David Sedaris Book Signing at A Cappella Books in Atlanta, GA

Whilst I was walking in Atlanta yesterday, I stumbled upon a bookstore called A Cappella Books. While I didn’t end up going inside, I put it on my radar to check out in depth in a future visit.

Today, I browsed the bookstore’s website and saw that A Capella Books is hosting David Sedaris (one of my favourite writers) for a book signing for Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls on June 16, 2014 at 7PM. You can purchase a copy of the book on Amazon (or don’t, actually*), or get it through A Cappella Books’s website for $17 (signed by David Sedaris).

I’m looking forward to this event. If you’re in Atlanta, I hope you can make it too.

###

*Based on the recent controversy with Amazon and Hachette, David Sedaris suggests getting his book(s) at an actual store, like A Cappella Books:

If you don’t want to go to a store, or if you don’t want to use some other website to buy the book, then don’t buy the book. Don’t do it. Get something else you can get on Amazon, like a toaster or thermal socks. I think they sell those. Go ahead. Don’t get my book. Get a flashlight instead.

For further reading on this blog:

(1) “On Guest Rooms and Conversation Snippets”

(2) David Sedaris on Socialized Medicine

David Sedaris on His Sister’s Suicide

Writing in The New Yorker, this is a deeply moving personal reflection by one of my favorite writers, David Sedaris, on his youngest sister’s suicide:

“Why do you think she did it?” I asked as we stepped back into the sunlight. For that’s all any of us were thinking, had been thinking since we got the news. Mustn’t Tiffany have hoped that whatever pills she’d taken wouldn’t be strong enough, and that her failed attempt would lead her back into our fold? How could anyone purposefully leave us, us, of all people? This is how I thought of it, for though I’ve often lost faith in myself, I’ve never lost it in my family, in my certainty that we are fundamentally better than everyone else. It’s an archaic belief, one that I haven’t seriously reconsidered since my late teens, but still I hold it. Ours is the only club I’d ever wanted to be a member of, so I couldn’t imagine quitting. Backing off for a year or two was understandable, but to want out so badly that you’d take your own life?

The family’s back-and-forth on what to name their beach house was amusing in an otherwise very melancholy piece.

On Guest Rooms and Conversation Snippets

David Sedaris pens a delightful post on being a host in England after acquiring a house with not one, but two guest rooms:

Three of my sisters visited us in Sussex last Christmas, so Gretchen and Amy took a guest room each. We gave Lisa the master bedroom and moved next door to the converted stable I use as my office. One of the things Hugh noted during their stay was that, with the exception of Amy and me, no one in my family ever says good night. Rather, they just leave the room—sometimes halfway through dinner—and reappear the following morning. My sisters were considered my guests, but because there was a group of them and they could easily entertain one another I was more or less free to go about my business. Not that I didn’t spend time with them. In various pairings, we went on walks and bike rides, but otherwise they sat in the living room talking, or gathered in the kitchen to study Hugh at the stove. I’d join them for a while, and then explain that I had some work to do. This meant going next door to the stable, where I’d switch on my computer and turn to Google, thinking, I wonder what Russell Crowe is up to?

My favorite parts of the piece were the anecdotes of walking into conversations and overhearing strange snippets:

I walked into the living room after returning from a bike ride one afternoon and heard her saying to her mother, Joan, who was also there, “Don’t you just love the feel of an iguana?”

That same night, after my bath, I overheard her asking, “Well, can’t you make it with camel butter?”

I thought of asking for details—“Make what with camel butter?”—but decided I preferred the mystery. That often happens with company. I’ll forever wonder what my guest Kristin meant when I walked into the yard one evening and heard her saying, “Mini goats might be nice.” Or, odder still, when Hugh’s father, Sam, came to see us in France with an old friend he knew from the State Department. The two had been discussing the time they’d spent in Cameroon in the late sixties, and I entered the kitchen to hear Mr. Hamrick say, “Now, was that guy a Pygmy, or just a false Pygmy?”

There were two disturbing (to me) sentences in the piece. Can you guess what they are?

David Sedaris on Socialized Medicine

Funny man David Sedaris writes about his experience with socialized medicine in this New Yorker piece. The bulk of the focus is his interaction with his dentist and periodontists, but it was the below exchange with his doctor in France that had me laughing out loud:

The last time I went, I had a red thunderbolt bisecting my left eyeball.

The doctor looked at it for a moment, and then took a seat behind his desk. “I wouldn’t worry about it if I were you,” he said. “A thing like that, it should be gone in a day or two.”

“Well, where did it come from?” I asked. “How did I get it?”

“How do we get most things?” he answered.

“We buy them?”

The time before that, I was lying in bed and found a lump on my right side, just below my rib cage. It was like a devilled egg tucked beneath my skin. Cancer, I thought. A phone call and twenty minutes later, I was stretched out on the examining table with my shirt raised.

“Oh, that’s nothing,” the doctor said. “A little fatty tumor. Dogs get them all the time.”

I thought of other things dogs have that I don’t want: Dewclaws, for example. Hookworms. “Can I have it removed?”

“I guess you could, but why would you want to?”

He made me feel vain and frivolous for even thinking about it. “You’re right,” I told him. “I’ll just pull my bathing suit up a little higher.”

When I asked if the tumor would get any bigger, the doctor gave it a gentle squeeze. “Bigger? Sure, probably.”

“Will it get a lot bigger?”

“No.”

“Why not?” I asked.

And he said, sounding suddenly weary, “I don’t know. Why don’t trees touch the sky?”

Hilarious.

If you’ve never read Sedaris’s Me Talk Pretty One Day, get yourself a copy immediately.