cover image A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020)

A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries (2003–2020)

David Sedaris. Little, Brown, $32 (576p) ISBN 978-0-316-55879-2

The celebrated humorist returns with more offhand observations on the weird and tiresome in these sparkling diary excerpts. Sedaris (Me Talk Pretty One Day) riffs on life with his partner Hugh Hamrick as they brave awkward dinner parties; his obsession with picking up trash; the personal inconvenience of societal upheavals (“I was thinking of my beloved shops,” he frets during a 2020 looting outbreak—“What’ll happen if there’s nothing left for me to buy!”); and the colorful, quotable eccentrics who materialize everywhere he goes. (“On my way for a coffee this morning, I passed a man with an umbrella on his head... ‘The devil will fool you,’ he told me.”) The proceedings are saturated with Sedaris’s trademark irony, wherein the search for energizing squalor ends only in the purgatory of the banal. “I’d like to see angry orphans and drunk people fighting,” he notes at the start of a Bucharest sojourn, but at its conclusion he’s trapped on an airliner as “the woman in front of me shoved her seat all the way back and the woman next to her put on some horrible melon-scented hand cream. I couldn’t have been any more miserable.” They may not stick to your ribs, but Sedaris’s memoiristic nuggets are always tasty. Agent: Christina Concepcion, Don Congdon Assoc. (Oct.)