Saturday, August 15, 2009

Until very recently, I had never read David Sedaris, famous essayist and contributor to NPR. I hadn't even really heard of the guy. Neither his name nor his books meant much to me. Admittedly, I am hardly an expert on NPR contributors, and although sometimes it does feel like I live under a rock, I do maintain at least a passing knowledge of popular books. Doesn't mean I've read them all. Just means I have heard the titles mentioned on CBC Radio and can nod knowledgeably if they come up in conversation.
All I really knew about this Sedaris guy was there were a lot-- A LOT-- of requests for his books at the library. Request-list numbers generally do not, as a rule, guide my book choices, but lately, I've come to realize I've reread Harry Potter just a little too much and am trying to branch out. Really, though, there isn't much guiding my reading choices other than, "Have I heard of it?" and, "Is it in the library?" Sometimes the process is streamlined further by, "Do I like the cover?"
The first Sedaris book I requested and read this weekend was chosen simply for the fewest number of people asking for it. I picked up Dress your Family in Corduroy and Denim. With a title like that, I was expecting essays along the Erma Bombrek/Dave Barry type or stories along the cute, faked wisdom vein of, "My kid ruined the CD collection I painstakingly collected through my twenties, salad days full of time and money, but since I am such a wonderful person and parent, I'd rather have peanut-butter-smeared everything than precious, rare, hard-to-find status items."
Boy, was I wrong. One story in particular, Blood Work, had me in tears. Honestly, I don't think I have laughed that hard since I was seven and reading Garfield comics in my bed.
By the way, if you read the Google Books deal of Blood Work, the funniest part is not available on the Internet, so you'll have to add your name to the request list at your library to really, really laugh, or I guess you could buy it, if you're into that kind of thing, book buying that is.

1 comment:

Jay Smith said...

yeh, okay, yet another person telling me to read this guy. you've convinced me. no one else has. thanks!

ps. rosemary *does* look like a cabbage patch doll... but she's darling...