David Sedaris gave another great reading last night at Benaroya Hall. Topics discussed included the names of beach houses, why Dutch people use diseases as their swears, and what age is appropriate for an Olive Garden birthday party. He also told us that the New Yorker now has a rule against puns in headlines, and he said he's devoting the next year to working on a book that collects excerpts from his diaries, which is a book I've been waiting for years to read.

Every time Sedaris goes on tour, he recommends a book by another author that he thinks his fans might like. Last night, he recommended a book about the worst place on Earth. It's called Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea, and it's by Barbara Demick. The book is made up of interviews with North Koreans, and Sedaris compared it to Adrian Nicole LeBlanc's excellent Random Family in tone. (You can find an NPR interview with Demick on the book's IndieBound page.) Sedaris said the book relates the terrible truths about life in North Korea in plain, simple language, which, he assured the audience, made it a great choice for a Christmas gift.

Sedaris reads a lot—he told one questioner last night that he'd advise aspiring young authors to put away their prejudices and "read generously," across genres and topics—and the books that he recommends on his tour, in my experience, have proven to be truly inspired choices. If you're looking for your next great book, he sounded confident that Nothing to Envy could scratch that itch.