Quick plug for two friends who just released new books. Buy them! Trust me! I went to a book signing at Haslam's in St. Pete yesterday and got my autographed copies from both fellas.
FIRST BOOK TO BUY, YOUS GUYS:
Pulitzer Prize winner Tom French presents the masterful Zoo Story: Life in the Garden of Captives. The book, based on years of reporting inside Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo, wrestles with uncomfortable questions of freedom, of whether or not animals are better off in captivity. I had the pleasure of helping to proofread it before it came out, which, for this nerd, was so exciting. Zoo Story is heartbreaking and honest and funny and suspenseful. It features a tiger who loves Obsession perfume and a chimp who flirts with blonds in tank tops. What else do you need? I mean, COME ON.
Here's a USA Today review. And here's Tom on the Colbert Report last week!
SECOND BOOK TO BUY, YOU PEOPLE:
Tom's BFF Roy Peter Clark just released The Glamour of Grammar: A Guide to the Magic and Mystery of Practical English. Roy got a friggin' great review in the New York Times last week. Roy is a renowned writing coach, but his books don't make you want to claw your eyes out and jump off a roof to your bloody death. They're really entertaining and bright.
I'm also geeked out to report that I made the pages! At a Jennifer Weiner appearance last year at the Poynter Institute, Roy told me about his book and how he planned to use an item I wrote about... KELLIE PICKLER'S HAIR. Hur?
This narrative masterwork is basically me imagining Kellie getting caught in wind tunnel and doused with maple syrup. Hardly high-brow writing guide fodder. So I laughed at Roy and finished my wine and figured I'd believe it when I see it.
But I'll be damned. Page 207.