Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Saturday, December 03, 2005

I got a mass e-mail the other day from Lee Eisenberg, who edited Esquire for 20 years and is also one of the founders of Rotisserie Baseball (it is frightening that I knew that without looking it up, so carefully I read the first few editions of the official Rotisserie League Baseball books, and it is even more frightening that, still without looking, I can name 4 other original founders -- Glen Waggoner, Dan Okrent (of NY Times Public Editor fame), Rob Fleder, and Peter Gethers). I mean, it was obviously a mass e-mail from his publicist, but, still, his name was in the From: line, so whatever. The e-mail offered a free preview copy of his new book, "The Number." The book is all about people's struggles to come up with the amount of money they need to have in the bank in order to retire. That amount being "The Number" in the title.

Clearly, this wasn't a terribly carefully culled list of bloggers who got sent this e-mail, because I shouldn't have much interest in retirement, and probably most of my readers don't either. So I expected the book to be pretty boring, but I'll take anything that's free, so I gave him my address anyway. The book came 2 days later. And I figured I'd read the first few pages and then put it in a pile somewhere, next to a firefighter memoir I got free a year ago and haven't yet touched. But Eisenberg's a terrific writer. His writing has a real voice to it. He comes across as a smart, wise, good guy. I can't put my finger on exactly why, but the voice really comes through. And I read the whole book. It's not really a finance book. It's more about how Americans are reluctant to talk about money, but need to save more and be smarter about how we invest or we're never going to be able to comfortably retire, especially given how long we're all living nowadays. It's a pop sociology book a la David Brooks with a little bit of finance thrown in. Just enough finance to make me think about re-evaluating my own financial stuff, but not so much that it gets bogged down in numbers. Great book. I liked it so much more than I expected to, and so much more than I reasonably should have, given my almost-complete lack of interest in the subject.

See, send me a free book and I'll write about it. :)