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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)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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

Website Optimization

Website Optimization by Andrew B. King
Remember when an optimized website was one that merely didn’t take all day to appear? Times have changed. Today, website optimization can spell the difference between enterprise success and failure, and it takes a lot more know-how to achieve success.
This book is a comprehensive guide to the tips, techniques, secrets, standards, and methods of website optimization. From increasing site traffic to maximizing leads, from revving up responsiveness to increasing navigability, from prospect retention to closing more sales, the world of 21st century website optimization is explored, exemplified and explained.
*Website Optimization* combines the disciplines of online marketing and site performance tuning to attain the competitive advantage necessary on today’s Web. You’ll learn how to improve your online marketing with effective paid and natural search engine visibility strategies, strengthened lead creation and conversion to sales methods, and gold-standard ad copywriting guidelines. Plus, your increased site speed, reduced download footprint, improved reliability, and improved navigability will work synergistically with those marketing methods to optimize your site’s total effectiveness.
In this book for business and IT managers, author Andrew King, president of Website Optimization, LLC, has assembled experts in several key specialties to teach you:
* **Search engine optimization –** addressing best (and worst) practices to improve search engine visibility, including step-by-step keyword optimization guidelines, category and tag cloud creation, and guerilla PR techniques to boost inbound links and improve rankings
* **Pay-per-click optimization –** including ad copywriting guidelines, setting profit-driven goals, calculating and optimizing bids, landing page optimization, and campaign management tips
* **Optimizing conversion rates –** increasing leads with site landing page guidelines, such as benefit-oriented copy, credibility-based design, value hierarchies, and tips on creating unique selling propositions and slogans
* **Web performance tuning –** optimizing ways to use (X)HTML, CSS, and Ajax to increase speed, reduce your download footprint, and increase reliability
* **Advanced tuning –** including client-side techniques such as on-demand content, progressive enhancement, and inline images to save HTTP requests. Plus server-side tips include improving parallelism, using cache control, browser sniffing, HTTP compression, and URL rewriting to remap links and preserve traffic
* **Web metrics –** illustrating the best metrics and tools to gather details about visitors and measure web conversion and success rates. Covering both search marketing metrics and web performance measures including Pathloss and waterfall graphs
*Website Optimization* not only provides you with a strategy for success, it also offers specific techniques for you and your staff to follow. A profitable website needs to be well designed, current, highly responsive, and optimally persuasive if you’re to attract prospects, convert them to buyers, and get them to come back for more. This book describes precisely what you need to accomplish to achieve all of those goals.

Watch Them Die

EDITORIAL REVIEW: Different Victims – The blonde film student. The brunette paralegal. The red-headed artist.Different Methods – The first victim is strangled. The second is stabbed repeatedly. And the third is pushed out of an open window.Same Madman – In the city of Seattle, no single woman is safe. From afar he watches the ones he so desperately wants. Willing to do whatever it takes to prove his love. But should his latest obsession betray him, he will have no choice but to punish her. By finding new and brutal ways to teach her a lesson. And by finally loving her – to death…

Wastelands

SUMMARY: Famine, Death, War, and Pestilence: The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the harbingers of Armageddon – these are our guides through the Wastelands… From the Book of Revelations to The Road Warrior; from A Canticle for Leibowitz to The Road, storytellers have long imagined the end of the world, weaving tales of catastrophe, chaos, and calamity. Gathering together the best post-apocalyptic literature of the last two decades from many of today’s most renowned authors of speculative fiction, including George R.R. Martin, Gene Wolfe, Orson Scott Card, Carol Emshwiller, Jonathan Lethem, Octavia E. Butler, and Stephen King, Wastelands explores the scientific, psychological, and philosophical questions of what it means to remain human in the wake of Armageddon.

The Vorkosigan Companion

1. Lois McMaster Bujold, author of the Vorkosigan series, is a New York Times best-selling author.2. The Vorkosigan saga is one of the best-selling space opera series of all time, as well as one of the most award-winning, with a Nebula Award and four Hugo Awards to its credit.3. The hero of the series, Miles Vorkosigan, is one of the most popular and beloved characters in science fiction.4. Advertising in Locus, more5. Wide distribution of ARCs6. Four-color flyer for the entire Vorkosigan series, featuring NEW COVERS7. Discount on Bujold’s backlist titles8. Teaser excerpt in mass market if Miles, Mutants and Microbes9. Co-op availableLois McMaster Bujold’s best-selling Vorkosigan series is a publishing phenomenon, winning record-breaking sales, critical praise, four Hugo Awards and a Nebula award. And the thousands of devotees of the series now have a book that will be a goldmine of information, background details, and little-known facts about the Vorkosigan saga. Included are an all-new interview with Bujold as well as essays by her on crafting the Vorkosigan universe, articles on the biology, technology and sociology of the planet Barrayar, appreciations of the individual novels by experts, maps, a complete timeline of the series, and more. Readers can’t get enough of the Vorkosigan series and they’ll jump at the chance to read this story behind the stories. Baen has a new novel in the Vorkosigan series under contract.

Voluntary Madness: My Year Lost and Found in the Loony Bin

EDITORIAL REVIEW: **The journalist who famously lived as a man commits herself- literally** Norah Vincent’s *New York Times* bestselling book, *Self-Made Man*, ended on a harrowing note. Suffering from severe depression after her eighteen months living disguised as a man, Vincent felt she was a danger to herself. On the advice of her psychologist she committed herself to a mental institution. Out of this raw and overwhelming experience came the idea for her next book. She decided to get healthy and to study the effect of treatment on the depressed and insane “in the bin,” as she calls it. Vincent’s journey takes her from a big city hospital to a facility in the Midwest and finally to an upscale retreat down south, as she analyzes the impact of institutionalization on the unwell, the tyranny of drugs-as-treatment, and the dysfunctional dynamic between caregivers and patients. Vincent applies brilliant insight as she exposes her personal struggle with depression and explores the range of people, caregivers, and methodologies that guide these strange, often scary, and bizarre environments. Eye opening, emotionally wrenching, and at times very funny, *Voluntary Madness* is a riveting work that exposes the state of mental healthcare in America from the inside out.

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands

Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands: Lessons in Non-Linear Leadership by Nancy Ortberg
*Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands* is an engaging and insightful look into the qualities, attributes, and practices that turn ordinary leaders into extraordinary ones. Nancy Ortberg’s unique twist on vision casting; managing tensions; nurturing healthy conflict; motivating those around you; fostering creativity, passion, and trust is unlike anything you’ve ever read before! At times challenging, at times candid, but always inspiring, *Unleashing the Power of Rubber Bands* will bring out the best in even the most seasoned leaders.

Undersea Prison

SUMMARY: After the British military lose an officer to Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan, a desperate race begins to find his killers. Little do the assailants know that the precious information they have stolen could bring down the entire network of Western intelligence in the Mid-East. But then one of them is captured by U. S. troops and flown to the States for interrogation. And so begins a nail-biting, claustrophobic, and explosive thriller that will ultimately lead British operative John Stratton to the Styx penitentiary, America’s undersea prison. How do you break in to a jail below the ocean? Can Stratton get the information back without the government discovering him? And is everyone in the prison really who they seem to be?

Under a Blood Red Sky

SUMMARY: Om haar doodzieke medegevangene midden 20e eeuw te kunnen redden uit een Siberisch werkkamp besluit een vrouw te ontsnappen en een beroep te doen op dier jeugdliefde.

Torchwood

Tiger Bay, Cardiff, 1953. A mysterious crate is brought into the docks on a Scandinavian cargo ship. Its destination: the Torchwood Institute. As the crate is offloaded by a group of local dockers, it explodes, killing all but one of them, a young Butetown lad called Michael Bellini.

Fifty-five years later, a radioactive source somewhere inside the Hub leads Torchwood to discover the same Michael Bellini, still young and dressed in his 1950s clothes, cowering in the vaults. They soon realise that each has encountered Michael before – as a child in Osaka, as a junior doctor, as a young police constable, as a new recruit to Torchwood One. But it’s Jack who remembers him best of all.

Michael’s involuntary time-travelling has something to do with a radiation-charged relic held inside the crate. And the Men in Bowler Hats are coming to get it back.

Featuring Captain Jack Harkness as played by John Barrowman, with Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato and Ianto Jones as played by Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoki Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, in the hit sci-fi series created by Russell T Davies for BBC Television.

(source: Bol.com)

Torchwood

There’s a part of the city that no one much goes to, a collection of rundown old houses and gloomy streets. No one stays there long, and no one can explain why – something’s not quite right there.

Now the Council is renovating the district, and a new company is overseeing the work. There will be street parties and events to show off the newly gentrified neighbourhood: clowns and face-painters for the kids, magicians for the adults – the street entertainers of Cardiff, out in force.

None of this is Torchwood’s problem. Until Toshiko recognises the sponsor of the street parties: Bilis Manger.

Now there is something for Torchwood to investigate. But Captain Jack Harkness has never been able to get into the area; it makes him physically ill to go near it. Without Jack’s help, Torchwood must face the darker side of urban Cardiff alone…

Featuring Captain Jack Harkness as played by John Barrowman, with Gwen Cooper, Owen Harper, Toshiko Sato and Ianto Jones as played by Eve Myles, Burn Gorman, Naoki Mori and Gareth David-Lloyd, in the hit series created by Russell T Davies for BBC Television.

(source: Bol.com)

This Lullaby

EDITORIAL REVIEW: When it comes to relationships, Remy doesn’t mess around. After all, she’s learned all there is to know from her mother, who’s currently working on husband number five. But there’s something about Dexter that seems to defy all of Remy’s rules. He certainly doesn’t *seem* like Mr. Right. For some reason, however, Remy just can’t seem to shake him. Could it be that Remy’s starting to understand what those love songs are all about? From acclaimed author Sarah Dessen, this is a captivating novel about a tough-as-nails girl and the unexpectedly charming boy who’s determined to soften her up.

The Wings of the Dove

EDITORIAL REVIEW: **An incomparable Henry James’s novel in a new edition ** Featuring a new introduction, it is a brilliant and sophisticated satire of manners and morals in the best Jamesian tradition. *The Wings of the Dove* is an indelible take on the tragic love triangle in which two poor yet ardent lovers seduce a dying woman in the hope that she will leave them her fortune.

The Way of Shadows

EDITORIAL REVIEW: For Durzo Blint, assassination is an art-and he is the city’s most accomplished artist. For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint. But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.

The Tomorrow Code

SUMMARY: THE END OF THE WORLD started quietly enough for Tane Williams and Rebecca Richards. . . .Tane and Rebecca aren’t sure what to make of it—a sequence of 1s and 0s, the message looks like nothing more than a random collection of alternating digits. Working to decode it, however, Tane and Rebecca discover that the message contains lottery numbers . . . lottery numbers that win the next random draw! Suddenly Tane and Rebecca are rich, but who sent the numbers? And why? More messages follow, and slowly it becomes clear—the messages are being sent back in time from Tane and Rebecca’s future. Something there has gone horribly wrong, and it’s up to them to prevent it from happening. As they follow the messages’ cryptic instructions, Tane and Rebecca begin to suspect the worst—that the very survival of the human race may be at stake.

The Swap

SUMMARY: Ever have a moment you wish you could undo? A wickedly brilliant tale of revenge, mystery, and fate, Antony Moore’s The Swap is at once a gripping thriller and a hilarious black comedy—a book for anyone who’s ever wondered what could have been. . . .Harvey Briscow—smoker, drinker, comic-shop owner—is facing another school reunion back in Cornwall. Having spent the last two decades second-guessing himself, Harvey isn’t thrilled at the prospect of showing his classmates the mess he’s made of his life. But this is Harvey’s twentieth reunion, a milestone that all but guarantees that Charles “Bleeder” Odd—the freakish reject who made off with Harvey’s now-priceless Superman One comic in a school-yard swap—will be in attendance. But when Harvey returns to Cornwall, hoping to retrieve his comic, he’s met with more than a few surprises. . . . Bleeder is now dazzlingly successful—and quite content to watch Harvey squirm, refusing to acknowledge their long-ago trade. And Harvey—fueled by drink and the promise of a beautiful woman—soon makes a fateful choice, one he instantly wishes he could undo. A dead body and an enraged husband further complicate matters . . . but there’s a silver lining in this strange chain of events: suddenly one bad swap is the least of Harvey’s regrets. . . .