When You Are Engulfed in Flames
256 pages; Little, Brown Book Group Limited
It's not often that a writer makes me laugh out loud, but Sedaris does. He brings me to tears. It's to the point where I can't read his writing in public because people think I'm having some kind of meltdown. In this collection of essays, he has a way of finding humor in the strangest and most painful moments, like a week with a creepy babysitter or the death of his mother. He lands in ridiculous situations—befriending a town outcast, for one—and his writing acknowledges the difficulty of getting through the day. I take myself too seriously sometimes, and Sedaris's books are such a revelation about how you can celebrate life's strangeness and idiosyncrasies.
— Rachel McAdams