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Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  106,328 ratings  ·  8,728 reviews
A guy walks into a bar car and...

From here the story could take many turns. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humor and intelligence and leave you deeply moved.

Sedaris remembers his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarka
Hardcover, 275 pages
Published April 23rd 2013 by Little, Brown and Company
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Julianne From a Teri Gross interview with Sedaris I heard a while back (I've just read the book and was trying to remember the story!)

SEDARIS: It's called that…more
From a Teri Gross interview with Sedaris I heard a while back (I've just read the book and was trying to remember the story!)

SEDARIS: It's called that because I was signing books a couple of years ago, and I was signing for this woman, and she was - every now and then, somebody will be kind of pushy, right. And they want you write something specific in the book.

SEDARIS: And I just picture every book winding up at Goodwill, and I don't have a problem with that, OK. But I don't want it - I imagine someone at Goodwill opening one of my books and then seeing an inscription that says: Keep laughing. Now, I would never write that in someone's book, right.


SEDARIS: And I would never read a book in which somebody had inscribed keep laughing. So this woman wanted me to write to her daughter: Explore your possibilities. And I said, well, I'll keep the word explore. And then I wrote: let's explore diabetes - then I thought I'm not done yet - with owls. And then I thought: That's the title of my book. So that's where the title came out of.



SEDARIS: I just think - and I've got to tell you, I'm so pleased with it as a book title. I love hearing other people say it.

GROSS: Well, I'm going to say it, and I hope it gives you pleasure.(less)

Community Reviews

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3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  106,328 ratings  ·  8,728 reviews

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Jeanette  "Astute Crabbist"
When I told my mom what I was reading, she thought I said "Let's Explore Dead Babies with Owls."

Bravo, Mr. Sedaris.
4.5 stars
Gary Anderson
Feb 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
I usually like the work of David Sedaris. He’s at his best when talking about his family or childhood memories, or wryly observing society’s foibles. Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls has moments of that trademark understated irony, but it’s more self-absorbed than his earlier collections. This book’s primary theme seems to be the travails of a successful author as he fulfills his tiresome obligations to accept invitations to read his work out loud in exotic locations like China, Rotterdam, and C ...more
May 01, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: no-just-no
You know I'm shocked by all the high ratings for this book. Maybe it's because I'm younger than the average David Sedaris reader, but my eyes were literally bleeding towards the end of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls. I don't even rate nonfiction, but I'm making an exception for this... thing that reads like the inane, self-absorbed ramblings of a Grampa Simpson type - 'when I was young...' I killed endangered animals, never got the approval of my dad, wrote a racist rant, got my passport stole ...more
Jason Koivu
Mar 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: humor
David's mah dawg, yo! I love this little guy!

I always listen to him read his own stuff in audiobook form, as opposed to reading it myself. I can't do his little elfin voice justice.

Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls is more of the same Sedaris: observations skewed by his quirky worldview, which produces within me squirmy giggles with the occasional guffaw explosion. This collection of essays gets an extra star on the rating from sheer worn-shoe comfort joy. It's no better than his previous books.
Jan 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I love David Sedaris but I HATED his last book, 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk'. I'm hoping he redeems himself here.

UPDATE: I read this book and I was happy to find short stories and essays. I laughed out loud many times. The story about the taxidermist is my favorite out of this collection.
Raeleen Lemay
(I listened to this on audiobook.)

I went into this book with little knowledge on David Sedaris's work/life, so I learned a lot about him while listening to this! Overall it was enjoyable, but it definitely didn't blow me away. I do plan to give Me Talk Pretty One Day a read, but probably not any time soon.
Nov 23, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
My full review, as well as my other thoughts on reading, can be found on my blog.

A fast-moving collection of humor essays, Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls takes on subjects well known to fans of David Sedaris. The essays center on the author's many travels, his writing, and his relationship with his father; several of the pieces rehash material he covers more effectively elsewhere, from early essay collections like Naked to his recent memoir Calypso. A set of short stories, more disturbing than
Jul 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays
As part of the promotional tour for this book, David Sedaris made a stop in a Barnes and Noble in my city, and I ended up going sort of by accident (I bought a copy of the book on a whim the day before the event and learned that, by purchasing the book, I had also unknowingly purchased a ticket to the reading the next day). It was a fun event - Sedaris is charming and adorable in person, and was very polite to the requisite crazy people who tend to show up at every author reading I've ever atten ...more
Ahmad Sharabiani
Lets Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris
Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls is a collection of narrative essays by David Sedaris. The book was released on April 23, 2013.
Essays: Dentists Without Borders; Attaboy; Think Differenter; Memory Laps; A Friend in the Ghetto; Loggerheads; If I Ruled the World; Easy, Tiger; Laugh, Kookaburra; Standing Still; Just a Quick E-mail; A Guy Walks into a Bar Car; Author, Author; Obama!!!!!; Standing By; I Break for Traditional Marriage; Understanding Unders
B.J. Leech
Feb 08, 2013 rated it liked it
Let's get one thing out of the way right now - David Sedaris is the preeminent satirist/essayist working and writing today. Maybe it's because of his radio readings or listening to his audio books, but his is a distinctive voice that fills your head as you read his work. For me, I can't help but think as I read a Sedaris essay that he's standing right there next to me, speaking word for word what is written on the page, which makes for interesting mental company.

When I delved into "Let's Explore
Heidi The Hippie Reader
David Sedaris is a unique American humorist. Sometimes I love his essays and other times I hate them, so ranking a collection of his work fairly is difficult. I listened to the audiobook of Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls on my daily commute and he's a wonderful narrator. Actually, having read a handful of his other books, I'd recommend listening to him read his essays. His timing and inflections are perfection. He's one of the few humorists who has literally made me laugh out loud.

The high poi
I needed a laugh and Sedaris didn't disappoint. A few times I was laughing so hard, I expected angry neighbors to kick in my door and duct tape my mouth shut while shaking their heads disapprovingly or sighing theatrically at the evidence that I have finally gone insane. It’s not just the jokes and the context they’re in, it’s also the parallels I can draw with my own life, with my own cynical personality and my facetious nature. And a bit of empathy is essential when it comes to memoirs.

For ful
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: humorous-essays
Yay! David Sedaris is even older than I am. (Every year it gets harder and harder to find someone who is...) BUT, he IS close enough in age that we are basically contemporaries, therefore, his gripes are my gripes, and this makes me happy.

Like Sedaris, I can clearly remember mundane incidents that occurred in third grade - the day THAT BASTARD, Marty W., pushed me down in the playground and tore my favorite pants (true, they were plaid, so maybe he did it as a favor), but, no, I cannot remember
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

3.5 Stars

It appears at this point in my life (at least until the road construction is completed and my commute stops sucking balls every day) I will be listening to each David Sedaris collection on an endless loop . . . . .

Okay, I do have to remark about how much tastes change. In my initial little blip of “I like it, it was gud” from years ago I commented how I enjoyed the final segment featuring tiny fictional selections. Who the f
mohsen pourramezani
Jan 05, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: essay, satire
جدیدترین اثر «دیوید سداریس» طنزنویس امریکایی است که در سال 2013 منتشر شده. مانند بقیهی کتابهایش، در این کتاب نیز خاطراتش را به زبان طنز روایت میکند. این کتاب شامل 21 جستار از 27 جستار کتاب اصلی است.
مثل بقیهی کتابهایش روان و جذاب بود. وقتی آخرین بخش کتاب را میخواندم که در مورد عادت خاطرهنویسیاش بود و اینکه چندین جلد دفتر خاطرات دارد، تازه میفهمیدم که چطور اینقدر خوب میتواند خاطرات را با جزییات به یاد بیاورد و اینکه این همه سوژه را از کجا میآورد. کتابهای سداریس علاوه بر اینکه برایم جذاب و خواندنی
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it

Humorist David Sedaris rummages through his life to compose the entertaining anecdotes in his books. Sedaris's stories range from his childhood, through his drug-hazed young adulthood, to his successful career as a writer and speaker.

Sedaris was brought up in a large family; had a varied higher education (he dropped out a lot); held an assortment of jobs; met his life-partner Hugh; traveled widely; lived in Europe; and met many memorable people.....and he writes about all of it.

David Sedaris

Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
David Sedaris makes me laugh.

I love to read, want to encourage reading every chance I get, but here, in this one instance, let me invite potential readers to listen instead. Sedaris’ books are hilarious, but to truly enjoy and to really understand the David Sedaris experience, you need to listen to him read his essays and sketches. The audiobook is the key. His delivery, nasal and borderline effeminate, is perfect. Sedaris has the timing of a veteran comedian and he is just too funny.

Let's Explo
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: essays, humor
’s Explore Sedaris

While I loved Sedaris' other book, Calypso, at first I was not so fond of this book and found it rather depressing. Not funny, Sedaris, I thought to tell him. Perhaps, Sedaris isn’t always supposed to be funny. I don’t know.

There were just too many Dad stories. His verbally abusive father is a person that I would rather not think about or be around, much less desire to write about. Let sleeping dogs lie. So, I did not laugh much at all when listening to his father stories. But
Elyse Walters
Feb 21, 2013 rated it liked it
I enjoyed some parts of the book more than others.

I kept thinking ---It would have (always would be) much more fun to 'hear' David Sedaris reading these stories -rather than read them to myself.

It wasn't my 'favorite' book --yet I laughed. (and was touched)

Plus, how can anyone 'not' smile just saying 'David Sedaris's name! :)

Sam Quixote
Dec 30, 2017 rated it liked it
The hi-larious humorist David Sedaris returns for another collection of rib-tickling, side-splitting… ok, enough of that! But Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls isn’t a bad read and a few of the essays had me LOL-ing hard though it’s definitely not as consistently good as his other books.

His Homer Simpson-ish dad steals the show whenever he crops up, thundering about David’s childhood home in his underpants with a drink in his hand. In Attaboy, he chokes out a neighbourhood boy he wrongly mistake
Nov 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I feel like I'm now on some sort of NPR blacklist for not liking David Sedaris. Like, I'll call in to the next fund drive and they'll say "I'm sorry but our records show you gave ...Diabetes with Owls two stars. We don't want your money." Two stars, because he's a competent writer, especially when he's not writing as himself, and he made me chuckle a few times but, wow, I haven't felt this alienated by a book in a while. Maybe it was because I listened to the audiobook and hearing the howls of l ...more
Jul 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
It is no happy work to break the hearts of tens, but I can do nothing less than my duty. So here it is: David Sedaris is not funny. He is not clever, observant, witty, pithy, or trenchant. He is not deadpan or droll.

What he is, is not funny.

I do not argue that he has never been funny or that he may never be funny in some theoretical future. I argue that he is specifically, painfully not funny in Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls, his latest book of “essays, etc.” (and it’s that “etc.” that should
Jan 12, 2016 rated it liked it
نمی دونم چه صیغه ایه که همیشه صبر می کنم تا پیمان خاکسار یکی از کتاب های سداریس رو ترجمه کنه ککه بعدش من بدو بدو برم انگلیسیش رو بخونم

به هر حال اینم خوب بود. طبق عادت همیشگی نویسنده مجموعه ای داستان کوتاه بود با محتوای یادآوری خاطرات خود نویسنده از اتفاقات ریز و درشت زندگیش که چاشنی طنز هم بهش اضافه شده . بد نیست وقتی غمگین هستین یا بی حوصله این یا دلتون خنده می خواد یا حوصله کتاب های سنگین رو ندارین یا مثلا موتور کتاب خوانی تون خاموش شده و می خواین با یه محرکی روشنش کنین به این کتاب رو بیار
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The most embarrassing part about writing a review of a David Sedaris book is the moment when you realize that what you are really trying to do is to write a David Sedaris-style essay. Something cute about how you were reading his book on the subway and you started laughing so hard that even the drunk homeless people moved away from you, but slowly because they hoped you wouldn't notice. You'd segue into a bit about how this made you realize that even when everyone around you makes you feel like ...more
Amy | shoutame
Jan 28, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adult, non-fiction
I really disliked this book. I honestly have no idea how this book makes people laugh.

I consider myself to have a pretty dry 'British' humour and it felt like David Sedaris was attempting to do this but completely missed the mark. I kept pushing myself through hoping the bigger joke was coming along and I was suddenly going to understand it all but it was just crude and pretty vile in places. Sedaris successfully manages to insult so many different people in this book that I spent the whole tim
Jan 06, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: humour
This set of essays/musings is typical Sedaris. The collection is variable. Some of it is brilliant observational comedy, often at Sedaris’s expense, there are also recollections of childhood and its dysfunctionalities. He sends up his own liberal values and his own obsessions (litter for instance). There are some fictional pieces as well, usually from the point of view of racists or conservatives, which are pure satire, although I felt that these were the weakest parts of the book. The random co ...more
Apr 25, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
“And I'm here to tell you that, as long as you keep your eyes shut, it's really not that bad.”
― David Sedaris, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls


While I enjoyed this collection more than Sedaris' previous book 'Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk', it just didn't rise to the levels of his great collections ('Naked' or 'Me Talk Pretty Someday'), or even his very good collections ('When You Are Engulfed in Flames' or 'Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim'). I just feel like he is retreading the same ground,
Mar 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
فقط دو جا از آدم، دزدي ميكنند؛ در تلويزيون و در دنياي واقعي.
در تلويزيون اموال آدم پيدا ميشود ولي در دنياي واقعي، تازه اگر خوش شانس باشيد، پليسي كه به خانه تان ميايد ميپرسد: كامپيوتر دزديده شده چه جور كامپيوتري بوده؟
اجازه ندهيد اين سوال، سطح توقعتان را ببرد بالا. به احتمال قوي اين را پرسيده چون يك سوال نرم افزاري دارد.
ميشه گفت اين كتاب يه مجموعه از يادداشتهاي شخصي سداريسه. درمورد سفرهاش. خاطراتش از چيزهاي مختلف. با همون رگه هاي طنز كه تو همه جملاتش خيلي واضح وجود داره.
با سداريس نميشه نخنديد.
My first taste of Sedaris' writing. I enjoyed some essays more than others, but that was to be expected.

I particularly enjoyed the stories about his travelling and living in other countries.

I hope to read more by him. Any recommendations?
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I'm continually amazed at David Sedaris' detail. The way he writes conversations and chance encounters - brilliant. "Day In, Day Out" describes his journal-writing process, and is it surprising? The man works nonstop at it - recording the minutest of details for later use. I've seen him read from one of these journals. His satire and sarcasm just get me all weepy...with laughter. I love this man.
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David Sedaris is a Grammy Award-nominated American humorist and radio contributor.

Sedaris came to prominence in 1992 when National Public Radio broadcast his essay "SantaLand Diaries." He published his first collection of essays and short stories, Barrel Fever, in 1994. Each of his four subsequent essay collections, Naked (1997), Holidays on Ice (1997), Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Dress Your Fa
“As a child I assumed that when I reached adulthood, I would have grown-up thoughts.” 723 likes
“States vote to take away my marriage rights, and even though I don't want to get married, it tends to hurt my feelings. I guess what bugs me is that it was put to a vote in the first place. If you don't want to marry a homosexual, then don't. But what gives you the right to weigh in on your neighbor's options? It's like voting whether or not redheads should be allowed to celebrate Christmas.” 87 likes
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