You Better Not Cry, By Augusten Burroughs

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The Independent Culture

Written in the same self-deprecating, gently witty vein as David Sedaris' quirky vignettes, these thematic stories of Christmas confusions and misdemeanours are a delightful read.

Don't be fooled by the crude cover of a dog wearing a festive hat: the material inside is genuinely rib-tickling and veers on the right side of cute.

Augusten Burroughs, author of the memoir Running with Scissors, recalls his early conflation of Santa and Jesus - "I could identify Coke or Pepsi with just one sip, but I could not tell you for sure why they strapped Santa to a cross" - and takes us onto more adult terrain when, one morning after the night before, he wakes up in a hotel bedroom with a man in a Santa suit. It beats the EastEnders omnibus for festival laughs.