Quarantine Book Recommendations: Set One By: Sophie Fetter

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim and Let’s Talk about Diabetes with Owls - By David Sedaris

I remember how excited I was. The buzz of walking into the massive Fox Theatre in Detroit. As we were scanning our tickets, we asked the woman if Mr. Sedaris did book signing before or after the show. She said, “Before,” and then, “Well there he is right now." And there he was! Kilt-wearing and spectacled, he made his way over to the table. We were lucky enough to get the second spot in line. He asked for our names and drew a little owl in my book. I love owls.

“How old are you?”


“Ah,” he said. “Then you're going to need one of these.” He reached into his bag and whipped out a tampon. It was a European one, so it was a small and foreign little compact bullet. He gave that to me along with a chocolate coin and a mini bottle of conditioner from his hotel room. The entire book-talk I clutched the items, which I now keep in the right-hand drawer of my desk. I can proudly boast about my “David Sedaris Tampon, touched by the fingertips of Mr. David Sedaris himself.” Much of Sedaris's writing has this similar whimsical, incidental charm.

Sedaris' books explore childhood memories with humorous hindsight, various characters he’s come across, and the small but amazing aspects of life. His books follow no particular structure or consistency; each chapter is just a small segment of life told with humor and wit. My favorite book of his and the one I got signed, “Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls,” has absolutely nothing to do with diabetes or owls. I don’t even think the words are even written once.

Instead, the subject of Sedaris’ writings is oddities and eccentricities that cross his path. Sedaris has the capacity to turn anything into an analysis of the absurdity, strangeness and wondrousness of the world. It was Sedaris’ mentality of finding the humor and absurdity in the everyday that got me into journaling. Sedaris takes the reader back to what Norwegian philosophy writer Jostein Gaarder called “The Faculty of Wonder:" Constant awe and appreciation of the amazingness at even the smallest pieces of the world, and I think this is something we need more of right now.

Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls Available on Kindle, Free Kindle App and Audible Here

Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim Available on Kindle, Free Kindle App and Audible Here

Hyperbole and a Half - By Allie Brosh

This has been one of my favorites for a long time now. “Hyperbole and a Half” is a witty, epigrammatic and humorous novel by blogger Allie Brosh. The book is a collection of short stories, each from Brosh’s life. The thing that stands out most about “Hyperbole and a Half” is its art style. The book is hilariously illustrated by just about the crudest, low-brow, Microsoft Studio Paint collection of pixelated drawings to have ever reached print. These illustrations are what really sets the book apart.

Each story is around twenty pages long but overall contains only about five pages of text, making it a very short read. A majority of the book’s stories come from Brosh’s childhood, while a good portion of the others are about her two dogs. Reading about someone else’s dogs doesn’t sound like the most interesting thing in the world, but Brosh’s use of wit, sarcasm and cynicism makes them uproariously funny. The memoir isn’t all just inconsequential humor though. The book deals with serious issues like depression and suicide.

I’ve been picking this up every now and again since I was a kid, and each time it offers a little something more. Overall, it’s a pleasant, dynamic and uproarious book, and definitely something to make you laugh while staying at home.

Available on EBook Here

Available on Kindle and Free Kindle App Here

Space Boy - By Stephen McCranie

I stumbled across “Space Boy” when I was introduced to LINE Webtoon, a website with hundreds of free webcomics. I remember thinking it was weird at first, because the art style was very different from anything I’d seen. I decided to give it a try, though, and instantly loved it. “Space Boy” is a sci-fi adventure starring a girl from a different time and a mysterious and aloof boy. The larger plot and sci-fi aspects are ever-present, but the main focus is on the characters. Amy, the girl from another time, has never been to Earth, so the first few chapters are focused on her adjustment to her new home. Her amazement at the new world around her is a reminder of how we often forget to find the natural beauty in things that are common in our lives. The story zooms out with the introduction of the mysterious boy however, to a larger theme of companionship and the ever-present threat of a nebulous and frightening “Nothing.” The art is gorgeous: digitally painted in a style that flows and with a beautiful color palette. One of the best things about reading a Webtoon is that it takes the author many years to produce, so you get to see their art evolve over time. This is a comic for those who like simple stories that resonate with you and remind you about the real quiet beauty of friendship, emotions and being human.

What I have photographed are the print copies, but Space Boy is available for free on Line Webtoon

Episode 1 Linked Here