02 December 2009

What I'm Reading

Not too much other than my email this week - the price one pays for going on vacation - but I did read a few good books while I was in New Orleans:
  • Riven Rock, TC Boyle - fictionalized account of the lives of Stanley and Katherine Dexter McCormick. Not my favorite Boyle, but certainly an entertaining read and an interesting look at a very different time and culture in the US.
  • The $64 Tomato, William Alexander. If you've ever even tried to garden, you will bust a gut reading this book. Seriously. Oh Superchuck, you are gone but not forgotten.
  • A Firing Offense, George Pelecanos. The first of the Nick Stefanos books. I loved all the DC color, and the fact that it is clearly set in DC (and not Washington, and yes, there is a major difference), but it seemed a little dated with all the references to bands and clubs that don't exist anymore, and I'm not a big crime novel fan in general. Not sure if I should follow up with more of the Nick Stefanos books - opinions?
  • The Neon Rain, James Lee Burke. I always try to read a book about or set in New Orleans when I'm there, and this time I chose, perhaps poorly, another crime novel. I know this is supposed to be the first of the Dave Robicheaux novels, but it really, really felt like I was coming into the story mid-way - and not in the good way. Again, not sure if I'm going to bother with any more of these - opinions?
  • Finally, because I can't *completely* ignore the association world, I finally read Lynn Morton's great article in the October issue of Associations Now. If your organization is looking into or using social media (which you really, really should be by now), you should definitely check out her colorful and easy to understand breakdown of AAPA's use of some of the major platforms and what they've learned from it. Unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be available online, so go get yourself a print copy!


Kevin H. said...

Personally, I think the Nick Stefanos books are only interesting if one is interested in watching Pelecanos' growth as a writer. They get better but all of them essentially add up to juvenilia. If you haven't already read later Pelecanos, I suggest skipping ahead. His later books get harder, darker, but much more focused and brilliant. Once he breaks out in the later novels it's hard to dismiss him as a crime novelist. But his books are wearying emotionally. There are no heroes in George Pelecanos novels!

Lisa Junker said...

Elizabeth, thanks so much for plugging Lynn's article! She did a great job with it, I think.

Her article is available online (it's not in our current issue, so you might not have seen it right on the Associations Now homepage). Here's a direct link.

However, I will say that the design for her article in the print edition came out really well. If anyone would like a PDF of the print article, let me know and I'm happy to email a copy. You can reach me at ljunker at asaecenter dot com.

Anonymous said...

@Kevin - thanks for the tip about Pelecanos

@Lisa - thanks for the link to the online version of Lynn's article!