David Sedaris is something of a rock star in the world of essaysists; which is to say, unlike many writers who toil in relative obscurity in the short-story/essay format, people have actually heard of him. His mix of humor and human absurdity have made his books bestsellers. His latest offering, Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, is no exception.
Regardless of whether you’re waiting for your hold of Diabetes to come in, or if you’ve already read and returned it, there’s no reason for you to be without a well-written essay at hand. Fans of Sedaris — or anyone looking for a thoughtful and amusing read — might enjoy the following works.
|If you could judge authors by the titles of their books, then I’d be clamoring to be Sloane Crosley‘s best friend based on the title she bestowed on her first collection of essays: I Was Told There’d Be Cake. Like Sedaris, Crosley can catapult from thoughtful and subdued to laugh-out-loud funny.|
|You know how in the original Star Trek, there was a mirror universe filled with “evil” versions of the protagonists, easily distinguished from their heroic counterparts by their evil-guy goatees? David Rakoff feels like a mirror-verse Sedaris. While both share the same National Public Radio credentials, first names, and skill with dramatic understatement, Rakoff’s essays feel slightly darker and more misanthropic than Sedaris’s.|
|Sarah Vowell is yet another NPR alum, and the author of several quirky and fascinating books on American history. (Assassination Vacation is the gold standard of humorous travelogue-history on presidential murders. It is possibly the only humorous travelogue-history on presidential murders.) Her collections of essays, including The Partly Cloudly Patriot, often include a side-serving of historical trivia.|
|While Sara Barron‘s chapters/essays may lack some of the finesse or “depth” of the above authors, they are wickedly fun — if somewhat more rated-R. Among her topics: adventures in online dating, failed stand-up comedy, and her own prepubescent attempts at writing erotica. Perhaps her memoir would feel a bit mean-spirited if not for the fact that she addresses her own faults without flinching, and everything feels like it is mined for humor more than spite.|