cover image The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High

The Tall Book: A Celebration of Life from on High

Arianne Cohen. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC, $20 (243pp) ISBN 978-1-59691-308-0

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.