Author: Augusten Burroughs
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, June 2003
Summary: Augusten (author of Running with Scissors and A Wolf at the Table) continues his autobiographical work in Dry. Sadly I am not sure his story is all that unique in terms of living a “successful” life on the outside. He makes a very good living in New York City working as an advertising executive during the day. However, when not at work, and, sometimes when (and certainly at lunch), Augusten’s life revolves around his need to drink to oblivion. He describes the chaos of his life and relationships brilliantly and often they are so “out there” you laugh with him as he reveals how crazy his life/addiction has become. Finally his boss forces him into rehabilitation where he meets and befriends some hilarious and sad personalities. His telling of his return to his life sober makes for a truly moving story. His sadness and regret is palpable when he realizes he may have lost the opportunity to be with his true love. Not for the faint-hearted.
Who will like this book?: Readers who relish the madness of the lives some people live and survive.
If you like this, try this: The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls.
Recommended by: Karen, Administration
Title: When You Are Engulfed In Flames
Author: David Sedaris
Summary: In his latest collection of comedic essays, David Sedaris picks up right where he left off – spinning amusing, unforgettable anecdotes from everyday topics, from walking through a zoo alongside (or far behind) his partner, his unwitting friendship with town outcasts, and busybody neighbors, his obsession with house spiders and an attempt to quit smoking in a tobacco-permissive Japan.
It’s not just that Sedaris is the undisputed master of this form: It’s that he doesn’t allow the humor to get in the way of the heartfelt sentiment of the tales he tells – and vice versa. Each essay takes you on a journey you’d never expect, and to conclusions you would never imagine when reading its opening sentences.
Who will like this book?:If you enjoy the satire and humor of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report and you haven’t read any Sedaris yet, what are you waiting for! It doesn’t have the political bent, just the same sharp social critique and merciless self-deprecation.
If you like this, try this:Anything else by Sedaris, especially Holidays on Ice. Also note: The audiobook versions of his stuff are excellent. Fraud by David Rakoff. Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian