Friday, July 31, 2015

Two Reads For A Wet Week

A good friend recently down-sized her Florida home and offered me first pick from a stack of books headed to the library. Passing over exotic travel books and thick novels, I selected two very different paperbacks; Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris and Chris Rose’s 1 dead in attic. Only later when I began reading did I discover a connection between the two books. 

David Sedaris has made a career of making us laugh at the absurdities of life and Holidays on Ice is no exception. This is a collection of six of Sedaris’s most profound stories about Christmas. After reading “Season’s Greetings to Our Friends and Family!!!,” I’ll never be able to read another holiday newsletter with a straight face.
There is nothing funny about 1 dead in attic, journalist Chris Rose’s firsthand account of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. Rose’s collection of essays, wonderfully complemented by Charlie Varley's photographs, offers a stark and gut-wrenching look at life in The Big Easy post-Katrina. It’s also a reminder of the failure of governmental bureaucracy that preceded and set the stage for the Hurricane.

The common thread that these two books share is the often irrational and ridiculous nature of life. Whether we laugh at the absurdity or cry, what results is a kind of catharsis. And through this collective release, we are able to go on with our own lives.

photo- 1 dead in attic, Charlie Varley, c. all rights reserved

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