Thursday, July 21, 2016

Book Review: Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell

Like most people, when I'm not in a good place, I reach right for comfort food, or comfort authors. Sarah Vowell is an old reliable, and just as I was moving, the used bookstore found a copy of this, her first book, a collection of essays.

Naturally, it's not as polished as her later books, And it feels somewhat random with no narrative arc or even common theme. The essays were all still enjoyable and Sarah's distinctive voice certainly shined through. But a few pieces felt quite dated. And I didn't need two essays about Sinatra. I loved though the essays with her family. Her father and her twin sister are both great characters in their own rights. I really enjoyed the essay when Sarah went with her father to shoot cannonballs. He's a gunsmith and very right-wing, she's anti-gun and very left-wing, but their interests cross over with American history.

I had hoped I would like the book more, but as her first book, it's not too surprising that it's a little uneven and less polished. If I'd read her books in order I likely would have found this one pretty hilarious. But she's now set such a high bar, that my expectations were unrealistic. Still a good one, but slight and rough around the edges.

I bought this book at The Book Rack, the used bookstore in Charlotte, NC.

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