Book Buzz: Pairings — Family Dramedy and the Holidays

Holiday season is upon us! Halloween is next week, and from there it’s a steady flow: Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Christmas, New Year’s…

Many of us spend time with family during this oh-so-joyous season, and many of us regret that decision within hours of the parents (or children, or aunts, or cousins) descending.  Let’s spend November reading some books that might make us feel better about our family drama, and will also remind us why we love our families even as they drive us INSANE.

Bechdel, Alison. Are You My Mother
Tuesday, November 12th | 7:00pm
CLP – Lawrenceville
279 Fisk St., Pittsburgh, PA  15201

A few months ago, the Book Buzzers out in Brookline read Alison Bechdel’s Fun Home, and by all accounts they loved it.  Let’s capitalize on that success by reading the companion piece, Are You My Mother.  This poignant graphic-memoir explores Bechdel’s relationship with her mother, a disappointed artist who spent her adult life married to a closeted gay man.  And, bonus: the graphic format means it should be pretty doable to get it read by November 12th, even though I didn’t pick a title until October 26th!

Sedaris, David. Holidays on Ice
Tuesday, November 26th | 7:00pm
Espresso a Mano
3623 Butler St., Pittsburgh, PA  15201

We will NOT be meeting in December — too much going on for too many people — so we’ll be pairing Are You My Mother with a holiday-centric dramedy by master essayist David Sedaris.  If you’ve ever read anything by Sedaris, you know that he’s irreverant and hilarious, and this collection of essays is no exception.  It’s also not JUST a Christmas book. Sedaris mixes in tales of tardy trick-or-treaters and the Easter bunny.  Try to get the 2009 edition of Holidays on Ice, not the 1997 one — Sedaris updated the collection and includes six all-new essays.

The November 26th meeting will be at the fabulous Lawrenceville espresso bar Espresso a Mano. This is one of my happy places — the owner, Matt, always remembers my drink (half whole / half skim latte), even when it’s been weeks or even months since my last visit, and there’s a fabulously comfy couch on which we all can sit and talk about books and families.  Join us for hot, frothy beverages and great conversation about books and crazy famlies.

See you soon,



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