Mini book review: “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)”

by Keena Kimmel

I have adored David Sedaris since first hearing him read his essay “Santaland Diaries,” on NPR. In it, he recalls working as an elf for the Big Guy in Red at Macy’s. It first aired on “Morning Edition” in 1992, and was Sedaris’ big break, after decades of scraping to pay the rent and evolving as a writer/artist. Since then, he’s gone on to publish 10 books, the bulk of them personal essays, derived from ravenous daily journaling.

It’s one thing to read Sedaris’ work, it’s another to hear him read it. And, once you’ve heard a story in Sedaris’ voice, it’s impossible to read anything he’s written without him narrating it in your head.

His new book, “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)” is a peek into experiences that became fodder for later work. Random observations, his wacky family, historical events, many of which were poured onto the page at various branches of his beloved IHOP, confirming the idea that observing the human animal in its natural habitat is often the least predictable but best entertainment of all.

Sedaris will be performing at the Community Concert Hall at Fort Lewis on Nov. 11. Tickets are available at durangoconcerts.com.

— Keena KimmelOwner of White Rabbit Books and Curiosities

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