I love Sarah Vowell. I do. With this book complete, I believe I have all of her books except the newly released Lafayette in the Somewhat United States. However, there is something to be said for reading books in a timely manner, or reading them in publication order. I hadn’t ever really worried about that with Ms. Vowell’s books, but Take the Cannoli is one of her earlier works and is an anthology. They are in some cases slightly dated, or I’ve read them (or their inspiration) elsewhere by now. This book didn’t hold my attention the way others of her books have (Assassination Vacation was a book I almost couldn’t put down and should probably reread and review for Cannonball Read).
Take the Cannoli is an compilation of stories focused around the New World. Vowell is bouncing from idea to idea to place to place. From Hoboken NJ and Frank Sinatra, to Georgia and the Trail of Tears Vowell is honing her craft in this 2000 work for what will come later: Unfamiliar Fishes about the imperialistic conquest of Hawaii, and The Wordy Shipmates where she looks at the original Puritan settlers. The book of Vowell’s that Take the Cannoli reminds me of the most is Partly Cloudy Patriot. In this one, like that, she is taking a page out of the book of fellow This American Life-r David Sedaris and giving us a small view into her larger world.
My favorite part about this book? That Vowell’s style is such that you can sit with the book and read it and be fully absorbed while sitting on the couch with a friend and the TV is on.