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Working a series of odd jobs and retelling embarrassing family stories worked out pretty well for David Sedaris. Since he shot to fame with a tale about the Christmas he worked as an elf at Macy’s, the essayist has made a lucrative career mining slightly racist Dutch Christmas traditions and late-night boil-lancing for laughs. His latest collection, When You Are Engulfed in Flames, relays stories of quitting smoking, traumatic childhood babysitters, and working as a dishwasher while living in a boarding house with four crazy people. But as amusing as his characters are, Sedaris continues to sell books because he’s still the funniest one among them.

Sedaris reads at 7:30 p.m. at Borders, 5871 Crossroads Center Way, Falls church. Free. (703) 998-0404.