Came back from this weekend’s Annapolis Book Fair (so well run, Liz Klein Glass!) with a complimentary tote bag and plenty of books to add to the reading list. Including:
One Man Against the World, by Tim Weiner. I mention Tim not just because, like my wife, he has the last name Weiner and once worked for the Philadelphia Inquirer. There’s more! In college I read (and loved) Jonathan Schell’s book about the Nixon presidency, The Time of Illusion. Tim’s new history has received great reviews and is supposed to go even deeper into some of the strangest days ever in White House.
Also, after the festival Tim and I ended up on the same train home and he told me stories that had me spellbound from Amtrak’s BWI stop all the way to Philadelphia. That ride will be my most vivid memory of the weekend.
Bourbon Empire, by Reid Mitenbuler. A history of the bourbon industry, which contains enough drama that the book has been optioned for a television series. Reid and I were lodged at the same hotel and shared many rides together in Annapolis. He came across as thoughtful, decent, diligent, and best of all he assured me that, because the process of creating bourbon is relatively simple, there isn’t great difference between the high-end gourmet bourbons and more reasonably priced brands such as Wild Turkey and Jim Beam. I don’t drink a ton of bourbon, but I am a cheapskate, which means I welcome any information which reveals luxury to be a myth.
Run, Don’t Walk, by Adele Levine. Ms. Levine is a physical therapist who spent nine years working with amputee soldier at Walter Reed. The stories she told at her panel were eye-opening, and I have a selfish motive in reading her book, which would be: I hope that stories of people coping with genuine hardship can maybe help me deal with my own melodramas.
Thirst, by Benjamin Warner. A literary thriller in which all the non-bottled water vanishes from the Earth. Benjamin was on my panel. He was clear-eyed and calm and just seemed like a guy who would write a good book. This may seem like an inane way to judge literary possibilities—according to the histories, a great many masterpieces were penned by asswipes. But I would like for my theory to be true, and so I am going to act as if it is.