I don't know Dan Baum personally, so maybe it's a little odd to be flacking his new book, but I want to flag Nine Lives: Death and Life in New Orleans for Plankers who wonder what happened to the Big Easy after Anderson Cooper and his cameras left town. I just started Nine Lives, but it's based off of the quietly incredible "New Orleans Journal" that Baum wrote for the New Yorker -- which I loved, and which was peppered with tiny-yet-large stories like this one, the final entry in the blog he started when he reversed the general trend and moved his family to New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina:
It’s the American way to focus on the future—we are dreamers and schemers, always chasing the horizon. Looking forward has made us great, but it comes at a price. (Mexican immigrants often describe life in the United States as puro reloj, or “nothing but the clock.”) New Orleanians, on the other hand, are excellent at the lost art of living in the moment.