Feature

Also of interest...in comic relief

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls; Dad Is Fat; Screw Everyone; Snapper

Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owlsby David Sedaris (Little, Brown, $27)David Sedaris can get away with almost anything, said Heather Havrilesky in the Los Angeles Times. Now a rich man thanks to his seven previous collections of short, comic essays, Sedaris here mixes poignantly funny snapshots of his youth with tales about more recent misadventures—like buying property in England and having a laptop stolen in Hawaii. But instead of sounding obnoxiously privileged, Sedaris “pulls it off”—mostly by “adhering closely to the emotional heart of each tale.”

Dad Is Fatby Jim Gaffigan (Crown, $25)Comedian Jim Gaffigan is “typically self-effacing” in his new memoir on fatherhood, said Bill Brownstein in the Montreal Gazette. That’s evident from the first words: “Jim Gaffigan wrote a book? Isn’t he the Hot Pockets guy? I guess that’s funny to some people.” Gaffigan also cunningly adopts a shell-shocked tone while writing about his efforts with his wife to raise five young children in a two-room Manhattan apartment. The results prove “hilarious and, dare we say, instructive.”

Screw Everyoneby Ophira Eisenberg (Seal Press, $16)Ophira Eisenberg “is clearly not just a great comedian; she’s a great writer,” said Liz Colville in the San Francisco Chronicle. The stand-up performer and NPR host has turned the story of her early adulthood into a parade of “tumultuous, disappointing, and hilarious romantic escapades.” Eisenberg seems to have encountered “her fair share of weirdos,” but she doesn’t appear to exaggerate for effect. She’s written “a celebration of female sexual freedom” that’s both funny and emotionally honest.

Snapperby Brian Kimberling (Pantheon, $25)The protagonist of this “tender and acerbic” debut novel is decidedly less than enamored of his home state, said Edward Hart in

The protagonist of this “tender and acerbic” debut novel is decidedly less than enamored of his home state, said Edward Hart in The Kansas City Star. In Indiana, says unmotivated birdwatcher Nathan Lochmueller, “Everything’s flat, everyone’s fat, and you can’t buy beer on Sunday.” Author Brian Kimberling never does make Nathan’s love interest seem fully human. But Kimberling has established himself with Snapper as “a remarkably funny and profound voice in contemporary fiction.”

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