A melancholy Christmas

I just finished reading Augusten’s newest:

I was expecting really big things out of this book, and to be honest, I was a little disappointed. The first few essays were about Augusten’s childhood and were admittedly chuckle-worthy. They involved a life-sized wax Santa with a half-eaten face and a gingerbread public housing unit. But as the book progressed, the stories became more and more melancholy. He described his drunk Christmas spent with bums in New York City, and an affair with a fat French Santa.

Overall, the book lacked Augusten’s usual sharp wit and eye for hilarious details. I wouldn’t recommend spending $21.99 on the hardcover version. With my Barnes and Noble member’s card it was $18 and some change, still a little steep. Maybe it’ll be out in paperback next year.

If you’re in the mood for a little holiday absurdity, I recommend reading “Holidays on Ice” by David Sedaris. The best part is, you can buy it used on Amazon for $1.89.


Angela’s Ashes

I finished reading the hilariously wonderful “Possible Side Effects” by Augusten Burroughs the other day when I ran across Bookseer.com. It’s a website that suggests what books you should read next based on the one you just finished reading. I entered in “Possible Side Effects” and up popped the likely list of other Augusten books, David Sedaris and Haven Kimmel. What I didn’t expect to see on the list was “Angela’s Ashes” by Frank McCourt.

Luckily I already own “Angela’s Ashes.” I saw it on the bookshelf at Goodwill a few years back and decided that for two dollars, it was a good investment. And now I’m glad I did. Since I’ve been boycotting the fascist library, the only thing left was to buy (too poor) or read something I already had.

“Angela’s Ashes” is a really interesting read so far. It reminds me a lot of “The Glass Castle” by Jeanette Walls, the way the father in the story drinks his paycheck every week and leaves the family to starve. Not exactly an uplifting story, but I can handle it. I’m about 200 pages in right now; I’ll fill you in on more when I finish.