What have you been reading this Summer?
For me, it's ended up skewing fairly funny:
- I'm almost finished with The Family Fang, and I hate for it to be over! It's funny, for certain...maybe veering toward the tragicomic. I resisted it at first, because it seemed too obvious a choice for me (Julie Morstad cover and all.) What a dumb reason to avoid something. I've loved it. The art-within-art in the book (the family's performances, of which there are many, but also paintings, short stories) is so incredible, and gives the novel this wonderful nesting-doll quality. There are lots of marvelous things within the shell of the novel, within each particular Fang.
- I re-read all of my favorite David Sedaris books, and (on my third or fourth readings) I think I fully appreciated what an outstanding writer he is. I've always considered him an excellent storyteller, capable of spinning marvelous things out of little strands he plucks from his life, strands uncommonly hilarious and poignant. Most funny memoirists/essayists just don't have such a knack for finding those strands, the ones that lead to heart of an anecdote. This time reading his books, I was bowled over by those same things, but also by his clarity, word choice, just everything.
- I read Let's Pretend This Never Happened at the beginning of the Summer, which probably set the tone for the Summer and sent me digging through my shelves for the above books. It's really funny, raucous, and almost gratuitously self-effacing (but still light and zippy). The perfect thing to bring on a trip.
(For anyone who's read it, two words: Raccoon Jams!)
- I spent the last few nights up late with this book of interviews, Daniel Clowes: Conversations, which, like their subject, are wry and smart and sincere (and funny.) A few months back, when his beautiful monograph, Modern Cartoonist came out, I dragged the big thing into bed with me and pored over all the interviews included therein. This little paperback of interviews has even more to read, and was much easier to hold. That Mr. Clowes is such a hero of mine is a little funny - my work isn't very much like his in tone or aesthetic. But something about his technical perfectionism, wary sensitivity and grouchy beauty just kills me.
This Summer, reading-wise, has been a far cry from the dark delights of the 2011 Summer of Angela Carter, but I'm sure I'll be heading down that path again soon.
I'd love to hear about anything (funny or otherwise) you've read and liked lately!