Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Best American Series

We have a number of books published under the 'Best American Series' heading: essays, spiritual writing, travel writing, science and nature writing, and short stories. Our newest addition to this group is Best American Nonrequired Reading - 2006, edited by Dave Eggers (who has a new book of his own on our shelves - What is the What: an autobiography of Valentino Achak Deng - a reality-based novel about the civil war in the Sudan).

BANR (Best American Nonrequired Reading is too long to type out) is an interesting collection of fiction and nonfiction written works, with a diverse origin. This includes a commencent speech, a section from the new Iraqi constitution, blog excerpts, portions of a script, and a list of best first lines from a novel. Some of the selections are funny (Best Fictional Headlines from The Onion), while others are more thought-provoking (an excerpt from Kurt Vonnegut's last book, A Man Without a Country). Even the introduction by Matt Groening is enjoyable to read - and I don't typically pay much attention to introductions. You can use this book to sample what's been published recently if you're looking for something to read, or to keep your finger on the pulse of popular culture if for some reason you don't have the time or inclination to read the entire Iraqi constitution.

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