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Kendall Long hero image
Kendall Long hero image
Photo by Brett Erickson
Culture > Entertainment

‘The Bachelor’s’ Kendall Long on Her New Book & Inspiring Human Connection When We Need it Most

Now more than ever, we crave human connection. During a time when we can’t physically be together, we have to get creative with our ways of connecting. Enter Kendall Long. You probably know Kendall from her time on The Bachelor and Bachelor in Paradise, but now she’s adding the title “author” to her resume with the launch of her new book, Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions

Kendall Long Just Curious book cover
Photo by Brett Erickson
Though the book was just released on November 18, it’s been years in the making, and Bachelor Nation fans everywhere have wanted a look inside Kendall’s notebook of questions – perfect for a date, party or just hanging out with friends – since it made it’s first appearance during her time on The Bachelor. Finally, our prayers have been answered. 

Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions aims to spark curiosity and foster deeper connections with those around us. In the spirit of connecting, I spoke with Kendall about her time on The Bachelor and how it inspired the launch of her book.

Her sister encouraged her to go on ‘The Bachelor’

While some girls dream of going on The Bachelor and audition for years, for Kendall, it happened really organically. “I was watching it with my girlfriends while I was house-sitting at my parents’. We were drinking wine, and my sister was the one that said ‘Oh, you should go on The Bachelor,’ and I was like ‘I’d never do that,’” she says. “Of course, a couple glasses of wine later and I’m typing out the application on the couch. I really have to give my sister credit for giving me the idea.” Wine is always to blame, TBH.

Kendall Long
Photo by Brett Erickson
Ever since going on the show, Kendall’s life has taken a complete 180. Being on national television – especially dating on national television – forced her to reflect on her life and her goals in a way that most twenty-somethings don’t. “After being on a show like that, it really forces you to self reflect and be like, ‘Why am I still single? Am I afraid to be vulnerable? Am I afraid to say ‘I’m ready for marriage?’’ and all those things that seem so scary.”

Today, it’s clear that Kendall isn’t scared of these things anymore. Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions encourages readers to ask themselves and their friends just about every question under the sun (e.g. “Would you ever eat human meat?”) and really connect on a deeper level. “I always felt so afraid to approach those really personal questions, like, ‘Are you ready for marriage?’ or, ‘At what place are you in your life?’ The book asks those questions in such a creative way that it doesn’t make it as scary.”

Her book has been years in the making (like, since college)

While Kendall didn’t initially set out to write a book, she’s been carrying her own notebook of questions – which later inspired the book – ever since college. Whenever she was inspired by an interesting question she’d write it down, using the notebook as a tool for connecting with friends, family and first dates. “The questions in the book come from everywhere. I’d been collecting them since even before college, so friends would give me ideas and I’d think of some on my own. The questions would start conversations that led to more questions, and so the more I started collecting questions, the more creative and wacky they got,” she says. Those coversations with others got her thinking about what other people were curious about, and what the weirdest question you could ask someone was.  

What started as Kendall’s own personal hobby gained attention when she famously brought it on a one-on-one date with former Bachelor Arie Luyendyk. Up until that point, Kendall never had any intentions of publishing her notebook. “I brought it on one of the dates with Arie and asked him if he would ever try human meat, and that’s when it took off. People were like, ‘I want this book!’ So that’s how it started, the idea of publishing it,” Kendall says. “I never expected to publish it because it was really just a personal thing that I thought was fun to carry with me, and I never realized that people would be interested in having something like this. The response I got was just so overwhelming.”

It asks some ~creative~ questions

The best part about Kendall’s book is the creativity behind her questions. It’s evident that she put a lot of thought into them, approaching it from all angles. While all of the questions stimulate interesting conversation, she has a few favorites. “One of my favorite questions, and the one I always begin with asking people, is, ‘At what age did you get to know the most about yourself?’ That one is really fun because it tells you where someone experienced a big transformative time in their life. Also, ‘If you had an alien space gun that could enlarge one item 100 times its size, what would you choose and why?’ I love the creativity that comes with the answers in that.” Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions is definitely going to be your new go-to when it comes to getting together (virtually or IRL) with friends, family and dates. Think of it as the grown up version of Would You Rather

The book acts as a tool to foster deeper human connection

Kendall started working on her book and typing up the questions before the COVID-19 pandemic, but soon realized that her book may be exactly what we need right now. In a time when we can’t be physically close to the ones we love, it only makes sense that we use alternate methods to keep our relationships strong. “My hope is that it acts as a tool to help people become more connected during a time when we have to be so separate, and can’t have that one-on-one in person conversation,” Kendall says. “My hope is that this is something to bring on Zoom calls with family, or maybe a Zoom or socially distanced date. It’s a way to connect without physically connecting.” 

Kendall Long
Photo by Brett Erickson
Physical separation has forced us to connect in other ways. Whether it’s sending a thoughtful note, catching up via Zoom, or going on a socially distant walk, this year has thrust us into creative new ways of staying close, and Kendall’s book is no exception. “Being curious and finding the joy in being curious about someone else and their story and what makes them who they are. That’s how you’re going to get the most in-depth connection with someone.” By asking questions you might not ask someone every day and taking time to listen to their answers, you learn so much more about the other person and strengthen your connection. Even your BFF of 10 years could surprise you (I bet you’ve never asked her if she’d try human meat – just saying). 

Just Curious: A Notebook of Questions is available now. 

Carli is a 2022 grad of the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and served as the style section editor for Her Campus. After being a national style writer for Her Campus, she launched Her Campus FIT. A born and raised Jersey Girl, she is a huge Bruce Springsteen fan. In her spare time she loves running, jamming to Taylor Swift, and tracking down the best burgers. Find her on Instagram @carliannescloset.