Book Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris

from the desk of: Veronica

I have another summer reading recommendation for you! Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris is perfect for laying out in the backyard or toting to the beach, or even reading in bed with the windows open while the summer rain beats down on the roof … okay, I agree, I’m getting a little carried away, but I truly love this book.


I finally picked up this book, a year after it was published, despite the fact that David Sedaris is my favorite contemporary author. My mother was over that day, and while the girls were napping she stepped out of the room to take a phone call, so I dove on the book and began reading. From the first page, I was laughing so hard I was choking. When she came back into the room, she demanded I read some of the book aloud to her if it was that funny. I ended up devouring half the book during naptime, then picked it up as soon as they went to bed for the night and finished it off. I immediately regretted it being over, and pulled all his previous book off my bookshelf so I could start over again.

I truly wish I could properly describe Sedaris’s writing style, but I know I will fall short. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, like most of his books, is about 90% memoirs and 10% completely outrageous essays in which he delivers a monologue as a character that is utterly unlike himself. I do love the little essays from what I would consider to be crazy people, but my favorite is the other 90% of the book — Sedaris tells stories from his childhood, from last week, from ten years ago, and somehow they are just normal stories that could happen to anyone (visiting the dentist, waiting at the airport), and yet, the things that happen to him would probably never happen to you (driving around North Carolina with your dad — who’s holding a baseball bat and a drink — looking for the man who tried to attack your sister, getting obsessed with picking up roadside trash and letting it take over your life). He tells these stories with a dry wit and hyperbolic tendencies that are simply the recipe for humor, in my opinion. He is not called a pre-eminent humor writer for nothing. The man is hilarious, insightful, endearing, and so much more.

Like everything David Sedaris has written, you will laugh out loud the whole time you are reading Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, and then you will wish it hadn’t ended and start writing him letters, begging for him to publish a book a week … just me? Yeah, maybe that last part is just something I do.

If you haven’t read it yet, toss this in your beach bag this summer, then come back here and thank me.

You can find Veronica at her blog, Veronica M.D. (no, she’s not a real doctor), and on TwitterInstagram, and Pinterest. Feel free to stalk her. She encourages it.


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