In between Winter Institute in DC and my Mom in Massachusetts, I visted my nephew in New York. After we made plans, he learned he would be posted to Asia the day after I left. Looking for reading material, I spotted a copy of New York County Lawyer, a free publication that at one time was likely filled with ads targeting, well, New York County lawyers. He could not explain the quarter page ad highlighting the services of a personal injury lawyer based in Miami.
Turning to the book review, I read a piece on Tales from the Sausage Factory: Making Laws in New York State, by Daniel Feldman and Gerald Benjamin. The authors will appear at the New York County Lawyers Association for a discussion and signing on January 31st at 6 pm, 14 Vesey Street. All my lawyer readers should take note! And why am I so excited to read about why making laws turns out to be not like sausage making at all? It's because the review was written by ex-coworker Eugene Strupinsky. It was like a visit from an old friend!
So Eugene (a long-time reader of smart mysteries and thrillers) was probably with me when I made a spontaneous decision to see Brad Meltzer at Brookline Booksmith this past Monday. I had already decided to purchase a couple of books there (see previous post), but in all my visits, I've never actually gone to one of their events. Meltzer was appearing for his new thriller, The Inner Circle, the story of a Washington DC archivist who discovers that the George Washington's secret spy ring still exists.
Though I'm not generally a thriller reader, I do divide the genre into books that I would read if I read thrillers and books that I probably would not. Meltzer's always been on my shortlist of the former, partially because he takes his time writing books (generally not more than one per year) and seems to enjoy playing with the genre. I also like that he dabbles in comic books, and well, he seems to have a sense of humor about the whole thing.
Meltzer's got a lot going on right now, as his History Channel series, "Brad Meltzer Decoded" is also currently airing. You known I'm not always crazy about slide shows and Powerpoints, but the piece showed about putting together promos for the the series was hilarious. I now know that "the pose" (arms crossed, looking off to the side) is so difficult that an amateur needs a bit of training. Meltzer's a natural, however, and self developed "the squat."
There was something about the combination of cocky and self-deprecating that was incredibly charming, a forthrightness mixed with intelligence and quick-wittedness that left me sort of in awe. I had already spent my budget for the evening, but I'm going to pretend to be a customer and sit in one of our comfy chairs and try reading The Inner Circle. Sadly, today is the last day of his tour so only readers in Los Angeles (likely none) would be able to take my rec and see him, but there will be other tours.
Meltzer, you are something else.