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Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Book Review: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002) by David Sedaris

I have rarely not just dived into a David Sedaris book and read the whole thing in one gulp. But this time, I couldn't. I had a ton of work reading to do, and also this was his largest book by far. But it was delightful instead to spend a few minutes with David, every night for several weeks. I do love getting enveloped by a book and reading it whole, but it is nice sometimes to parcel out a treat in small amounts to make it last longer. It's just when it comes to David Sedaris, I don't normally have the discipline. And I think he'd appreciate that. I should also mention I've seen him in person four times.

For people who aren't already familiar with Mr. Sedaris, I'm not sure I'd suggest you start with this book. In fact, I think I'd read his books in order mostly. Because with this book, one of the coolest things, is knowing where he's going (bestselling author) and seeing how he gets there. And seeing his sister Amy's career get off the ground. And reading about notable moments, such as when he first meets Hugh, that HE doesn't know yet are notable moments. You catch glimpses and clues along the way about his family and his career path. But as this is exactly what it says it is--his own diaries (lightly edited but he leaves the crazy and juicy stuff in), if you don't know the context of the bigger picture, I can't imagine these would do a lot for you. But with that bigger picture, it's a real treat. In particular I liked the crazy things with his sister Amy, and I loved seeing the morsels that later became big juicy stories such as all the source material for Me Talk Pretty Someday. My only annoyance was that they ended. Obviously, we're totally set up for a volume 2. I just wish I didn't have to wait! This was the shortest 500 page book I've ever read. It flew by.

I bought this book from my local independent bookstore, Watchung Booksellers.

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