Monday, October 26, 2009

Reading the Author's Books After the Events

With all these events, it has turned out that I can't read the book of every single person who visits. I try to pick up each one to get a feel for it. My problem is that I do have this compulsion to finish what I've started. That's why the last two books I've finished have been of events that already happened. This leaves me further behind in reading books for upcoming events. And so the cycle continues. (I'm now feeling Ken's pain, our Brookfield event coordinator at Schwartz who periodically complained about this dilemma).

Both of these were for smaller events. For the large events, I'd either already read the book or had enough sense of accomplishment that I didn't have to proceed further. For books where the turnout is disappointing, there is always the nagging feeling in the background that there was something we could have done better if I'd read a little further.

Michael Rosen's What Else but Home is about his experiences taking in poor neighborhood kids with his wife and sons to raise effectively as their own. There's a lot of joy in this book, but also a lot of frustration. Mike's publicist Leah suggested we target social service agencies (like the Boys and Girls Club) to meet Mike and hear about his experiences, but Stacie couldn't get anyone to bite. (The gaming stores and orgs were more enthusiastic about Fantasy Freaks and Gaming Geeks--sometimes they bite and sometimes they don't.)

Finishing the book only reinforced the ups and downs that Rosen-Gluss and Company went through. What Else but Home starts the book at the end of the story, but talking to Mike, it turned out to be the middle. And the kids in the book were not always thrilled about being written about. Oh, the hazards of memoir! That's why it's better to make things up, especially in a biography. This is where I'm supposed to put a modern parenthetical remark in initial form.

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