Reading recommendations from the dead

People often ask me where to find new books to read. I tell them to peruse book reviews, ask friends for recommendations and read profiles of authors. I also encourage them to go on treasure hunts, discovering books by wandering through a book store or library. You never know what wonders you’ll find, particularly on the upper or lower shelves.

Today I realized that I also find good book suggestions by reading obituaries. The obit may be about an author who wrote in a genre I favor. Or the deceased may have lived a particularly interesting life and because an obituary is just a snapshot, I yearn to learn more. Either way, I’ll make a point of hunting down related titles and adding them to my “to be read” bookcase.

Driven by Mike CaffertyI did it again today after reading Maureen O’Donnell’s wonderful obituary for Michael Cafferty, a 49-year-old Chicago attorney who overcame more obstacles than I will (hopefully) ever face. Cafferty’s memoir, “Driven,” was published mere days before he died.

And now that I own a copy, I’m really looking forward to reading it.