Shame and Wonder: Essays - David Searcy

When I picked David Searcy’s collection of essays to read, I was intrigued by the title and this phrase from the publisher’s description, “his unique blend of affection and suspicion”, which, as it turns out, is the perfect way to describe his style. His subjects are at once eclectic and ordinary, casting insights on the odd and the everyday. His spot-on descriptions have an almost just-landed-on-this-planet feeling to them — they are so keenly observed and minutely examined. I could not pick a favorite, but for me, there was no dud in the bunch. These auto-biographical essays run the gamut from hilarity to deep sadness, with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia and longing. “I can remember being a child and being blank. Without opinion. Walking around like that. Complete like that. All fear and desire and not much in between. I think of it now as an experimental setup.” I, on the other hand, am not without opinion. In my opinion, you should read this book.