NYTBR 15 April 2012: What’s on Dave Sedaris’s Reading Shelf

The NYTBR has inaugurated a new column, “By the Book,” in which certain prominent writers are asked about the books currently on their reading shelf.  Here are the answers from Dave Sedaris:

Book on the Nightstand:   Shalom Auslander’s Hope:  A Tragedy

Last “Truly Great” Book Read:  Barbara Demick’s Nothing to Envy:  Ordinary Lives in North Korea; Wells Tower’s story collection Everything Ravaged, Everything Burned

Book that made him want to write:  Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About When We Talk About Love

Two New Histories (from The New Yorker’s “Briefly Noted,” 23 January 2012)

The way self retrieves magazines haphazardly from her humongous “pile of stuff” is probably driving dear blog readers crazy.  She’s feeling slightly crazed herself, these days!

In January she was in India.

In February she paid a brief visit to son in Claremont.

Then she was in Bacolod.

Soon she will be in Scotland.

She thought it best to renew all her magazine subscriptions.

Hamish says there is no internet access within a 40-minute bus ride of Hawthornden.

Say it ain’t so!!!

Dear blog readers, please do not despair, self is the most resourceful woman on the planet.  When, long long ago, she was doing a residency in Fundacion Valparaiso in Mojacar, Spain, she would find a way to get to Simon’s bar, even when it meant walking 20 minutes in full noonday sun, without benefit of a hat or sunscreen.  If there is wi-fi to be found, self will find it, no matter what!

And now to the ostensible reason for this post:  reviews of two new books, both histories, by whoever writes the “Briefly Noted” section of The New Yorker (the 23 January 2012 issue):

  • “There are tons of idiots who have never used their ten fingers for anything and who wander around constantly repeating, inanely:  ‘Haitians are very lazy,’ ” the Haitian writer Louis-Joseph Janvier wrote in 1882, in a long and passionate rejoinder to his nation’s critics. (from the review of Laurent Dubois’s Haiti)
  • In January, 1943, two hundred and thirty women of the French Resistance, imprisoned under the Vichy regime for offenses ranging from pamphleteering to violent sabotage, were loaded into cattle cars bound for the Birkenau concentration camp, in Poland . . .  The survivors owed their lives to a combination of luck and bonds of friendship so strong, as one of the women remembered it, “that to die oneself would be no worse than to see one of the others die.” (from the review of Caroline Moorehead’s A Train in Winter)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers.  Stay tuned.

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Adventures in life from the Sunshine State to the Golden Gate

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor