Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Is there such a thing as a Bernardo for literature?

Oh happy day.

For those eagerly awaiting former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's retrospective on his time at City Hall, the wait apparently is about to come to an end. According to a post today at his Twitter account, Nagin book "Katrina's Secrets: Storms After the Storm" is due for release June 8.

Particularly interesting bit from Michelle Krupa's report is the question of exactly how long Nagin has been working on this project.

Despite Nagin's claim that his book is a year in the making, he told The Times-Picayune as recently as January that hadn't yet decided whether to write one.

"Not sure about a book," he said in an e-mail message. "What I have done is put together a personal library that connects a lot of dots and tells an amazing story of perseverance and resiliency. Many have been encouraging me to write one, but I have not fully decided yet."

In Spike Lee's 2010 sequel to his 2006 Katrina documentary, Nagin also demurred on the matter.

"I'm not into writing a big tell-all thing. I don't think that serves any real purpose."

That's right. This is a book with the word "Secrets" in the title whose author isn't "into writing a big tell-all thing." But never mind that right now. Back to the project timeline, I'm pretty sure it's been more than "a year in the making." Actually, it was closer to two years ago when we learned that Nagin and his staff at least had the concept of a "The Book" in the front of their minds.
(Councilmember Stacy Head) said she has advisers who tell her blunt truths, whereas Nagin doesn't have "anybody like that."

"I mean, he has'yes men' that tell him how wonderful he's doing and how that's going to be in 'the book,' " she said. "And I'm serious. 'The book.' They talk about it and they're dead serious. This is not a joke. Apparently he plans on writing a book on what a wonderful job he did and all his yes men talk about, 'Oh, that's going to go in the book, that's going to go into the book.' "

Well I, for one, am glad to see all that work gathering material hasn't gone to waste. I'm looking forward to adding Nagin's book to my Excellence in Recovery Bookshelf right in between Veronica White's How to Maximize FEMA Funding After a Natural Disaster and Ed Blakely's Here's How Much Money I Ought to Be Paid To Save Japan.

But wait, there's more! Or there's at least the potential for more.

The book — which seems to be self-published — carries an alternate title, Katrina's Secrets: I, on the former mayor's website, indicating a Part II (and III? and IV?) may be forthcoming. Lending further credence to the sequel is this pre-publication blurb from his former CAO, Dr. Brenda Hatfield: "The reader can’t help crying and laughing out loud because the narrative is so human, riveting and authentic. Only Mayor Nagin can bring us these hidden historical perspectives of Katrina. Still there are so many more secrets be told in the next volume."

Holy keeping the brand out there! This don't-call-it-a-tell-all book of "Secrets" could stretch to multiple volumes! When we heard about this in the Tweeter, we couldn't help but start cranking out subtitles for these tantalizing sequels. Apparently NOLA.com liked our idea. Anyway, here's a somewhat annotated list.

Katrina's Secrets Volume II Exploding Pie and Other Recipes (h/t: Oyster)

Katrina's Secrets Volume III The List That Counts

Katrina's Secrets Volume IV Things to See and Do In China and/or Jamaica

Katrina's Secrets Volume V Microsoft Outlook Data Recovery Tips and Tricks

Katrina's Secrets Volume VI CTO Training With For Dummies (H/T Liprap)

Katrina's Secrets Volume VII The Way God Wants It To Be

Katrina's Secrets Volume VIII Shove This In Your Floodwall (Again H/T Liprap)

See Also: Fascinating choice of cover art. Reminds us of a long favorite comparison of ours.

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