Read about a new book by David Sedaris before it hits the shelves | SteamboatToday.com

Read about a new book by David Sedaris before it hits the shelves

“Theft by Finding: Diaries 1977-2002”

by David Sedaris

If you've read David Sedaris' other works, then by all means read this book of journal entries from 1977 to 2002.  It isn't his normal writing style that you know and love.

It's personal, and shows his growth as a human being and as a writer.  You can tell when he's doing drugs — in fact he often tells you — and when he's drinking. 

As time goes on, you find him talking about his bad habits and that he wants to quit, admitting "I'll never do THAT again".  You're able to find out who the man is — who he was as a very young man, his aspirations and how he evolves. 

If you haven’t read Sedaris, my first inclination is go read everything of his you can find, then read this.  He's a funny, poignant, flawed human being, and an angel. Welcome to his world; it's a great one.

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“Calypso”

by David Sedaris

I feel privileged to be a recipient of David Sedaris' unique style and self.  That I "get" him at all, I rejoice in, I revel in. I'm like a dog rolling in the grass in the sheer delight of being alive.  That I get him when he's at his most snide, I'm perhaps a little too grateful. 

I'll turn someone onto any books of his that we have, and they will, sadly, immediately turn to a "smart-ass" bit.  They haven't read the previous or following bit, so it's out of context, and they are not as amused as they might be.  To these people, I beg you to try again.  You will find him excruciatingly funny.  In “Calypso,” you will find him in all lights.  Be prepared.

Calypso” is, if not his "tour de force," certainly writing at his best.

His view of life is just as beautifully skewed as ever. My explosive laughter inspires customers and colleagues alike to ask me what on earth I'm reading. When I look up, with tears rolling down my face, all I can do is hold the book up.  My co-workers know me and my one-sided love affair with Sedaris, and just nod in appreciation. 

For customers, I come to enough to speak, and explain what's so funny.  This is not a different Sedaris, but it's the most personal of his books I've read, including his journals.  Besides having tears of hilarity, tears of sympathy, love for some of his losses and some gravity in growing older —growing being the operative word there.

Sedaris' losses include that of his mother, ostensibly of cancer.  He and his siblings vied for her attention when they were young and probably gloated when they received it.  Sadly, a void was created in her when the kids left home, and she tried to fill it with alcohol.  What a mother she must have been for Sedaris and his family to reflect back on her and recall how wonderful she was, instead of having the alcohol pervade their memories of her.

I'm rambling, but I tend to do that.  “Calypso strikes many different chords regarding family that one can't live with and/or can't live without.  His love for every member of his family is palpable, from his ever-irascible father to his sister Tiffany, who committed suicide, and whom he never really knew.

This title will be released May 29.

These titles are and will be available at Off the Beaten Path bookstore and Bud Werner Memorial Library.

Katie Davidson is a bookseller at Off the Beaten Path.