cover image Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech’s Titans and Misfits

Special Characters: My Adventures with Tech’s Titans and Misfits

Laurie Segall. Dey Street, $27.99 (368p) ISBN 978-0-06-301644-6

Segall, a former CNN senior tech correspondent, reveals the ups and downs of her time interviewing tech giants, disrupters, and entrepreneurs in her plucky if faltering debut. From her first day as a news assistant at CNN in 2008 to her rapid rise as an on-air talent covering start-ups and tech, Segall describes how meeting the “scrappy, optimistic, out-of-the-box entrepreneurs” on her beat allowed her to gain a stronger understanding of herself and her ambitions to find “authenticity in a filtered world.” However, she attempts to position herself as an underdog, despite working for a media brand whose name opens doors for her: even with the “lowly status as a production assistant,” simply saying “Laurie from CNN” landed her an interview with Twitter cofounder Biz Stone. Segall admits that she struggled with vulnerability at the same time her career had her “asking people to open up, to reveal their hardest truths in an effort to regain their power.” But what she claims to be her most significant battles—“my inability to fit in... celebrating the strength of others instead of myself”—hold little weight when she fails to dig deeper beyond stories of spilled coffee and embarrassing text conversations. Unfortunately, this hero’s journey lacks a payoff. Agent: Becky Sweren, Aevitas Creative Management. (Mar.)