Wednesday, March 07, 2007

"obit" the Book

I have an advance copy of Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Sheeler's new book, "obit," subtitled "Inspiring stories of ordinary people who led extraordinary lives," and started reading it Tuesday night. My plan was to flip through it, but I couldn't put it down.

It's a good read, a showcase for our colleague's deft writing—which we recognized before the Pulitzer committee did—and recommended reading for the two other Atlanta Journal-Constitution obit writers, Derrick Henry and Holly Crenshaw, who gets a mention in the paperback version of Marilyn Johnson's "Dead Beat." Marilyn writes a cover blurb for Jim's book, and it's featured in the publisher's promotional letter, too.

Jim's writing stands the test of time. You can't help but find a new, though dead, friend in "How to Build a Mountain," Edward "Duke" Mallory's obit or admire this quote about the ubiquitous cancer death from the Aimee Grunberger's husband,
"It's not that there's too much cancer in the world. It's just that it's badly distributed."

Tell your bookstore to reserve you a copy and be jealous that I already have mine.

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