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Dan Savage casually injects his syndicated sex column with equal doses of humor and politics. In his new book, Skipping Towards Gomorrah, he proves he can maintain the politicomedy balance in longer form. Savage writes like a randy David Sedaris with a conscience as he rips conservative pundits, such as William Bennett and Robert Bork, who chastise Americans for their lack of self-control. In the book, he espouses his Jeffersonian live-and-let-live philosophy by defending each of the deadly sins in turn. But despite his promise to categorically commit each of the deadly sins, the only time Savage seems fully committed to his own project is when he develops a compulsion to play blackjack. And his choices to represent each sin are also often wildly off-point: The screed on how gay pride is an anachronism is all well and good, but how exactly does that celebrate pride? Though Savage’s rhetorical skills make the book consistently entertaining, maybe the Skipping in the title refers to some editing sessions that were never rescheduled. Ask Savage how he can discuss gluttony without mentioning the competitive eating craze at 7:30 p.m. at Barnes & Noble, 3651 Jefferson Davis Highway, Alexandria. Free. (703) 299-9124. (Josh Levin)