I attended the New York City Book Awards earlier this week where the winner, Gail Fenske, gave a talk on her book The Skyscraper and the City: The Woolworth Building and the Making of Modern New York. I really enjoyed the fact that she focused on personality and vision, and less on how many tons of steel were used (although I imagine the book has those statistics in it). My urge to rush out after the talk and take a tour of the building was shattered when it was revealed it is now closed to the public.
While sipping a nice wine (I know zero about wine, so my classification structure consists of yuck, nice, really nice, and hey there lady, my name is Chris…which one of us is cooking breakfast?) I met Ammon Shea, author of Reading the O.E.D. For those who don’t know, Ammon read the entire 20 volume set of the Oxford English Dictionary in one year. And no, he wasn’t stark raving mad at all, but then I’m prone to looking up a word and still be reading the dictionary a half hour later so consider the source.