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Ranking Author David Sedaris’s Best Books (A Bibliography Countdown)

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“What are David Sedaris’s Best Books?” We looked at all of Sedaris’s authored bibliography and ranked them against one another to answer that very question!

We took all of the books written by David Sedaris and looked at their Goodreads, Amazon, and LibraryThing scores, ranking them against one another to see which books came out on top. The books are ranked in our list below based on which titles have the highest overall score between all 3 review sites in comparison with all of the other books by the same author. The process isn’t super scientific and in reality, most books aren’t “better” than other books as much as they are just different. That being said, we do enjoy seeing where our favorites landed, and if you aren’t familiar with the author at all, the rankings can help you see what books might be best to start with.

The full ranking chart is also included below the countdown on the bottom of the page. We will update the article if/when a new book by David Sedaris is released. Although it probably won’t be immediate so the scores on each site have time to settle and aren’t overly influenced by the early, usually much more opinionated, users.

Happy Scrolling!



The Top Book’s Of David Sedaris




11 ) Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

 Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 11
  • Amazon: 11
  • LibraryThing: 11

Featuring David Sedaris’s unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life. In “The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck,” three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In “Hello Kitty,” a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In “The Squirrel and the Chipmunk,” a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members. With original illustrations by Ian Falconer, author of the bestselling Olivia series of children’s books, these stories are David Sedaris at his most observant, poignant, and surprising.

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9 ) Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules

 Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 10
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 10

A collection of contemporary and classical short fiction works includes pieces by such writers as Alice Munro, Tobias Wolff, and Joyce Carol Oates.

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9 ) Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays

 Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 9
  • Amazon: 10
  • LibraryThing: 9

A satirical look at modern culture. In Glen’s Homophobia Newsletter, Vol. 3, No. 2, the author parodies the whining of minority groups, Diary of a Smoker tackles the persecution of smokers, and Santaland Diaries describes the author’s experiences as a Macy’s elf.

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8 ) Theft by Finding: Diaries

 Theft by Finding: Diaries Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 6
  • Amazon: 8
  • LibraryThing: 6

David Sedaris tells all in a book that is, literally, a lifetime in the making. For forty years, David Sedaris has kept a diary in which he records everything that captures his attention-overheard comments, salacious gossip, soap opera plot twists, secrets confided by total strangers. These observations are the source code for his finest work, and through them he has honed his cunning, surprising sentences. Now, Sedaris shares his private writings with the world. Theft by Finding, the first of two volumes, is the story of how a drug-abusing dropout with a weakness for the International House of Pancakes and a chronic inability to hold down a real job became one of the funniest people on the planet. Written with a sharp eye and ear for the bizarre, the beautiful, and the uncomfortable, and with a generosity of spirit that even a misanthropic sense of humor can’t fully disguise, Theft By Finding proves that Sedaris is one of our great modern observers. It’s a potent reminder that when you’re as perceptive and curious as Sedaris, there’s no such thing as a boring day.

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7 ) Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls

 Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 8
  • Amazon: 3
  • LibraryThing: 8

From the perils of French dentistry to the eating habits of the Australian kookaburra, from the squat-style toilets of Beijing to the particular wilderness of a North Carolina Costco, we learn about the absurdity and delight of a curious traveler’s experiences. Whether railing against the habits of litterers in the English countryside or marveling over a disembodied human arm in a taxidermist’s shop, Sedaris takes us on side-splitting adventures that are not to be forgotten.…

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6 ) Holidays on Ice

 Holidays on Ice Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 7
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 7

The author has always had a special affinity for Christmas. His celebrated National Public Radio debut, The Santa Land Diaries, which first appeared in print in Barrel Fever was hailed the Seattle Times. The New York Times also wrote of this book. Now The Santa Land Diaries & five other hilarious Christmas stories are available in a wonderfully subversive holiday gift package. For anyone who has had enough of the forced good cheer, family madness, & commercial overkill of Christmas, Holidays on Ice will be the perfect antidote.…

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5 ) When You Are Engulfed in Flames

 When You Are Engulfed in Flames Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 4
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 5

A collection of essays celebrates the foibles of the author’s everyday life in France and America, from an attempt to make coffee with water from a flower vase to a drug purchase in a North Carolina mobile home.

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4 ) Me Talk Pretty One Day

 Me Talk Pretty One Day Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 5
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 2

This collection of essays tells a most unconventional life story. It begins with a North Carolina childhood filled with speech-therapy classes and unwanted guitar lessons taught by a midget. From budding performance artist to ?clearly unqualified ? writing teacher in Chicago, Sedaris ?s career leads him to New York and eventually, of all places, France.…

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3 ) Naked

 Naked Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 3
  • Amazon: 4
  • LibraryThing: 3

The author recounts hitchhiking across the country with an odd cast of quadriplegics and deadbeats, working as a migrant worker in North Carolina, and other adventures.

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2 ) Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim

 Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 2
  • Amazon: 2
  • LibraryThing: 4

In a collection of essays, the Rooster gets married at an uproarious wedding, an estrangement occurs over a rubber vs. plastic debate, and the author gets the upper hand during a slumber party game of strip poker.

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1 ) Calypso

 Calypso Review Website Ranks:

  • Goodreads: 1
  • Amazon: 1
  • LibraryThing: 1

With Calypso, Sedaris sets his formidable powers of observation toward middle age and mortality. Make no mistake: these stories are very, very funny–it’s a book that can make you laugh ’til you snort, the way only family can. Sedaris’s powers of observation have never been sharper, and his ability to shock readers into laughter unparalleled. But much of the comedy here is born out of that vertiginous moment when your own body betrays you and you realize that the story of your life is made up of more past than future.

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David Sedaris’s Best Books



David Sedaris Review Website Bibliography Rankings

BookGoodreadsAmazonLibraryThingOveral Rank
Calypso 111 1
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim 224 2
Naked 343 3
Me Talk Pretty One Day 542 4
When You Are Engulfed in Flames 445 5
Holidays on Ice 747 6
Let’s Explore Diabetes With Owls 838 7
Theft by Finding: Diaries 686 8
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules 10810 9
Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays 9109 9
Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary 111111 11