The Book You Have To Read

Augusten Burroughs, author of ''Running With Scissors'' and ''Dry,'' recommends Phineas Mollod and Jason Tesauro's ''The Modern Gentleman: A Guide to Essential Manners, Savvy & Vice'' (Ten Speed, $15.95).

If Miss Manners wrote for modern guys and had a pierced nipple, this would be the result. It's completely hysterical and shockingly useful. You'll always know exactly what to wear and say at a cocktail party. And you'll know what to do if that bean dip causes trouble: ''Flatulence should generally be ignored. Don't accentuate the effect with 'whoops' or wild exclamations....'' I mean, come on, a book that deals with such modern topics as flip-flops, cologne, kitchen equipment, and threesomes? It's peculiar, brilliant, funny, smart, and it will turn you into a cool person, like CNN's Anderson Cooper and me.

Originally posted Nov 14, 2003 Published in issue #737 Nov 14, 2003 Order article reprints

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