Thursday, June 12, 2008

What Should I Read Now?


I just finished Chuck Palahniuk's latest book Snuff the other day - "Laugh-Out-Loud Funny" says JA! - and now I have a terrible decision laying in front of me: which of these two books do I read next?

The Garden of Last Days, by Andre Dubus III - I've never read The House of Sand and Fog, but Stephen King's endorsement of this new book by Dubus in a recent issue of Entertainment Weekly made his new book sound right up my alley. I am impressionable like that.

When You Are Engulfed In Flames, by David Sedaris - The latest collection of Sedaris' stories, some (most?) of which have been published elsewhere already (although I think I've only read a couple so far). He makes me laugh heartily. And sometimes he mentions his sister Amy, and my heart fills with love. Here's the EW review.

Any thoughts? Whichever I choose, I'll just read the other one next, so it's not like this is a dire query. My life does not depend on this! No Baby Seals will be injured in the making of this decision. Well maybe just that one I was carving up for dinner, but that son of a bitch had it coming.



Dave Ehrlich said...

I vote for When You Are Engulfed In Flames. While Garden of Last Days sounds really gripping (I was passed along an advance copy months ago, and - of course - promptly misplaced it before digging in), a new Sedaris book in your hands is a vital, electric, hold-all-calls invitation to some serious funny. I have the eight-CD audio version to begin, I just haven't had a spare nine hours this week.

Catherine said...

No matter what the question, the answer is always, 9 times out of ten, "David Sedaris".

I'm jealous. I don't even know if his latest is out in Ireland yet. I'm going to mosey on down to the bookshop today and try and get my hands on a copy.

Herbaliscous said...

Neither. Read The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood instead.

sparky2379 said...

I don't know anything about Dubus (I believe I read a short story of his once) but I wholeheartedly agree with the first two commentors, a new Sedaris tome is an event. I just finished the hardcover a couple of days ago and the bf and I have been laughing ourselves to sleep listening to the audio version at night. I'm sure either way you can't lose but as I'm admittedly biased towards Sedaris I'd actually say save the best for last and read Dubus first. Maybe save Sedaris till November just in case McCain somehow wins the election (please God, no!).

Catherine said...

Aaaaand, I'm back from the bookshop with no joy. Goddamit.

Anonymous said...

You could try reading them both at the same time.
Here is a video of Dubus reading from The Garden of Last Days at a bookstore in NYC.