Review: Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

Hey y’all! I finished Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls by David Sedaris last week.  It’s easily one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.  Although I caused my friends some confusion, the book actually has nothing to do with diabetes and only one chapter is devoted to owls – primarily deceased ones, too.  No big deal.

In actuality, this book is a collection of humorous essays that left me literally laughing out loud.  I know this is an overused phrase, but I received quite some looks at the pool as I was chuckling at my tablet.  Most of the essays chronicle David’s explorations throughout various countries.  In fact, this global element is what placed the book on the 26 Books that will Change the Way You See the World list.  The stories are light-hearted and culturally fascinating as Sedaris humorously points out the different idiosyncrasies from country to country.

There are two aspects of this book that I greatly value.  The first is obviously Sedaris’ ability to write hilarious and entertaining stories out of nearly thin air – no grocery store trip, airport line or standard family dinner is left untapped.  The second is Sedaris’ writing style.  His mix of quirkiness and humor with a dash of emotionally charged storytelling leaves me with writer’s envy.  I’m hoping his writing can inspire a little bit of mine.

There are a lot of knee-slap worthy, and also downright I-can’t-believe-he-said-that-but-I’m-laughing-anyways quotes from David throughout the book.  My favorites include:

  • “Listen,” I’d always like to say, “I’m not a parent myself, but I think the best solution at this point is to slap that child across the face.  It won’t stop its crying, but at least now it’ll be doing it for a good reason.”
  • When my mother announced dinner, he took off his jacket, stepped out of his trousers, and took his seat alongside the rest of us. From the tabletop up, he was business casual – the ironed shirt, the loosened tie – but from there on down it was just briefs and bare legs.
  • Of the many expressions we Americans tend to overuse, I think the most irritating is ‘Blind people are human too.’
  • People didn’t say “artist,” they said “starving artist,” so even if you weren’t doing anything of consequence, as long as you were hungry you were on the right track, weren’t you?
  • Since I’d come back to Raleigh, my most daring achievement was to move into my own apartment, this at my father’s insistence and done practically at knifepoint.
  • He can talk about litter, but when the topic shifts to the price of heating oil or the correct way to lay a paving stone, he can shift with it.  For me, though, there is no other topic.
  • As a child, I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts.  By this I meant that I would stop living in a fantasy world; that, while standing in line for a hamburger or my shot at the ATM, I would not daydream about befriending a gorilla or inventing a pill that would make hair waterproof.  In this regard too, my diaries have proven me wrong.


I feel like a book is only as good as what it teaches you.  For me, Sedaris’ Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls is a reminder to enjoy the simple and, of course, funny things in life.  There are too many things in the world to take seriously, but this book ain’t one of them, folks.  If you’re looking for an entertaining read (ideally by pool-side), I highly recommend LEDWO.  Get some.

**If you’d like to join us for reading Omnivore’s Dilemma (tentatively aiming for completion at the end of July), learn more and sign up over here!  Or, just follow my blog – dang, it.  ;)


High Five for Friday… ?!

Happy (almost) Friday, y’all!  This post is coming out a little early because I am on my way to lovely boonieville West Virginia to run in my 2nd Ragnar Relay race.  We’ve been warned that there will be no access to internet and awkward camping situations.  I feel like I’ve forgotten some things since my last time camping back in ohmaybethe5thgrade so this is bound to be an eventful experience.  As I embark on an adventuresome, painful and “roughing-it” next couple of days, let’s take a look back on some of the finer things in life from earlier this week!

1. I’ve been super pumped that these flowers lasted the past two weeks.  They add a burst of color and happiness to my mornings :)

2. Oh, hey pool season!  You make me very happy :)

3.  This is a long and kind of funny story, but I finally don’t have cable in my house so I’m obviously addicted to
Apple TV and all things Netflix / HBO GO (which by the way I like to pronounce either as H BOGO or HBO TO GO).  Anyways, my obsession trickled over to Game of Thrones.  Love it!  Do you watch?  I’m only on Season 3!

4. Ok – so I need some help with this one!  I’ve been trying to get in a new routine before falling asleep each night, and one thing that I would like to implement is journaling for 5 or so minutes before hitting the sack.  So far, I have not been able to motivate myself!  I decided to move my journal over to my bedside table to encourage me.  Do you journal?  How do you encourage yourself to write/reflect each day?  Do you have a night time routine?  I need some help!

5. This is the only picture that I have on my phone from the DC pride parade this past Saturday. The destruction was from death by water gun.  I figured that I should explain what’s going on here.  K. Have a great weekend!