I’ve decided I need to start sharing with you guys the wonderful things I’m reading. Or the terrible things I’m reading. Thankfully, I haven’t picked up a Anita Blake, Vampire Series book since I was like 15, so hopefully there won’t be many reviews of terrible books.
This week’s book, Dear Mister Essay Writer Guy, I only ever read on one couch.
So I’m already lying to you guys. My bad.
I read it on a plane. On a chair by a pool. In desks at my alma mater as I substituted. And, finally, on my sigfig’s couch, because the Broncos were playing terribly and they seemed to play better if I wasn’t watching the screen.
Then I took a nap because the Broncos were sucking so bad. Like, really, really bad.
Fortunately, this book does not suck. This book is one of those books that I think was written by someone who is supposed to be my best friend but doesn’t know it yet and writes a book that leads to the exact right person (me) reading that book and thus beginning an incredible friendship.
Or stalking. An incredible stalking. But whatever, you know what I mean.
Frankly, I’m a little offended that I haven’t met this Dinty guy. Or that, in a book full of drawings of polar bears (yesss), a particularly good joke on emoticons, and the humorous self-aggrandizement of someone pretending to be a hipster in order to make fun of hipsters, I am not mentioned.
The concept behind this book is something I wish I could steal, but will probably just “appropriate” for writing exercises when I teach somewhere: Writers ask Mister Essay Writer Guy (Longest/best nickname ever) a question about writing. Mister Essay Writer Guy responds with a letter full of sass. Then Mister Essay Writer Guy writes an essay inspired by the question. It’s fucking brilliant.
I mean, he has a whole essay appropriated from facebook posts. I can’t even handle it. I laughed an inappropriate amount at that.
The best part of the book though, the part that made me laugh so hard I had to put the book down and not look at it again, is an essay spawned from a question from Cheryl Strayed. She asked about using an em dash–something that is quite close to my heart because I like em dashes as much as I like chocolate, and I can’t eat an em dash–and in his response, he wrote this:
“Here’s a fun fact:
Though Johannes Gutenberg gets credit for inventing the printing press, and thus the en and em dash, his delinquent great-nephew Otto von Daubenspeck Gutenberg is the one who invented the innovative “enemy dash”-a rare punctuation mark with the width of an en, an em, and a y-used primarily to poke people in the face.
I may have just made that part up.
Yes, most certainly.” (Moore, 19)
Even retyping it had me laughing so hard I needed to take a break.
The book closes on an essay about writing because Roxanne Gay asked a question about why writers write about writing so often.
Dinty answers it as best he can, but he left me with one question:
Why don’t writers talk about reading more often?
Which led me to this post. FULL CIRCLE BRILLIANCE ACHIEVED
I received this book from Blogging For Books for this review.