September 2014: Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris
September's book was chosen by our newest member of the book club, Leah. It's lovely having a new member join as we're only a small book club and it just widens our diversity of book choices. For example, this months book Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris, is as diverse as it comes and it's something I would never have picked up on my own. The title itself isn't the most appealing because my first thought is 'what on earth?', and the second is 'why would I want to read about diabetes?' - however, this book isn't about diabetes or owls at all. (owls are mentioned briefly, but I can't recall diabetes being mentioned, but I could be wrong and it's slipped my mind) To be honest, the title's randomness is a reflection of the books contents.
It's hard to know where to begin when discussing this book, because the book itself doesn't have a plot. When speaking to Isha about it when she came to visit me in Nottingham, she described the book as a bunch of short stories, and I suppose in a way they are. In the loosest way possible the chapters are connected, as each story is like a memory throughout someone's life but it's as sporadic as me telling you about how I had a nose bleed when I was 6, and then jumping to me telling you about how I bought potatoes last week, in every little detail. Then some chapters aren't even about the 'main character' at all, or so I assume, but because each short story doesn't introduce you to who is talking, it is like a guessing game throughout the whole chapter. The reason why I put 'main character' in quotation marks is that you find out throughout the book that 98% of these memories are David Sedaris', the author, himself. I don't know if this is common of his work, but I find it really strange for an author to put themselves as the main character, and then this makes me assume that the story is more of an odd autobiography than complete fiction?
The individual stories themselves I found engaging, and there were a few times where I did laugh out loud, but I felt this book was trying to be funnier than it actually is - but that could possibly be that it's not my sense of humour. For the first five or six chapters I actually didn't like David Sedaris (him/his character), as I just found him very annoying. The same goes for his Dad. Some of the topics discussed and the opinions of characters in the books are a bit controversial, which at times made for uncomfortable reading as it's just not my thing. But overall it wasn't a terrible read and I would like to know more about his work.. but whether I would actually read another one of Sedaris' books - I don't think so. Unfortunately I can't think of how I can talk about this book further without giving away the weird form of 'plot', plus the plot itself isn't strong enough to form an actual overview. So bearing all this in my mind, I have chosen to give it a three out of five stars on Goodreads, because I did enjoy it to some extent.
3 out of 5 stars
Don't forget to check out the rest of the book clubs reviews for September too:
And for my other book club reviews:
And you can also find out more about what books I'm reading by following me on:
October's book is my choice (which is fitting as my birthday is in October so I see it as 'my month'), so I look forward to reviewing that, and hopefully I can get back to being on schedule, but I say that every month at the moment!
Until next time,