Theft by Finding Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris


That’s the thing with diaries, though. In order to record your life, you sort of need to live it. Not at your desk, but beyond it. Out in the world where it’s so beautiful and complex and painful that sometimes you just need to sit down and write about it. (p.9)

Reading David Sedaris’ book, Theft by Finding, is making me feel like I live a very mundane life. While I have been afraid of making mistakes, or getting in trouble, or wondering what other people think, he has been doing whatever he wanted.

Things I like about this book:

  • It’s honest and vulnerable.
  • It shows how everyday life can be fascinating.
  • It’s funny.
  • David is only five years older than I am, so I can remember the places and things of which he speaks that aren’t around any longer. Like Ronald Reagan and gas going up to $1.00 a gallon.

Things I don’t like about this book:

  • After awhile it sounds like whining.
  • This man is crazy.  What I thought was an interesting way to live, I’m now considering to be largely haphazard. No wonder he couldn’t pay his phone bills to Ma Bell if he didn’t hold a steady job and took meth all the time.

In summary, who doesn’t love to read someone’s diary? Even if you can’t relate, or end up being disappointed, getting insight into someone else’s mind has always interested me. Keeping a diary has always interested me.

8 thoughts on “Theft by Finding Diaries 1977-2002 by David Sedaris”

    1. He mentions in the beginning that it is not necessarily a book to sit down with and read from cover to cover, rather one should dip into it from time time. I think that is a better way to approach it than I did, sitting by the fireplace yesterday at first enthralled, which slowly ebbed into irritation. I am now halfway, and will do the “dipping in” method ’til I finish.


  1. I love journaling so I’m always interested in published diaries too. I just saw this at the bookstore the other day and was surprised – I didn’t even know this was out. I’ve loved David Sedaris books but can understand why this would be better to read in bits.


  2. I read many of his books, and totally agree, his life is “all over the place.” I pictured exactly your thoughts, of Sedaris living haphazardly but then you think of the compilation of notes he took while Living his life, and whew, he has some really humorous stories to tell!


    1. Without a doubt, he is a humorous guy. Except, I find I can only take him in small bits. I’m glad you pictured “exactly my thoughts”; it’s nice to know I’m not alone. 🙂


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