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When you are engulfed in flames

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Sedaris’s sparkling essays always shimmer more brightly when read aloud by the author. And his expert timing, mimicry and droll asides are never more polished than during live performances in front of an audience. Happily, four of the 22 pieces are live recordings, and listeners can hear Sedaris’s energy increase from the roaring, rolling laughter of the appreciative audience. Sedaris’s studio recording of his 10-page Of Mice and Men runs 16 minutes, while the live recording of Town and Country, which runs the same length in print, expands to 22 minutes thanks to an audience that often doesn’t let him finish a sentence without making him pause for laughter to subside. The studio recordings usually begin with an acoustic bass and brief sound effect (a buzzing fly, the lighting of a cigarette, the clinking of ice in a drink, etc.). Sedaris’s brilliant magnum opus, The Smoking Section (about his successful trip to Tokyo is quit smoking) stretches across the final two CDs. A Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 28). (June)
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From

With essay collections such as Naked (1997) and Me Talk Pretty One Day (2000), Sedaris kicked the door down for the “quirky memoir” genre and left it open for writers like Augusten Burroughs and Jeannette Walls to mosey on through. Sometimes the originators of a certain trend in literature are surpassed by their own disciples—but, this is Sedaris we’re talking about. When it comes to fashioning the sardonic wisecrack, the humiliating circumstance, and the absurdist fantasy, there’s nobody better. Unfortunately, being in a league of your own often means competing with yourself. This latest collection of 22 essays proves that not only does Sedaris still have it, but he’s also getting better. True, the terrain is familiar. The essays “Old Faithful” and “That’s Amore” again feature Sedaris’ overly competent boyfriend, Hugh. And nutty sister Amy can be found leafing through bestial pornography in “Town and Country.” Present also are Sedaris’ favored topics: death, compulsion, unwanted sexual advances, corporal decay, and more death. Nevertheless, Sedaris’ best stuff will still—after all this time—move, surprise, and entertain. –Jerry Eberle

The Terror of St Trinian’s and Other Drawings

SUMMARY: Ronald Searle takes us back to the world of the Gothic Public School in The Terror of St Trinian’s . In this gloriously anarchic academy for young ladies we witness shootings, knifings, torture and witchcraft, as well as many maidenly arts. The subject of many evergreen films, St Trinian’s is synonymous with the sort of outrageous behaviour that would make a convict blench. This book also contains a selection of Ronald Searle’s work from the non-school books, including The Rake’s Progress, Souls in Torment and Merry England, etc . and their publication in one volumes stakes Searle’s claim to be the greatest and most influential English satirist since the war.

The Ginger Man

SUMMARY: First published in Paris in 1955, and originally banned in the United States, J. P. Donleavy’s first novel is now recognized the world over as a masterpiece and a modern classic of the highest order. Set in Ireland just after World War II, The Ginger Man is J. P. Donleavys wildly funny, picaresque classic novel of the misadventures of Sebastian Danger-field, a young American ne’er-do-well studying at Trinity College in Dublin. He barely has time for his studies and avoids bill collectors, makes love to almost anything in a skirt, and tries to survive without having to descend into the bottomless pit of steady work. Dangerfield’s appetite for women, liquor, and general roguishness is insatiable–and he satisfies it with endless charm.

The Broom of the System

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Published when Wallace was just twenty-four years old, *The Broom of the System* stunned critics and marked the emergence of an extraordinary new talent. At the center of this outlandishly funny, fiercely intelligent novel is the bewitching heroine, Lenore Stonecipher Beadsman. The year is 1990 and the place is a slightly altered Cleveland, Ohio. Lenore’s great-grandmother has disappeared with twenty-five other inmates of the Shaker Heights Nursing Home. Her beau, and boss, Rick Vigorous, is insanely jealous, and her cockatiel, Vlad the Impaler, has suddenly started spouting a mixture of psycho- babble, Auden, and the King James Bible. Ingenious and entertaining, this debut from one of the most innovative writers of his generation brilliantly explores the paradoxes of language, storytelling, and reality.

Swine Not?: A Novel Pig Tale

SUMMARY: When Southern belle Ellie McBride moves her twins from Vertigo, Tennessee, to New York City, they wouldn’t dream of leaving behind the family pig Rumpy. But the posh hotel where Ellie has found work (and living space) has “No Pets” writ large on its portal. So hiding Rumpy from the hotel staff–especially the ultra-carnivorous hotel chef, who would like nothing better than to transform their pet into pork roast–becomes imperative.Can a talented, sensitive pig survive the claustrophobic, neurotic stresses of life in the Big Apple? Can the McBride twins keep their precious pet from becoming the chef’s favorite entree? Get ready for a wonderful ride as master storyteller Jimmy Buffett takes readers on a brilliantly funny romp through Manhattan and beyond. From spoiled rock stars to highly caffeinated football coaches, Buffett’s satirical view of American culture never ceases to bite and delight.

Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary

SUMMARY: Featuring David Sedaris’s unique blend of hilarity and heart, this new collection of keen-eyed animal-themed tales is an utter delight. Though the characters may not be human, the situations in these stories bear an uncanny resemblance to the insanity of everyday life. In “The Toad, the Turtle, and the Duck,” three strangers commiserate about animal bureaucracy while waiting in a complaint line. In “Hello Kitty,” a cynical feline struggles to sit through his prison-mandated AA meetings. In “The Squirrel and the Chipmunk,” a pair of star-crossed lovers is separated by prejudiced family members.Once again David Sedaris shows us the most outrageous, tender, absurd sides of ourselves in his “profoundly funny, well-crafted stories that somehow, magically, bring home a major point about fidelity or guilt or love” (Christian Science Monitor).

Skippy Dies: A Novel

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Why does Skippy, a fourteen-year-old boy at Dublin’s venerable Seabrook College, end up dead on the floor of the local doughnut shop? Could it have something to do with his friend Ruprecht Van Doren, an overweight genius who is determined to open a portal into a parallel universe using ten-dimensional string theory? Could it involve Carl, the teenage drug dealer and borderline psychotic who is Skippy’s rival in love? Or could “the Automator”—the ruthless, smooth-talking headmaster intent on modernizing the school—have something to hide? Why Skippy dies and what happens next is the subject of this dazzling and uproarious novel, unraveling a mystery that links the boys of Seabrook College to their parents and teachers in ways nobody could have imagined. With a cast of characters that ranges from hip-hop-loving fourteen-year-old Eoin “MC Sexecutioner” Flynn to basketballplaying midget Philip Kilfether, packed with questions and answers on everything from Ritalin, to M-theory, to bungee jumping, to the hidden meaning of the poetry of Robert Frost, *Skippy Dies *is a heartfelt, hilarious portrait of the pain, joy, and occasional beauty of adolescence, and a tragic depiction of a world always happy to sacrifice its weakest members. As the twenty-first century enters its teenage years, this is a breathtaking novel from a young writer who will come to define his generation.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

EDITORIAL REVIEW: From the publisher of *Pride and Prejudice and Zombies* comes a new tale of romance, heartbreak, and tentacled mayhem. *Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters* expands the original text of the beloved Jane Austen novel with all-new scenes of giant lobsters, rampaging octopi, two-headed sea serpents, and other biological monstrosities. As our story opens, the Dashwood sisters are evicted from their childhood home and sent to live on a mysterious island full of savage creatures and dark secrets. While sensible Elinor falls in love with Edward Ferrars, her romantic sister Marianne is courted by both the handsome Willoughby and the hideous man-monster Colonel Brandon. Can the Dashwood sisters triumph over meddlesome matriarchs and unscrupulous rogues to find true love? Or will they fall prey to the tentacles that are forever snapping at their heels? This masterful portrait of Regency England blends Jane Austen’s biting social commentary with ultraviolent depictions of sea monsters biting. It’s survival of the fittest—and only the swiftest swimmers will find true love! Wallpaper Illustrations from *Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters* (*Right-click on the image and select “Set As Desktop Background”*)

Neither Here Nor There

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Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies — in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later he decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth. The result is Neither Here Nor There, an affectionate and riotously funny pilgrimage from the frozen wastes of Scandinavia to the chaotic tumult of Istanbul, with stops along the way in Europe’s most diverting and historic locales. Like many of his generation, Bill Bryson backpacked across Europe in the early seventies–in search of enlightenment, beer, and women. Twenty years later he decided to retrace the journey he undertook in the halcyon days of his youth. The result is Neither Here Nor There, an affectionate and riotously funny pilgrimage from the frozen wastes of Scandinavia to the chaotic tumult of Istanbul, with stops along the way in Europe’s most diverting and historic locales.

My Uncle Oswald

Meet Oswald Hendryks Cornelius, Roald Dahl’s most disgraceful and extraordinary character . . . Aside from being thoroughly debauched, strikingly attractive and astonishingly wealthy, Uncle Oswald was the greatest bounder, bon vivant and fornicator of all time. In this instalment of his scorchingly frank memoirs he tells of his early career and erotic education at the hands of a number of enthusiastic teachers, of discovering the invigorating properties of the Sudanese Blister Beetle, and of the gorgeous Yasmin Howcomely, his electrifying partner in a most unusual series of thefts . . . ‘Raunchy and cheeky entertainment’ Sunday Express ‘Immense fun’ Daily Telegraph Roald Dahl, the brilliant and worldwide acclaimed author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, James and the Giant Peach, Matilda, and many more classics for children, also wrote scores of short stories for adults. These delightfully disturbing tales have often been filmed and were most recently the inspiration for the West End play, Roald Dahl’s Twisted Tales by Jeremy Dyson. Roald Dahl’s stories continue to make readers shiver today.
**Recensie(s)**

Deliciously sly * Observer *
(source: Bol.com)

Me and Kaminski

SUMMARY: From the internationally best-selling author Daniel Kehlmann, a provocative and wickedly funny novel about two unpredictable menone an artist and the other a journalist, who together embark on an unexpected adventure with uproarious results. Sebastian Zollner’s failure as a journalist is matched only by his personal failures: his girlfriend is moving in a new lover before Sebastian even knows he’s been dumped. Searching for the break that will redeem him in the eyes of his peers, he heads off on a wild goose chase into the mountains to interview the eccentric, legendary painter Manuel Kaminski, with the hope of writing his biography. Kaminski is going blind and is living in seclusion with his daughter. He could be working on his next masterpiece or easing into his final days, and his inconsistent career raises the question of whether he has been a fraud or a genius. His artistic reputation hinges on any number of factors but most prominently on a definitive biography. Enter Zollnerwho has no intention of writing a puff piece. He’s out to dig dirt and to force Kaminski to confront the legacy of his work. But the secrets he uncovers will lead Kaminski, and Zollner himself, to places neither of them ever expected to go. With edgy wit and intelligence, Daniel Kehlmann dives into the problems of what is “truth” in our celebrity-crazed times and embraces the energy and humanity that lie beneath the pretensions of the art and journalistic worlds. A firecracker of a novel. From the Hardcover edition.

The Man Who Ate the 747

The Man Who Ate the 747 by Ben Sherwood
This is a story of the greatest love, ever.  An outlandish claim, outrageous perhaps, but trust me–
And so begin the enchanting, unforgettable tale of J. J. Smith, Keeper of the Records for The Book of Records, an ordinary man searching for the extraordinary.  J.J. has clocked the world’s longest continuous kiss, 30 hours and 45 minutes.  He has verified the lengthiest single unbroken apple peel, 172 feet and 4 inches.  He has measured the farthest flight of a champagne cork from an untreated, unheated bottle 177 feet 9 inches.  He has tasted the world’s largest menu item, whole-roasted Bedouin camel.
But in all his adventure from Australia to Zanzibar, J.J. has never witnessed great love until he comes upon a tiny windswept town in the heartland of America, where folks still talk about family, faith, and crops.  Here, where he last expects it, J.J. discovers a world record attempt like no other: Piece by piece, a farmer is eating a Boeing 747 to prove his love for a woman.
In this vast landscape of cornfields and lightning storms, J.J. is doubly astounded to be struck by love from the same woman, Willa Wyatt of the honey eyes and wild blond hair.  It is a feeling beyond measure, throwing J.J.’s carefully ordered world upside down, proving that hears, like world records, can be broken, and the greatest wonders in life can not be qualified.
Richly romantic, whimsical, and uplifting, **The Man Who Ate the 747** is a flight of fancy from start to finish.  It stretches imagination, bends physics and biology, but believe it just a little and you may find yourself reaching for your own records, the kind that really count.  Written with tenderness, originality, and insight, filled with old-fashioned warmth and newfangled humor, it is an extraordinary novel, a found treasure that marks the emergence of a major storytelling tale.
*From the Hardcover edition.*

Let Me Off at the Top!: My Classy Life and Other Musings

Ron Burgundy is known to all as the lead anchorman of San Diego’s award-winning Action 4 News Team and anchor of the first 24-hour news channel, GNN (Global News Network), but few know the real man behind the news desk. In  **LET ME OFF AT THE TOP! My Classy Life and Other Musings** he will share never-before-told stories of his childhood and the events that led him to choose a career in the news business. He will offer a rare glimpse behind the camera into the real life of a man many consider to be our greatest living news anchor.  In his own words, he will share personal anecdotes about the women in his life, about his dog, Baxter, and his legendary news team. Along the way, he’ll also give sage advice on a variety of topics that matter most to him. The long wait is over. Ron Burgundy pulls no punches in this widely anticipated, fully authorized tell-all autobiography.
### About the Author
Ron Burgundy is a trailblazer and icon in television journalism.  He and the Action 4 News Team will be honored at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum with an installation of mementos and keepsakes of their time and impact in San Diego that will begin in December.  On December 20, he will star as himself in Paramount Pictures’  *Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues.*
### Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
**AUTHOR’S NOTE**

It took me eight years to write this book. The research alone—fact-checking, reading the source materials, asking questions—was endless and I didn’t care for it that much. I just didn’t. But I persisted because I knew what I was doing was truly very important. A book is never the work of one man. Many people contribute to its failure, or as in this case, its success. Dorathoy Roberts at the Harvard Widener Library was instrumental in recovering so many facts and nautical terms. Janart Prancer aided my work immensely with her near-encyclopedic understanding of rare manuscripts in the Herzog August Library, Wolfenbüttel, Germany. Esther Naus­baum, head librarian at the prestigious Kirkland School of Dinosaurs, was instrumental in tracking down indispensable paleoecological records for chapter 15 in this book. Herb Kolowsky was ever watchful and patient, reading over many drafts of the manuscript as well as cleaning my gutters. I con­sulted with my dear friend and lover Doris Kearns Goodwin over many breakfasts in bed. Her sharp intellect and sharper teeth found their way into practically every page. Although we are no longer lovers because I don’t know why, her knowledge of presidential history is the basis for chapter 12. Her dogged enthusiasm for the project was only outpaced by her enthusi­asm for lovemaking, which I could barely equal. I don’t know what to say about Doris really except if she’s still out there and she would like another bounce, I would be game. Johnny Bench was an invaluable spell-checker. Lars Mankike brought an artistic eye to the project and a kind of European nihilism that was completely unnecessary. We fought often and he got what he deserved, so I’m not even sure why I’m thanking him here, but it’s too late now. Sandy Duncan is full of boundless energy. What can I say about Veronica Corningstone, the love of my life? We’ve had our ups and downs for sure, and usu­ally the downs were because of something stupid she said or did while losing her blood. You really can’t fault women for being irrational. Blood drips out of them willy-nilly and there’s nothing they can do about it. It’s like being a hemophiliac. I suspect science will one day cure them of this blood-dripping disease but until then, *Vive la différence*. Finally Baxter, my dog and best friend, saw me through many tough hours as I struggled with my emotions during this proj­ect. His love and support sustained me through extremely dif­ficult excavations into my past. Only Baxter knows the pain I have lived. Our nightly talks formed the basis for what you hold in your hand now.  

**WHY WRITE THIS BOOK?**

Does mankind really need another book dumped onto the giant garbage heap of books already out there? Is there some pressing desire for the wisdom of a humble News Anchor in this world? Will it add to the great literary achievements throughout time or will it be lost in a swamp of trivial scrib­bling like pornography—devoured and then destroyed out of shame? I stand here (I write standing up) and I say, “No!” No, this book will NOT be lost! This book is necessary. It’s an im­portant work from an important man. I was the number one News Anchor in all of San Diego. My name is Ron Burgundy and what you have in your hands is a very big deal. It’s…my…life. It’s my words. It’s my gift to you.

Kalooki Nights

SUMMARY: Max Glickman, a Jewish cartoonist whose seminal work is a comic history titled Five Thousand Years of Bitterness, recalls his childhood in a British suburb in the 1950s. Growing up, Max is surrounded by Jews, each with an entirely different and outspoken view on what it means to be Jewish. His mother, incessantly preoccupied with a card game called Kalooki, only begrudgingly puts the deck away on the High Holy Days. Max’s father, a failed boxer prone to spontaneous nosebleeds, is a self-proclaimed atheist and communist, unable to accept the God who has betrayed him so unequivocally in recent years.But it is through his friend and neighbor Manny Washinsky that Max begins to understand the indelible effects of the Holocaust and to explore the intrinsic and paradoxical questions of a postwar Jewish identity. Manny, obsessed with the Holocaust and haunted by the allure of its legacy, commits a crime of nightmare proportion against his family and his faith. Years later, after his friend’s release from prison, Max is inexorably drawn to uncover the motive behind the catastrophic act — the discovery of which leads to a startling revelation and a profound truth about religion and faith that exists where the sacred meets the profane.Spanning the decades between World War II and the present day, acclaimed author Howard Jacobson seamlessly weaves together a breath-takingly complex narrative of love, tragedy, redemption, and above all, remarkable humor. Deeply empathetic and audaciously funny, Kalooki Nights is a luminous story torn violently between the hope of restoring and rebuilding Jewish life, and the painful burden of memory and loss.

How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe

National Book Foundation 5 Under 35 Award winner Charles Yu delivers his debut novel, a razor-sharp, ridiculously funny, and utterly touching story of a son searching for his father . . . through quantum space–time.
Minor Universe 31 is a vast story-space on the outskirts of fiction, where paradox fluctuates like the stock market, lonely sexbots beckon failed protagonists, and time travel is serious business. Every day, people get into time machines and try to do the one thing they should never do: change the past. That’s where Charles Yu, time travel technician—part counselor, part gadget repair man—steps in. He helps save people from themselves. Literally. When he’s not taking client calls or consoling his boss, Phil, who could really use an upgrade, Yu visits his mother (stuck in a one-hour cycle of time, she makes dinner over and over and over) and searches for his father, who invented time travel and then vanished. Accompanied by TAMMY, an operating system with low self-esteem, and Ed, a nonexistent but ontologically valid dog, Yu sets out, and back, and beyond, in order to find the one day where he and his father can meet in memory. He learns that the key may be found in a book he got from his future self. It’s called*How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe,* and he’s the author. And somewhere inside it is the information that could help him—in fact it may even save his life.
Wildly new and adventurous, Yu’s debut is certain to send shock waves of wonder through literary space–time.
(source: Bol.com)

How Did You Get This Number

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**A brand-new book of hilarious and insightful personal essays by the iconic, irresistible Sloane Crosley. **
From the author of the sensational bestseller *I Was Told There’d Be Cake* comes a new book of personal essays brimming with all the charm and wit that have earned Sloane Crosley widespread acclaim, award nominations, and an ever-growing cadre of loyal fans. In *Cake* readers were introduced to the foibles of Crosley’s life in New York City-always teetering between the glamour of Manhattan parties, the indignity of entry-level work, and the special joy of suburban nostalgia-and to a literary voice that mixed Dorothy Parker with David Sedaris and became something all its own.
Crosley still lives and works in New York City, but she’s no longer the newcomer for whom a trip beyond the Upper West Side is a big adventure. She can pack up her sensibility and take us with her to Paris, to Portugal (having picked it by spinning a globe and putting down her finger, and finally falling in with a group of Portuguese clowns), and even to Alaska, where the “bear bells” on her fellow bridesmaids’ ponytails seemed silly until a grizzly cub dramatically intrudes. Meanwhile, back in New York, where new apartments beckon and taxi rides go awry, her sense of the city has become more layered, her relationships with friends and family more complicated.
As always, Crosley’s voice is fueled by the perfect witticism, buoyant optimism, flair for drama, and easy charm in the face of minor suffering or potential drudgery. But in *How Did You Get This Number* it has also become increasingly sophisticated, quicker and sharper to the point, more complex and lasting in the emotions it explores. And yet, Crosley remains the unfailingly hilarious young Every woman, healthily equipped with intelligence and poise to fend off any potential mundanity in maturity.