Sunday, October 11, 2015

Read It, October 2015, Progress Report 1

This month's "reading" so far involves a few audiobooks. I have a boxed set of audiobooks by David Sedaris in CD form. They are abridged, or at least most of them are, so they shouldn't count as complete books, but they count for something, I guess.

  • David Sedaris, Barrel Fever. I thought the "barrel fever" was going to have something to do with the craze for going over Niagara Falls in a barrel. In fact, it's a term for alcoholism, or delirium tremens brought on by alcoholism (the "DTs"). So the title story in this book, not give out any spoilers, is pretty dark. Funny, but darker than I was expecting.
  • David Sedaris, Holidays on Ice. I've heard some of this material before, in shorter form, on public radio. I had not heard Ann Magnuson's reading of the story "Season's Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!" (The exclamation points are part of the title). She did a terrific job with this story. I believe this collection may be unabridged.
  • David Sedaris, Naked. At this point, you like Sedaris or you don't. I enjoy his stuff but I don't have the laugh-out-loud reaction I did when I first heard some of his pieces. His reputation as a humorist may be a little deceptive. In this book he gets into narrators that are clearly not exactly him, although it can be a bit hard to determine just how much "him" is in them.

In print, I've been reading Fred Pohl's later Heechee books. I'm most of the way through Heechee Rendezvous. These later installments just aren't quite as interesting as Gateway. I have a copy of The Annals of the Heechee waiting, but it remains to be seen if I'll dive into that one, or put it on the shelf.

I've been reading Neurotribes: the Legacy of Autism and the Future of Neurodiversity by Steve Silberman, and so far it is an excellent book. There are a few inexplicable editing problems, where he refers to a character by last name that he has not introduced yet. But fortunately I have only found a handful of these puzzling occurrences. I assume they might be fixed up in the paperback. As a father of autistic children and someone who probably qualifies as on the spectrum myself, I believe this is a significant book, and I'll have more to say about it later. Onward to another week!

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