Which David Sedaris Book Should You Read First?

If you search the internet for “funny book recommendations,” you’re sure to see books by David Sedaris on almost any list you find. A legendary humorist, Sedaris appeared on the scene almost three decades ago, starting with his essays on National Public Radio in 1992, followed in 1994 by his first book, Barrel Fever. Part of what makes him endearing is his caustic wit, his remarkable talent for observation, and his ability to make us laugh, even when he’s relating some of the most serious events in his life.

There are not many writers who have consistently published so many bestselling books that manage to make people laugh and cry. In fact, Sedaris might be at the top of his field. He continues to sell out venue after venue, like a literary rock star, partly because David Sedaris events are famous for being spontaneous. He might work out a new essay on the audience, or read a piece he’s never shared before, and he’s always excited to meet with people after the show. If you get a chance to see a stop on the David Sedaris tour, you should take it!

With essays about holidays, siblings, health, travel, and more, there is something for everyone in his collections, which is why they also make great gifts. When I was an indie bookseller, we sold dozens of copies of Holidays on Ice at Christmas and tons of all of his books at graduation time. So whether you’re looking to start reading David Sedaris, a huge fan patiently waiting for David Sedaris’s new book, or you need a suggestion for a gift, here’s a handy rundown of almost every wonderful book he’s published over the years. Fact or fiction, he’s always funny.



About David Sedaris

David Sedaris is the author of the books Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls, Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Holidays on Ice, Naked, and Barrel Fever. He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker and BBC Radio 4. He lives in England.


Liberty Hardy is a Book Riot senior contributing editor, co-host of All the Books, a Book of the Month judge, and above all else, a ravenous reader. She resides in Maine with her cats, Millay, Farrokh, and Zevon. You can see pictures of her cats and book hauls on Twitter @MissLiberty and Instagram @franzencomesalive.