Thursday, July 17, 2008

#8: From Mrs. Timmons, Multi-grade Science

If you enjoy short stories, you have GOT to read Me Talk Pretty One Day, by Dave Sedaris. I absolutely adore the author's somewhat caustic sense of humor, especially in regard to his childhood in North Carolina. I also particularly love the title of the book, because the underlying theme for all of his stories in this book (his 4th on, by the way) is the inability to communicate. For instance, he moves to France and tries to learn 10 new French words a day: exorcism, facial swelling and death penalty were at the top of one day’s list, while slaughterhouse, sea monster and witch doctor topped the following day's list. I find those words to be extremely critical when attempting to have a conversation with an individual of the French persuasion, don't you?

In one of his essays, Dave recalls that while growing up in North Carolina, he had a lisp and therefore had to go to a speech therapist, who, ironically and stereotypically enough, pronounced the word "pen" in 2 syllables. In another, he attempts to be a college professor at the Art Institute in Chicago (which goes horribly wrong as he assigns the students to observe soap operas for homework!) and you literally find yourself laughing out loud at his lack of insight and ability in being an instructor.

I highly recommend this book to everyone because you can read an essay, put the book down for a week, month or a year and pick right back up where you left off. I know Christmas is just around the corner, and his book, Holidays on Ice, is equally as impressive.

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