank you Arianne.

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  • Posted November 4, 2009

    Just Great!

    The Tall Book is such a great collection of anecdotes, facts, and spot-on references to the sometimes awkward but always glorious life of tall people. I don't think Arianne was trying to place tall people in a "holier-than-thou" position but rather allow people a glimpse into the life of the seldom-studied existence of a tall individual. I have found that height is one of the few physical characteristics that complete strangers feel justified in commenting on and that is just part of the quirky existence that tall people live that Arianne accurately portrays. This is such a refreshing read and the research is fascinating and has been the source for many of my dinner table conversations over the last few weeks. It would be an amazing gift for any tall person in your life, especially young girls who find that they're growing faster than the boys around them. It's a great read and I highly recommend it!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 2, 2009

    Weird. Reads like an Arian Race take on Tallness

    Almost every ad and summary for this begins with the words "Smarter" "Richer" "Better" "More Successful" "Makes More Money" "CEOs!" "Oscar Winners!" There is so much "We are the superior race" stuff put forth that it's a little creepy. I am sure that being unusually tall comes with a fair amount of awkwardness and discomfort and ridicule in childhood, HOWEVER, the STATISTICS (and statistics are what Cohen is clearly obsessed with here) point to the fact that it is unusally SHORT of SMALL people who suffer more in a society. Try being a "little person" or, if you want to use the rougher word, "midget" for a week, Miss Cohen, and then come back with a new work. The emotional distress suffered by markedly small people is much greater. So, get used to being scrunched into an airport seat. I'm sure that most of those brilliant CEOs and athletes and people "who make more money" can BUY their own plane to solve this terrible, terrible problem. Think about how it feels when you can't reach a doorknob. And beyond extremely small people, societies in general put more emotional strain on the label of "small" and "short." Even the word "short" is seen as a nasty word, while "tall" is seen as affirming. I don't know what the book is trying to do. Is Cohen trying to convince us that "tall people are better than you"? Don't worry. Advertising has already been doing that for years. If tall women weren't already given a priority in society's eyes, you would have 5 foot tall models. This book was a really sick book in a lot of ways, and I'm surprised that the publisher was idiotic enough to push the "tall people are smarter and make more money than you" weird propoganda. And as to the writing-- like a child's book.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2009

    Great read for talls and non-talls alike!

    I picked up this book after hearing about it on Arianne's blog, and I am so glad I did. Being a tall myself, the book really made me feel more empowered than I had before. I never thought about some of the things she discussed, and when it was pointed out to me it really made me hold my head even higher. I highly suggest it!

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  • Posted August 3, 2009

    A well researched book about well..a tall subject

    Arianne Cohen (6'3") does a wonderful job of communicating the hazzards and joys of being tall. If you are tall, you should read this book! If you know someone who is tall, you should buy it for them.

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  • Posted July 5, 2009

    I really liked this book.

    The author did a nice job of working personal experiences with statistical/medical facts. Her writing style is refreshing and made reading the book a pleasure.

    The book was full of new information for me. Height is always on people's mind when they meet. This book shows and tells the tall story and it's fun. You will like this book too.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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