The Best American Nonrequired Reading

Dave Eggers, Editor, Matt Groening, Introduction by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $14 (377p) ISBN 978-0-618-57051-5
The Best American Nonrequired Reading Series marks its fifth year by expanding the scope of the collection, to include shorter pieces, fragments of stories, transcripts, screenplays, and lists. Brilliantly, Eggers opens with a Best American roundup of notable words and sentences, including ""Best American Fake Headlines"" from The Onion, ""Best American Excerpt from a Military Blog,"" and ""Best American First Sentences of Novels of 2005"" (from Bret Easton Ellis's semi-autobiographical Lunar Park: ""You do an awfully good impression of yourself""). Contributors of more substantial pieces include Judy Budnitz, Joe Sacco, Cat Bohannon, Kurt Vonnegut, Julia Sweeney and Haruki Murakami, to name a few, and draw from such wide-ranging sources as The Georgia Review, The Washington Post, This American Life and GQ. The result is a collection that's both uproarious and illuminating. In the introduction, comic strip artist and The Simpsons creator Groening provides a list of books that ""will keep you up late at night when you're supposed to be sleeping or making love."" This is one such book.
Reviewed on: 10/01/2006
Release date: 10/01/2006
Genre: Nonfiction
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