Comedian/podcaster Marc Maron is at Powell's on Sunday, reading from his new book Attempting Normal. I liked the book okay—it started out brilliantly, with some great, personal writing about Maron's first marriage, his days as young comic in Boston, and his life-long search for meaning through books and music. I particularly liked what he says about the massive collection of books he keeps in his famous garage: "Reading is like a drug. When I am reading from these books it feels like I am thinking what is being read, and that gives me a rush," and "Every book is a self-help book to me."

Writing those sentences it just hit me: Attempting Normal begins as a self-help book, in the sense Maron is using the term; in the sense that learning about how other people live and think can make us feel less crazy and alone. My copy is heavily dog-eared for the first 100 pages or so, but all my underlining dried up toward the middle, when the book starts to read more like a hastily compiled essay collection, full of anecdotes you'll probably recognize if you listen to Maron's podcast with any frequency. On balance, though, I'd recommend it.

The Powell's reading is gonna be packed, but you all knew that, right?

And then there's this:


So if you're a huge fan, you might wanna keep an eye on Maron's twitter account, and consider buying tickets to see Chris Hardwick at Helium in case Marc shows up for a guest set. (I'm lukewarm on Hardwick's standup, but he gets a life-pass for some of the great programming he puts out through his Nerdist empire.)

UPDATE: And of course, Maron will be appearing on Live Wire tomorrow night, along with local author Monica Drake and io9's Analee Newitz (who's also reading at Powell's tonight, in conversation with Douglas Wolk)