Wednesday, May 2, 2012

READING: Free-Range Chickens

This week's read:

Two questions: Why have I never heard of Simon Rich before, and how fast can I read everything else he's written?

I bought this book on a bargain rack for 50 cents and read it this morning, cover to cover, in an hour -- because it was awesome, and also because it was short. It's all McSweeneys-style conceptual humor (lists, imagined dialogue, and one fantastic Choose Your Own Adventure story) so it's easy to breeze through while, say, your toddlers are watching Doc McStuffins

Rich mines a lot of material from his awkward childhood and an obsession with bad TV shows, and consequently, I related to waaaaay too many stories. I think I dog-eared every other page. My personal favorite was "Worst Nightmare," in which he falsely confesses to a murder rather than admitting that he spent his workday watching back-to-back Nanny 911 marathons. (Oh, freelancing. I love you.)

"My top secret seventh grade diary" was quite possibly taken word for word from my own diary. "The only emails I could receive that would justify the frequency with which I check my email" was painfully true. And as someone who's paranoid about almost everything, I loved "A conversation between the people who hid in my closet every night when I was seven" (still true for me today) and "What I want on my tombstone when I die of encephalitis next week" (posthumous passive-aggressiveness for friends who underestimated his mosquito bite).

Is it weird if I list every story? I won't, but I liked them all. 

And now I'm only five weeks behind, and for that, I want to hug him.

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