Two more books to mini-review...
The Partly Cloudy Patriot
by Sarah Vowell
Simon & Schuster, 2003
In the past, I have resisted Sarah Vowell. The reason for my resistance is that I have been told that her books are far more interesting to listen to in audio book format than to read, and her voice drives me bat shit insane. So I haven't listened to them. However, because I was enjoying David Sedaris so much, and I associate the two of them in my head (for no good reason, as it turns out), I finally gave in and decided I'd give Sarah Vowell a try. Why I started with this particular book is anybody's guess...I think maybe I just liked the title.
Well, I loved it. Vowell is just my kind of geek. Her writing is smart and funny and self-deprecating, and she's interested in just the same kind of dorky stuff I am. I mean, the first chapter of the book is about Gettysburg. The woman clearly has a crush on Abe Lincoln. And I'm all for that.
And her voice...well, it's still irritating, but somehow it seems like it's supposed to sound that way after a few paragraphs. And when she says that she's convinced that the supposedly high-voiced Lincoln "sounds just like me," I almost believed her. I'll definitely be getting her other books in audio format and will probably go through them just as quickly as I did this one.
Miss American Pie: A Diary
by Margaret Sartor
There are few things I can think of that are more self indulgent than publishing your diary from 7th through 12th grades. Seriously. I mean, who wants to read that? Well, apparently, me. This book is Margaret Sartor's unadulterated (I think) diary from those years of her life, in the 1970s, in Louisiana. While interesting things may have been happening in her state and in the country, most of them were not happening to her. Mostly, her entries are about her friends, with whom she's never close enough, her boyfriends, with whom she's often too close, her family, who are pretty garden-variety fucked-up, and her on-again off-again relationship with God. And how frizzy her hair is. I'd say it's about 10% about her relationship with her hair. And yet it's weirdly interesting, particularly in the age of the blog, when (assumedly) this kind of unabashedly self-centered private rambling is out of vogue. It's a really quick read (it took maybe an hour and a half all together?) and is definitely more entertaining than it should be, at least if you're the voyeur type. It also got me started on old-fashioned by-hand journaling again. Who knows if that will last.