Two books I didn’t love – “Extreme Encounters” by Greg Emmanuel and “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” by David Sedaris
My tolerance for terrible things has gone significantly down since the birth of my son. I used to love Law and Order: SVU, but now I can’t watch the show purely due to the sheer amounts of kids and parents that bad things happen to in the plots. I tell you this, because it probably explains why I really didn’t enjoy “Extreme Encounters.” While a clever idea for a book – and I’m always a big fan of Quirk Books’ releases – this one just isn’t for me. Greg Emmanuel has collected loads of information and relates first-hand accounts of what it would be like to be a part of The Running of the Bulls, get Frostbite, have a blow dryer dropped in the bathtub while you’re in it, and sink into quicksand – all of which sound terrible, as expected. If incredibly morbid non-fiction is your taste, go for it. It’s just not for me.
First, my confession; I’ve never read a book by David Sedaris, despite being a book nerd and being surrounded by people all the time who talk about how utterly amazing he is. So, when I found a first edition “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk” at a thrift store at the end of last year, I thought I’d stumbled upon a great find.
I just finished the book, though, and I’m not at all impressed. This small collection of short stories of animals behaving like humans barely held my interest, and struck me as too cutesy and twee to even be finished.
Fortunately for Mr. Sedaris, the responses of my friends when I posted my disappointment with this work on Facebook were overwhelmingly along the lines of, “That’s my LEAST favorite of his books. Read something else by him! Really, he’s great! We promise!” There are two other Sedaris works on my bookcase to get through, so I’ll read those with an open mind. “Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk,” however, is going to get donated as quickly as I can get to Open Books.