A Carnival of Snackery: Diaries 2003-2020 by David Sedaris is basically what you’d expect from the subtitle and if you’re familiar with the author. It’s really just random collection of things seen or thought by the author over 17 years. The title doesn’t become clear until March 2013 and that’s never explained. But that’s probably the point, to make you try to reason it out, if there is actual meaning or if Sedaris just thought it sounded cool. It reads kind of like a stand-up routine in that it’s essentially a string of anecdotes designed to be entertaining, although in this case, funny is clearly not always the intent. I’m fine with that actually since the range in tone and experience and feeling actually keeps things interesting, otherwise, why read someone’s journal notes?
There really is no distinct narrative, just a bunch of anecdotes that sometimes feature the same characters. Really, the only problem is that sometimes if someone hasn’t been featured in a while, I don’t remember who this person is, family or friend or someone else. Some of the stories seem a little bit implausible, and apparently Sedaris likes to have a random thing he likes to use as a conversation starter at book signings, like tell him a joke or asking ladies if they take their bras off once they get home from work/being in public upon learning a lady felt it was important to tell him she put her bra back on to attend the signing, and he wanted to know if it was just her or more of a thing women commonly do.
There are some sort of plot threads, like moving with his partner Hugh from Paris to Rackham UK, or his relationship with his Dad and sisters (somewhat tenuous at times, prone to occasional drama), and going on book/speaking tours. There’s definitely some interesting people watching, or even just observations, like the teen who wants Sedaris to write “something shocking and offensive” in a book for his mother, and getting more than he probably bargained for.
The political tinge is also a consistent presence (even before the 2016 election and the ensuing years) , as are the occasional health tale, like quitting smoking or a cancer scare. Sedaris is also apparently multi-lingual, or at less interested in basic tourist for most of the places he visits, which are many, ranging from Poland to Japan to Random Place, USA.
I’m really not sure I’d call this enjoyable; it is definitely interesting with moments of interest, feeling, entertainment, and such. Much like the title I guess, the whole collection is probably meant to be kind of random, which does keep things interesting.