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Review of The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007 by

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007

by Dave Eggers

Anthologies are always a mixed bag. Often their individual stories will be compelling but not harmonious, making the entire book difficult to read as a whole. Other times, the stories will be harmonious but mediocre. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2007 avoids both these pitfalls with a strong selection of stories that work well together. It was a pleasure to read.

Some highlights:

  • "Best American Names of Television Programs Taken to Their Logical Conclusions" by Joe O'Neill
  • "Rock the Junta" by Scott Carrier
  • "What Is Your Dangerous Idea?" by the Edge Foundation
  • "Selling the General" by Jennifer Egan
  • "How to Tell Stories to Children" by Miranda July
  • "All Aboard the Bloated Boat: Arguments in Favor of Barry Bonds" by Lee Klein
  • Excerpts from Darfur Diaries (so interesting I've marked that book as to-read)
  • "The Big Suck: Notes from the Jarhead Underground" by David J. Morris

The size of the above list should give you an idea of how good this book is; that's a significant percentage of all the stories in the book. And your mileage may vary. But for something that's only 350 pages, this is a very economical investment (in terms of both time and money) and utterly enjoyable.


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