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I carry a 700 degree fire in my hand

I don't, actually, carry a 700 degree fire around, but David Sedaris used to. Not anymore. In his new collection of essays When You Are Engulfed in Flames, he writes about how he finally quit smoking: Cold When turkey on a 3 month trip to Japan. He figures it cost him at least $20,000, so you might want to stick with the patch.

Flames is, of course, hilarious, more so if you listen to Sedaris read the book than if you read it himself. The audiobook is that good. My two favorite essays in it (Solution to Saturday's Puzzle and In the Waiting Room) I had read in the New Yorker months ago, and yet hearing them again read with Sedaris' perfect comic timing was a joy.

I think my favorite essays of his out of all of them may be from his last collection, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim: Rooster at the Hitching Post (about his brother's wedding) and...I can't think of the name of the other, but it's about Dutch legends about Santa Claus, which almost caused me to wreck my car when I was listening to it. I agree, Mr. Sedaris: Santa didn't USED to do anything.

You can read my review of When You Are Engulfed in Flames here. And you can hear a clip of Sedaris reading from The Smoking Section chapter here.

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Amy

I cannot wait to LISTEN to this book! I adore David Sedaris. Although, it is with mixed feelings that I learn of his quitting smoking! Don't start on me! I just always loved it when he'd talk about how smoking was GOOD for him, and how much he loved it. I can relate. And, really, I'm happy for him that he quit. I've quit, too. A couple of times. May be time to quit again. Because, jeez, if he can, I surely can. And I probably won't have to move to Japan. Though, that is a happy thought....

Connie

He also had to quit drinking (though he did that awhile ago). But apparently that was a lot easier than quitting smoking.

Still, if one can go to a foreign country for three months, I suspect it's easier because you're distracted. Unless of course you're in a country where everyone smokes, then it's probably sheer hell.

Connie

By the way, someone reminded me: the essay about the Dutch holiday customs is called "6 to 8 Black Men." I highly recommend it!

Amy

I've already heard "6 to 8 black men," how could that be? Maybe it was part of another story?
Am I hallucinating? Which reminds me, in your earlier post in response to my smoking one, are you implying I should quit drinking, too? (We problem drinkers are very defensive.) And what do you mean, he HAD to quit? Health reasons?

Connie

6 to 8 Black Men is from Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, so you clearly could have heard it before. I was just saying itw as my favorite of his essays.

I would never counsel anyone to quit drinking! He says he had to quit because he was boozing too hard. He talks about it on this new CD.

Amy

How can he live in France and 1) not drink wine? and 2) smoke? OK, i know the answer to #2, I think; because it is so obviously bad for you. but not drink wine in france??????

Connie

Yeah, not drinking wine and having a place in Paris has got to be rough!

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