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July non-fiction book of the month: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

(23 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 14-Jul-14 14:42:53

As one of his devoted fans points out, the only thing better than reading David Sedaris is hearing him read his stories out loud himself. Hailed by Time magazine as ‘America’s Number One humourist’, you may have caught him on BBC Radio 4, railing against roadside litter in his wry voice. Or you may have watched him being interviewed by Jonathan Ross, or read about his experiences as a department store elf, or bought one of his eight essay collections, all of them bestsellers and all of them with the ability to make you snort your food through your nose from laughing so hard. LET’S EXPLORE DIABETES WITH OWLS is his latest treasure chest of elegant and thought-provoking writing. Sedaris can spin comic gold out of almost any situation, but he is also perfectly tuned in to the vulnerability and sadness that lie amid the fun. His honesty and intimacy are consistently at the heart of his brilliance. Read this one, and then read all the others – or even better, try the audio versions. Your outlook on life might never be the same again.

Born in 1957, David Sedaris is a best-selling author, playwright, commentator, and National Public Radio humorist. His writing regularly appears in Esquire Magazine, Slate, the New York Times and the New Yorker. Raised in North Carolina, he now lives in Paris.

You can find all David’s books and more at his website:

Little Brown have 50 copies to give to Mumsnetters – to claim yours please fill in your details on the book giveaway form. We’ll post on the thread when all the copies have gone. If you’re not lucky enough to bag one of the free books, you can always get your paperback or Kindle version here.

If you get a free copy, we do expect you to come and tell us what you think. So please feel free to discuss the book here throughout the month and look forward to hearing your thoughts…

mrscumberbatch Mon 14-Jul-14 18:22:49

I picked up this book on a whim and devoured it.

I love his storytelling and there's a lot of it rings very very true and it is funny, so funny, yet sad too in parts.

It made me very nostalgic for certain eras of my life. And I identified with the awkward but good hearted author.

Badgerwife Mon 14-Jul-14 18:46:50

I really hope I win one! I remember reading Me Talk Pretty One Day a long time ago and it was as interesting as it was hilarious, especially as a bilingual myself

DuchessofMalfi Tue 15-Jul-14 07:52:05

I only discovered David Sedaris fairly recently through listening to him on Radio 4, then started reading his books. I loved this one and Me Talk Pretty One Day. Still have more to read smile

CREATIVZ Fri 18-Jul-14 07:58:19

Sounds like a witty read, if it's capable of making me 'snort food through my nose' then it's worthy of my attention !! smile

CrewElla Fri 25-Jul-14 11:23:53

I am very excited to receive the copy of this book! I love David Sedaris.

Southeastdweller Mon 04-Aug-14 21:10:34

I've got the email - thank you - but still haven't received the book. Has anyone else received it?

CrewElla Wed 06-Aug-14 12:11:31

No, still waiting.

CountBapula Wed 06-Aug-14 12:13:42

Still waiting too.

Southeastdweller Thu 07-Aug-14 18:28:53

Mine arrived today - thanks again.

CountBapula Fri 08-Aug-14 13:12:21

Got it now, thank you! Can't wait to read it!

mjmooseface Fri 08-Aug-14 18:00:48

Just dropping in to say my copy's arrived! Will be back when I've given it a read!

Southeastdweller Thu 14-Aug-14 08:16:11

Really enjoyed this book. Very funny in places, very much my type of droll humour. Favourite essays/stories were the ones on picking up litter, his trip to the taxidermist and the one near the end written in an English voice is also terrific. I've discovered David very late but feel compelled to read more of his books and find out more about his life - I've already bought Me Talk Pretty One Day. I love the way he sees life and found much of this book relatable.

Moulesvinrouge1 Sat 16-Aug-14 13:47:38

Mine's just arrived - excellent. Will be back soon.

StainlessSteelCat Tue 19-Aug-14 23:43:42

Arrived while I was away, been looking forward to reading it as I love listening to him read his work on R4. Will be back soon.

HazelDormouse Fri 22-Aug-14 21:18:38

Very witty and entertaining. I had never read or listened to any David Sedaris' essays/stories before this collection. I didn't know exactly what to expect. I found that I went from being shocked, horrified, saddened (especially 'Loggerheads'), to laughing out loud ('Just a Quick E-mail'). Intelligent and thought provoking.

Great to read whilst commuting back and forth on the train.Thank you for my copy.

cavylover Mon 25-Aug-14 12:24:05

Wasn't sure what to expect when I saw the title but this has to be one of the most unusual books I have ever read. The author has had a very interesting life and manages to see the funny side of many of his experiences particularly regarding doctors and dentists which are laugh out loud funny. Other anecdotes regarding his missing passport and despair at people's littering are identifiable. The author comes across as a likeable person which makes the book a fulfilling read.

MrsRedWhite214 Mon 25-Aug-14 22:15:18

I didn't really connect with this book like i expected to. David Sedaris seems like a nice enough guy, with a sense of humour similar to mine, but it didn't leave a lasting impression. It's easy enough to read with short chapters and an accessible style, but nothing jumped out at me. Perhaps if I'd known more about him before I read the book it would have been a bit more meaningful.

ricecakeaddict Mon 01-Sep-14 12:52:58

Firstly, thank you for my book!
I applied for this as I wanted to try something different and thought it sounded interesting. It's an easy and accessible read - I read most of it in the bath (!) as you can dip in and out and read a couple of chapters at a time.
While I enjoyed it and found it easy to get into, like the poster above I'm not sure I'll remember much of it in a couple of months time. I did enjoy it more towards the end so again, like above, perhaps this is because I was starting to learn more about the author.
I usually prefer reading to audiobooks but actually think I might have enjoyed listening to this book more than reading it as the individual stories may have felt more personal....

littlestar Mon 01-Sep-14 18:03:36

Thank you so much for my book! I am a big David Sedaris fan and this didn't disappoint me. Dry but never cynical, I love his view of life and wish he was my friend as he is so witty. He finds the humour and intrigue in the most mundane interactions and I can really identify with him. There are very few writers that make me laugh out loud but David Sedaris is top of my list.

dorotheamink Mon 01-Sep-14 20:49:10

I love David Sedaris and have read a few of his books as well as listened to him read his own stories on the radio, so I was really looking forward to this one. He has such a wicked sense of humour which I enjoy - his poor family really come under the glare of his sarcasm. In 'Attaboy' he comments on the different way he was brought up from kids these days. A young boy is caught graffiti-ing something and instead of reprimanding him, his parents criticise the man who tries to make a citizens arrest. Sedaris reminisces about how different his own childhood was: 'our artwork did not hang on the refrigerator or anywhere near it, because our parents recognised it for what it was: crap. They did not live in a child's house, we lived in theirs.' Funny. It also pretty insightful.

I'm still making my way through the book (how do you mothers read and have children???) so will follow this thread and come back later if I have more to add.

Greensmurf1 Thu 04-Sep-14 17:06:07

I have been reading before bedtime while my toddler sleeps and I have to try very hard to make sure my laughter doesn't wake her. David's Costco trip had me in stitches!
It is the perfect lighthearted entertainment I need to wind down when I have been taking life too seriously.

barricade Fri 07-Nov-14 23:50:53

Phew!!! ... have finally read the books piled with the mail when I returned from my trip abroad. Many, many thanks to for the opportunity to read and appraise this book.

--> Review has been posted!!! Sorry to say this, but I didn't enjoy it.


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