Tag Archives: Sarah Vowell

16: The Partly Cloudy Patriot

The Partly Cloudy Patriot by Sarah Vowell

The Partly Cloudy Patriot

I :heart: Sarah Vowell in the same way I :heart: Tina Fey. Witty, snarky, incisive. What more do you need?

I read Take the Cannoli back in 2005, after I had started keeping track what I was reading, but before I started writing posts about each book (which, btw, was the best. idea. ever. I don’t care if everyone else thinks they’re dull as doornails). The Partly Cloudy Patriot I picked up at The Book Shop (shocking! ;-)). There was a book mark inside the front cover from a bookstore called The Book Mark (a book mark from The Book Mark!) with an address in Atlantic Beach, Florida. Oh, I do like to think that this book traveled all the way from Florida to Penticton. It just seems so apropos.

The Partly Cloudy Patriot was published in 2002 and is a collection of essays. The date is significant because it’s packed with pop culture references (as well as nerd humor and historical tourism). So while I adore Vowell’s sense of humor, I’m thinking those who can’t remember said references might not be similarly amused. Remember this post where I asked my students (millennials, formerly known as gen-Y) what their first media memory was? Some of them couldn’t even remember back to 2001/02!

Memory-challenged millennials aside, this is a fast, entertaining read. Which is not to say it doesn’t tackle serious issues. You know, like the 2000 US election. (Poor Al, done in by his nerdiness.) Showing her prescience, one essay is called “Tom Cruise Makes Me Nervous.” Ha! There’s even one on Canada (“Cowboys vs. Mounties”). Unsurprisingly, she confesses that some of her favorite comedians (Kids in the Hall!) are Canadian. Of course they are. It’s the snark, I tell ya.

Books Read May – December 2005

The brevity of this list reminds me of how prolific a reader I used to be. In grade seven, my teacher had us start a list of books read at the back of one of our notebooks. I think it was more of a suggestion than an assignment because I don’t remember anyone else keeping up with it. But I did, and by the end of the school year, I had read ~120 books. I remember being so thrilled when I hit 100. Anyhow, the school year being approximately 10 months, that’s about 12 books / month. Or a book every 2.5 days.

Okay, so I can still read a book in two days. Or one, even. But these days I seem to spend a lot of my time reading Stuff That Is Not Books. Like blogs. Or submissions. 🙂

  1. Saints of Big Harbour by Lynn Coady n
  2. The Chimney Sweeper’s Boy by Barbara Vine n#
  3. A Child’s Book of True Crime by Chloe Hooper n+
  4. Wide Open by Nicola Barker n+#*
  5. Ripley’s Game by Patricia Highsmith n#
  6. Time Off for Good Behavior by Lani Diane Rich n+
  7. A Girl Named Zippy by Haven Kimmel m+
  8. Take the Cannoli by Sarah Vowell e+#
  9. Geographies of Home by Loida Maritza Perez n+
  10. Liza’s England by Pat Barker n#*
  11. For Rabbit, With Love & Squalor by Anne Roiphe e#
  12. Letting Loose the Hounds by Brady Udall s+#
  13. The Digital Sublime by Vincent Mosco nf+
  14. The Real World of Technology by Ursula Franklin nf+
  15. Under Technology’s Thumb by William Leiss nf+
  16. The Small Details of Life by Kathryn Carter nf+
  17. The Extraordinary Work of Ordinary Writing by Jennifor Sinor nf+#
  18. Reading Between the Lines by Betty Jane Wylie nf+