Sarah's Reviews > The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010 by Dave Eggers
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Jun 01, 11

bookshelves: anthologies
Read from January 09 to May 31, 2011

I have love, love, loved this series, but this is the first one that felt like a bit of a slog. I bought it in December, read the opening essay and the short bits (Part I) in January, and then read a piece or two a month for the entire first half of the year. Normally I read the whole thing the day I buy it. I love the humor of the first section, and the eclectic mix that normally fills the rest: fiction, non-fiction, comics. There were some interesting pieces, but they were evenly matched by less interesting ones. The non-fiction caught my attention more than the fiction. The highlight for me was an excerpt from The Photographer: Into War-Torn Afghanistan with Doctors Without Borders, though the panels were a little hard to read in this cramped format; I have that book sitting by my bed waiting to be read. I guess as long as this series still brings attention to books like that it's viable.
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Jackie "the Librarian" I go through phases where nonfiction holds my attention better, too, Sarah. Like when my life is more interesting than most fiction.


Sarah With non-fiction the subject matter and approach matter more in a short piece, so if it's a good topic and a decent writer, I'll get something out of the piece. With short fiction, there are still the questions of: Do I like the characters? Do I like the writer's style? How about the plot? And any one of those gone wrong makes it less worth reading. I usually approve of the nonfiction selections in these books, but the choices made in comics and the short stories often seem more arbitrary.


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