Take the Cannoli: Stories from the New World by Sarah Vowell

I had first read this collection of essays a few years back when I received it as a Christmas gift.  I read through it once and liked it very much, then loaned it to a successive group of friends, some of whom had heard Sarah Vowell on NPR’s This American Life and wanted to sit down to her work at a reader’s pace. 

Take_the_cannoli For the hurried of time and appreciators of a well-honed wit, Vowell’s essays are a revelation.  Part childhood memoir, part social commentary, in this she takes a barbed and humorous look at such disparate topics as gun control, Native Americans, Frank Sinatra, the drawbacks of driving, Disneyworld, and the ultimate compilation tape (oh, those pre-CD days of yore…).  This was one of the rare books that made me laugh out loud in places – thankfully, the last time this happened was sitting in my truck waiting out a rainstorm up in the mountains, with nobody around to hear.

Definitely read this if you need something off-kilter, funny, and yes, eyebrow-raising.  Vowell will get you to thinking even as your sides are aching.  If you like writers such as David Sedaris, you’ll probably like Sarah.  Oh, and by the way – when you finish, she has a fairly new one out (Assassination Vacation) and 2002’s The Partly Cloudy Patriot.

(William Hicks, Information Services)

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