Dear El Bicho,
I am looking for a new book to read and wondered if you had one to recommend? The one I just finished through my book club was a bit of a downer (Ugh! I hope to never read another story about abused children), so I am looking for something lighthearted. If it’s something current and hip that would impress guests who saw it lying around my place, that would be a bonus.
If you are looking for a humorous book, I’d suggest Care To Make Love In That Gross Little Space Between Cars? Following You’re a Horrible Person, But I Like You, it’s the second volume collecting selections from Amy Sedaris’ advice column “Sedaratives” from Believer, the literary magazine published by Dave Eggars.
Each month, Sedaris is by joined by different guests dishing out “advice” to what I presume are real letters sent in, though the book offers no clarification. The guests range from well-known modern comics like Zach Galifianakis and Lisa Lampanelli to lesser-known folks like author Elizabeth Beckwith and Dan Guterman, a staff writer for The Colbert Report. Even fictional people weigh in with Jerri Blank, Sedaris’ character on Strangers with Candy, offering some tough love. Sedaris, or whoever is responsible for lining up the talent, has an understandable sweet spot for the early days of Saturday Night Live, represented by writers Anne Beatts, Alan Zweibel, and cast member Laraine Newman
The contributors take a variety of approaches to the dispensing of advice with various degrees of success. Some respond to the questions while others use them to go off on tangents. Most are amusing. Louis C.K. stands out as the worst. While playing an unhelpful jerk who admits to having had a bad day after the fact, his insults aren’t very funny.
Hope that helps, N.D. I don’t know what circles you run in, so you’ll know better than me if Care To… will score any cool points. If you have any writer/literary friends, I imagine it would.