As I've posted before, I'm moderating a National Book Critics Circle panel in Philadelphia on February 27. I'm happy to announce that we've just added Ben Yagoda as our fifth panelist. The book dork in me is jumping for joy. I reviewed Yagoda's When You Catch an Adjective, Kill It: The Parts of Speech, for Better And/Or Worsefor the newsletter of the American Society of Journalists, and I love his work, which you can read about here. He's a great addition to our panel, which also includes poet and PEW fellow Daisy Fried; retired-as-of-5pm-today Philadelphia Inquirer book review editor Frank Wilson; author of In the Shadow of the Law: A Novel Kermit Roosevelt; and me. Just another reason to come out to this free -- yes, free -- event. Mark it: February 27 at 7pm, Friends Select (17th and Benjamin Franklin Parkway) in Philadelphia.
I don't always try to match my reading to what I'm doing, but when I go to Florida, I try to pack at least one Florida weird book. There was no better novel to bring with me to read on a ferry from Key West to Dry Tortugas National Park , than Carl Hiaasen's Stormy Weather . Hiaasen was writing about #floridaman before #floridaman was a thing (and when this - # - was the pound sign). Stormy Weather is set in 1992 in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, which is still the most destructive hurricane to have ever hit Florida, and only one of four hurricanes to make landfall in the U.S. still at Category 5 strength. According to the Miami Herald , Hurricane Andrew destroyed 63,000 homes and damaged another 101,241. Such disasters bring out the best in humanity but also the worst. F raud flowed into South Florida in Andrew's wake . That's where Stormy Weather comes in. From an advertising executive who yanks his new wife away from their Walt Disney World honeymoon to r