Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

by David Sedaris | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0316154695 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 2/22/2017
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, February 22, 2017
I found this good-condition hardcover at a local Savers thrift shop, and nabbed it for another release copy.

It opens with "Dentists Without Borders," in which Sedaris riffs on socialized medicine. In "Attaboy" he touches on the societal changes regarding youthful miscreants - in his childhood, he notes, his parents would be prompt to punish him if strangers pointed out some juvenile offense of his, while today the parents seem more likely to not only defend their children regardless of their guilt but to accuse the accusers. "Think Differenter" deals with memories, real and imagined - and is a short story rather than an essay, which threw me for a moment when the narrative contained facts out of keeping with Sedaris' own life! (It's followed by "Memory Laps", an autobiographical piece; I tend to prefer these, not least because of the delightfully warped and snarky image Sedaris presents of his family.)

"Loggerheads" is about Sedaris' long-time affection for turtles (though this didn't work out well at all for the baby turtles he'd try to keep as pets when he was a kid {shudder}).

"Easy, Tiger" opens with "On a recent flight from Tokyo to Beijing, at around the time that my lunch tray was taken away, I remembered that I needed to learn Mandarin. 'Goddamnit,' I whispered. 'I knew I forgot something.'" It goes on to dabble in a variety of international-linguistic issues, including a Japanese man recommending that Sedaris buy some manga "to learn how people actually talk" - because he's too polite (!).

"Laugh, Kookaburra" blends a modern-day encounter with real kookaburras (which apparently tenderize their meals by slamming them against hard surfaces) with a poignant childhood memory of the old song, which - when repeated endlessly - caused Sedaris' father to go ballistic.

"Author, Author" is about Sedaris' book tours (which I recommend attending if you possibly can; when he reads his own work it's doubly entertaining). It seems he likes to buy inexpensive items to give as gifts to those who line up for book-signings, and his choices are... interesting!

"Understanding Understanding Owls" deals with collections and/or obsessions that get out of hand, something that the OCD-ish Sedaris is very familiar with. It includes some charming notes, such as the little comedy routine that he and Hugh took up over the book Understanding Owls, and segues into a nicely macabre gift-giving situation.

"Rubbish" is about Hugh and David's move from France to England, with a whole new round of house-choosing and new-surroundings-exploring as humor-fodder.

"The Happy Place" - well, it's about a colonoscopy, and is both entertaining and inspirational - except for Sedaris' inevitable temptation to play a very dark practical joke {grin}.

There's a lot more in this book, some essays, some short stories - I generally prefer the essays, but some of the stories are darkly hilarious too (see "I Break for Traditional Marriage").

[There's a TV Tropes page on Sedaris and his work.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Malone Park (see notes) in Chelsea, Massachusetts USA on Thursday, February 23, 2017

Released 2 yrs ago (2/23/2017 UTC) at Malone Park (see notes) in Chelsea, Massachusetts USA


I left this book on a bench at the top of Malone Park at around 3 on this beautiful day. Hope the finder enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2017 Great Backyard Bird Count release challenge; see the GBBC page here. ***

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