It’s the holidays and the end of a decade. Christmas is exactly one week away and today I realized that during these times I always read a certain collection of books. For a few years it was Three Weeks With My Brother, a memoir by Nicholas Sparks. Laugh if you must, but my only other favorite book by him is A Walk To Remember – after that one his writing and plots sort of blend together so that each work sounds the same, just as the covers all look alike. Some other years I’ve read or tried to reread Little Women or Lés Miserables but both are rather large and in between eating cookies, napping, watching television and napping some more – it’s hard to find time to finish the longer books. But lucky for me I’ve found a new set of books that will keep me busy for a handful of future Christmases. Twelve drummers drumming drum roll please ………… (Pretend that is a drum roll; I even counted twelve ellipses. I accidentally typed “drum toll” the first time. You have the pay the drum toll before you hear the drummer’s drum roll. Okay, now to my new Christmas read discovery.)
David Sedaris. That is, books authored by David Sedaris.
I first picked up his book Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim while browsing a Books-A-Million five-dollar bin a few winters ago. I read it over winter break in about two days. I would have read it faster but with all my napping and television watching, and the cookie eating – I was just so busy. Dress Your Family is hilarious. All of Sedaris’ (sorry Mr. Sedaris if I didn’t plural your last name right) are personal essays about family, life, work, vacations, his Aunt Monie, being an elf, living in France or whatever else is crazy or unusual enough to place in a book. His writing is humorous and his stories are absurd yet relatable. And that is why David Sedaris is the perfect read for the holidays. His narrative of his own life and family and how crazy and unpredictable they are gives you reassurance that you too can deal with anything during the holiday season. David Sedaris has also published some holiday-themed stories – Holidays on Ice – which I’m currently reading. I am now reading the essay where he is a holiday elf for Macy’s – oh the merriment.You can listen to excerpts from this essay on NPR.org (link leads to reading).
In the midst of writing this post I’ve noticed that Elf has ended and Ella Enchanted is on USA right now. I’ve only seen the first 20 minutes of this movie and that was two summers ago. I’m realizing if I was playing Amy Adams’ part that I would shoot myself. I mean if you had to speak in that annoying high-pitched “princess” voice on set everyday who wouldn’t tear their own vocal cords out? Some things to note: first – real princesses don’t talk like that. The only princess I can think of is Princess Diana and I know she did not speak like a perky idiot. So I Googled “princess” to see how the rest of the world views a princess and all that came up was a page of Disney Princesses (gross) and Princess Cruises (I could get down with that.) The second reason I’m about to change the channel to Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (besides the fact that it is a far better movie) is the tired old plot. Hasn’t Disney built their entire empire on the incompetent princess needs saving/competent prince will gladly be the saver complex? Boring and unoriginal, no? I will say it would be pretty cool if animals helped with daily chores just like in this clip from The Simpsons.
I’ve realized I’ve gone a bit (a lot?) off topic and bringing it back in I’ve decided to post a video of David Sedaris reading his own work. I don’t like this one too much and I think he has written much better essays but by watching the clip you can get a better idea of what to expect from his works.
Do you have any favorite reads you like to bring out during the holidays? If so, please share!
Happy Christmas Readings!