David Sedaris’s Diaries and Paul McCartney’s Songs


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The Book Review


David Sedaris’s second volume of diaries, “A Carnival of Snackery,” covers the years 2003 to 2020. On this week's podcast, he talks about the diaries, and about being on the road again — we caught him in Montana, a stop on his sprawling reading and signing tour.“I’ve been surprised by what people are willing to — ‘You want us to show proof of vaccination? OK, we’ll do it. You want us to wear a mask the entire time? OK, we’ll do it,’” Sedaris says. “And then the book signings have lasted as long as they always did, so people are still willing to wait in line. I’ve really been touched by that. And I’m willing to make whatever sacrifices I need to.” He added: “I’m just so grateful to be out again.”The poet Paul Muldoon visits the podcast to talk about his work editing Paul McCartney’s two-volume collection “The Lyrics.” He says becoming involved with the project was an easy choice.“Through his career, as a Beatle, of course, and then with Wings and his solo career, he’s been a force in my life and certainly in the lives of many people who were even vaguely sentient through the 1960s and since,” Muldoon says of McCartney. “What’s fascinating about his career with the Beatles is that they were, of course, very much of their moment, they were defined by their moment — including, at the risk of sounding a bit banal — the optimism that was associated in the U.K. with the postwar period. But of course, extraordinarily, they went on to influence their moment also; they came to define their moment, and to define the rest of us, actually. It was a very interesting phenomenon. So yeah, I was thrilled to be involved, and continue to be thrilled to be involved.”Muldoon also talks about, and reads from, his new poetry collection, “Howdie-Skelp.”Also on this week’s episode, Gregory Cowles and John Williams talk about what they’ve been reading. Pamela Paul is the host.Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:“Middlemarch” by George Eliot“Less” by Andrew Sean Greer“The Corrections” by Jonathan FranzenWe would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.