Friday, October 23, 2015

The Allure of Immortalilty, Book Release Party


Last night Don and I attended a standing room only book release party at Florida Gulf Coast University. Journalism professor (and former teacher of mine), Lyn Millner, published her first book with the University Press of Florida and it's a beauty! She must be so proud of her accomplishment.

This summer I received a copy of the manuscript so that I could review it for The Florida Book Page, my monthly radio review program on our local NPR station. I recorded my thoughts on Tuesday and they will run on November 10th at 8:45 a.m.

As a former public librarian at the branch that serves the Estero, Florida, area, I can attest to the fact that so many new residents come in looking for books that can inform them about the area. I was always embarrassed at the lack of great options and ended up doing my best southwest Florida Chamber of Commerce routine, telling my customers the history I'd gleaned over my thirty years of residence. The Koreshan State Historic Site was always high on my list of must-sees. It is a very spiritual oasis in the middle of chaotic growth and new construction.

Now I'm pleased to tell you, there is a definitive, fascinating, readable option. "The Allure of Immortality," though a biography of the charismatic Dr. Cyrus Teed who formed the utopian Koreshan Community here in Estero, Florida, is so much more. That's because author Lyn Millner is first and foremost a journalist. She went about writing her book with a journalist's eye for detail. She also set Teed's life in the context of all that was happening in the country socially, economically, and politically, while he was preaching for converts to Koreshanity.

Subtitled, "An American Cult, a Florida Swamp, and a Renegade Prophet," this book will not be a hard sell. And its interest will not be limited to local residents as Teed gave birth to his controversial ideas in New York state and fomented them in Chicago. I won't tell you any more about it (the review will be podcast). In fact we worried that Amy Bennett Williams, who introduced Lyn to the audience last night, suffered from TMI syndrome. I kept thinking, if you keep telling us the whole story, who's going to bother buying the book. I needn't have fretted. The signing line was plenty long. Congratulations Lyn.


Andrea said...

I got some great ideas for our December book club, thanks! You do such a great job!


Sallyb said...

Awwww-thanks Andrea. So glad that you're still with me even if it's from afar.