Top Ten Books for People who like David Sedaris

3 Jul

Another Top Ten Tuesday from Broke and Bookish! This week, the prompt was to list ten books to recommend to someone who likes a certain author. I chose the author David Sedaris as my inspiration for this post, as he’s popular, fun and there are a TON of other authors out there writing about their ridiculous childhoods.

So, for those who like to read David Sedaris, I would recommend:

  • Anything by Flannery O’Connor

Like Sedaris, Flannery O’Connor loves to focus on odd, sometimes macabre characters. Although not as silly as Sedaris, her short stories are infused with a very dark kind of humor. Love her!

  •  Running with Scissors by Augusten Burroughs

David Sedaris and Augusten Burroughs go pretty much hand in hand. They love writing about their weird families in a way that is at turns heartbreaking and hilarious. Burroughs definitely had the harder childhood, so his books are darker, but still very enjoyable!

  • Foreskin’s Lament by Shalom Auslander

Again, stories of an interesting childhood, this time with a strict Orthodox Jewish twist! I have to admit, I mostly link Auslander and Sedaris due to their both being repeatedly featured on This American Life, but they do have similar writing sensibilities. Auslander’s story of struggling to win a “blessing bee” (basically, young Orthodox kids have to figure out which blessing goes with each food…it’s complicated) reads like any of Sedaris’ great stories.

  •  Cold Comfort Farm by Stella Gibbons

I’m sure Sedaris would love this novel about the humorous, bizarre Cold Comfort Farm. In this 1930’s humorous novel, a young woman moves to the Sussex countryside to live with her relatives…and hijinks ensue. She tries to civilize them and bring them in to the 20th century, as they run amok. And the mystery of the something nasty in the woodshed seems like it would be straight out of Sedaris!

  • A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

Ignatius Reilly, the main character of A Confederacy of Dunces, pretty much sounds like he could’ve been a member of  the Sedaris clan. Opinionated, particular and a storyteller, Ignatius will keep you laughing out loud, even as you kind of hate him.

  • I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After Twenty Years Away by Bill Bryson

After living in the UK for twenty years, American Bill Bryson returns to the USA and is amazed, befuddled, enthralled, confused and irritated by what he finds. Sedaris has lived for periods in France, and his writing about his adopted country is very similar to Bryson. It’s all about finding the little oddities in day to day life. Oh, and as someone who lived for a bit of time in the UK, Bryson’s love of the garbage disposal standard in American sinks is spot on. How do Brits not have those?!

  • Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote

Truman Capote was an odd, somewhat egotistical man who wrote fantastic nonfiction accounts of celebrities, murder, drug use, parties, etc. He is more acerbic and dark than Sedaris, but certainly within the same realm. I would recommend this to most Sedaris fans, though I don’t know if all would take to Capote.

  • Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell

Another This American Life contributer, Sarah Vowell writes nonfiction accounts of all sorts of topics, mostly within the history field. Assassination Vacation recounts her trip around the USA to see all the important presidential assassination sites. Sounds heavy, but she keeps it light and full of fun facts. If Sedaris wrote more straight non-fiction, it would be like this.

  • The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs

I once heard this type of writing referred to as “schtick lit”, which, though condescending, is about right. In this book, Jacobs decides to become the smartest person in the world by reading the Encyclopedia Britannica in its entireity. Full of facts and silly, self-deprecating humor, this book falls within the Sedaris world.

  • Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ’s Childhood Friend by Christopher Moore

Sweet, fun, hilarious and mildly subversive. Yep. You’ll like it.


5 Responses to “Top Ten Books for People who like David Sedaris”

  1. Laura July 3, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    Ok, I don’t actually know who David Sedaris is, BUT I really need to read Cold Comfort Farm ( I *have* a copy of it and everything, it just remains eternally unread!) AND omg omg Bill Bryson! I love him, and that book, and he’s literally an amazing genius and I love him some more :). And, yeah, I don’t really understand what a garbage disposal is, even, but they do seem awfully convenient (but, like, how do they work?!)

  2. Ninay July 17, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I’ve read Running with Scissors and its one of my favorites so far. Should start reading David Cedaris’ works too, I’ve heard and read good things about him though. Thanks for this post! 🙂

  3. wylenelim July 17, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

    Wow thank you for sharing this blog post! I’ve already come across A.J. Jacobs in his book about attempting to live according to Bible traditions and he has another book?! Would like to check on this and all the authors you mentioned here and David Sedaris too.

    Can I also recommend to you Alexander McCall Smith? I’m not sure on which genre you will include him. Nice post!

  4. Tina Mallen July 28, 2013 at 12:59 pm #

    Was just Googling to find writers like David Sedaris and found your blog. Thx for the tips! Will definitely check these out. Have you read this guy? My husband just sent me this link. Reminds me of Sedaris.


  1. Top Ten Tuesdays — 10 Non-fiction Books for the Novel Lover « ohdizzle - July 17, 2012

    […] Thinking by Joan Didion, Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick, The Know-It-All: One Man’s Humble Quest to Become the Smartest Person in the World by A.J. Jacobs, Assassination Vacation by Sarah Vowell, Music for Chameleons by Truman Capote, and I’m a […]

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