David's Reviews > The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008

The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 by Dave Eggers
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's review
Jun 30, 2011

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bookshelves: reviews, nonfiction, short-stories

This was my first shot at The Best American Nonrequired Reading series. And it was almost my last.

Starts out cute enough, like something for the edgy 15-22-year-old (well, if it gets them reading something other than Harry Potter, I'm fine with it). I Got through the first fifty pages relatively quickly. Then I stumbled somewhere around the third or forth story; I even put the book down for a couple weeks because the writing everywhere was proficient, yes, but drab, also. But the stories did get better--in spots.

I already have the 2009 and 2010 editions lined up and will take a look at them soon, but so far, just based on an initial one time look, Nonrequired Reading is merely that; some laughs, some provocations, a comic or two that doesn't add anything except a higher tolerance to our barely functioning ADD world, and an essay on certain world leaders I couldn't care less about (Bill Clinton).

Ranked in order from really good, to good (and funny and severely flawed). The rest of the stories/essays are okay to passable, with the exception of the immensely amusing opening pages, which saved the book.

01: Neptune's Navy (Raffi Khatchadourian)
02: Pearls Before Breakfast (Gene Weingarten)
03: Best American Diary of a Young Girl (aka My Massive Feelings) (Laurie Weeks)
04: Best American Diary of the Living Dead or: Are You There God? It's Me. Also, a Bunch of Zombies (Jake Swearingen)
05: The Dreamer Did Not Exist (David Gessner)
06: Searching for Zion (Emily Raboteau)
07: Where We Must Be (Laura van den Berg)

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Reading Progress

June 30, 2011 – Started Reading
June 30, 2011 – Shelved
August 20, 2011 – Shelved as: reviews
August 20, 2011 – Finished Reading
December 20, 2016 – Shelved as: nonfiction
December 20, 2016 – Shelved as: short-stories

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