When I finally got to New Orleans this winter in February (a lot later than I wanted!) one of the first things I did was go to Dan Baum's debut of his book "Nine Lives."
I read a lot, but I mostly nibble. It's rare that I read a "big book" from cover to cover.
Baum's book - a portrait of the lives of nine New Orleanians - grabbed me and compelled me to read the whole thing.
What an accomplishment.
Visitors to New Orleans talk about the buildings and the city's charm. People who get deeper into it rave about the food and the music, but the real secret of New Orleans is its people. They're the source of everything that makes the city so great.
The challenge is how to describe them without oversimplifying or sensationalizing?
Baum did it.
If you're a New Orleanian, this book will put a smile on your face. Baum "gets" it.
If you love the city or are just curious about it, this book will get you in deep fast.