Sunday, November 13, 2016
Off the Shelf:
The Stranger in My Genes
While I have a backlog of books yet to read from my double-stacked bookshelves, I couldn't attend this weekend's conference without getting my own copy of CNBC news anchor Bill Griffeth's recent release, The Stranger in My Genes. After all, Bill Griffeth was one of the featured speakers at this weekend's twelfth annual International Conference on Genetic Genealogy hosted by Family Tree DNA. It would be the perfect plan if I could read the book on the flight to Houston.
Published this past September by the New England Historic Genealogical Society, the Griffeth memoir held out the promise of being a riveting tale—well, at least for genealogists.
Precise planner that I am, I finally got around to placing my book order at Amazon—where at least I have Amazon Prime—with that "just in time" delivery that the modern corporate system has spent the last few decades perfecting.
While the concept might have been exquisite, the execution was not. Thursday came, and no book. FedEx dropped by to make a routine delivery at noon. The UPS guy even drove by my door like clockwork at 12:30. My last hope drove into the sunset with our regular mail delivery at five.
Still, the website promised the book would be here by eight, so I held out for a last-minute rescue by the driver of some unmarked delivery van. Surely I'd have that volume to tuck into my carry-on for the flight to Houston. It would be the perfect prequel to hearing Bill Griffeth speak at the conference.
Suffice it to say I left for the airport without that expected delivery. Not that it mattered, but to make it even worse, the thing didn't show up the next day, either: holiday.
Meanwhile, by Friday evening, I and my traveling companion were signing in, two thousand miles from home, for early registration. What should be set out at the registration tables but several copies of the Griffeth book.
"Oh, are these for sale?" I asked, explaining my dilemma.
They weren't. Autographed, they were part of the registration bag of goodies for attendees. A complimentary copy for each of us. Thus leaving me in the odd position of being glad that a promised delivery didn't show up as expected.