By David Sedaris
Summer is no time for memoirs about divorce, drug addiction or please, don't harsh my mellow! personal growth. It's time to laugh your sunburn away with weird old friends, like the characters in David Sedaris' sixth collection of "97% true" essays, When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Fans of Sedaris' books Naked and Me Talk Pretty One Day, his stories in the New Yorker and on public radio's This American Life, will be happy to return to the wry author's favorite topics: mortality and mortification. In "Old Faithful," a poignant paean to monogamy concealed in a gross-out medical story, Sedaris' boyfriend, Hugh, obligingly lances a boil. In "Town and Country," the author and his reliably shocking sister Amy contemplate which coffee table book would most offend their father. And in "The Smoking Section," Sedaris describes a three-month stay in Tokyo where he tries to quit smoking and learn Japanese. Any personal growth is purely accidental.