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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 Paperback – October 8, 2008


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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2008 + The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2009 + The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2012
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Product Details

  • Series: Best American (Book 2008)
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Mariner Books (October 8, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 061890283X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0618902835
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #842,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A bouillabaisse of nonrequired reading that should be required." (Publishers Weekly ) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

DAVE EGGERS is the editor of McSweeney’s and a cofounder of 826 National, a network of nonprofit writing and tutoring centers for youth, located in seven cities across the United States. He is the author of four books, including What Is the What and How We Are Hungry.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By David M. Giltinan on November 1, 2008
Format: Paperback
Once again this series, always the star of the "Best American" anthologies, delivers the goods. Here is just a selection of the delights it offers this year:

A hilarious introduction by Judy Blume
Best American police blotter items from Kensington, California
Best American facebook groups
Best American NY Times headlines from 1907 ("Man pours molten lead into own ear - believed to have been reading Hamlet"; "President's quiet Sunday: He goes to church, Greets neighbors, Has shot only rabbits"; "Have you a fetich? Most of us have")
Best American: last sentences of books, Ron Paul facts, champion showdog names, Kurt Vonnegut writings, diary of a young girl, diary of the living dead.

Pieces by Marjorie Celona, J. Malcolm Garcia, Andrew Sean Greer, Helon Habila, Raffi Khatchadourian, Stephen King, Emily Raboteau, George Saunders, Jake Swearingen, Patrick Tobin, Laura van den Berg, Gene Weingarten, Laurie Weeks, and Malerie Willens

an excerpt from Paul Hornschemeier's graphic novel, "The Three Paradoxes"
an illustrated story by Rutu Modan: "Queen of the Scottish Fairies"

When I say that this anthology "delivers the goods", what I mean is - of the seven pieces I've read thus far, each has been fascinating, well-written, and not something I would otherwise have come across. (Other than one piece from each of The New Yorker, The new York Times, and The Washington Post, the selection is deliberately weighted to represent non-mainstream publications, such as The Paris Review, The Kenyon Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, Zoetrope).

J.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Tezby on February 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
Having purchased the last few editions of TBANRR I was looking forward to the 2008 edition. Unfortunately this collection is uneven and disappointing. The selection of non-fiction isn't particularly imaginative - a long article from The New Yorker is hardly their best - and the selection of amusing Facebook groups is fun if utterly disposable. Compared to previous years this is a lacklustre addition to an otherwise excellent series. Here's hoping 2009 edition will be better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Marny Daniels on June 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been following this collection of the "Best American" series since it's inception. Though I have enjoyed every edition of the "Best American Non-Required Reading" series, I must say that this is the best edition ever published.

Unlike past editions, this collection includeded a large amount of non-fiction articles...but like past issues, these pieces are written so beautifully, they might as well be poetry

The articles, essays and short stories featured in this collection are so powerful, humoruous and heartfelt, that I found myself taking a deep breath, issuing a little chuckle and producing a sorrowful sigh before preparing to read the next piece.

I've been telling all my friends and family about this book!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Sherry L. Pyle on January 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
I just don't think it's that good. The only things that have struck me so far have been the essay about Argentina's White Train and Paul Watson's mission to save marine life. The fiction is forgettable because it doesn't provoke dialogue or even thought like the two previously-mentioned pieces do.

My recommendation if you are looking for serials similar to The Best American is Pushcart. The work they showcase is original and cerebral in a way that this never seems to achieve. Section I of Nonrequired Reading is a cheap hodge-podge ranging from Best Facebook Groups to Best American Things for Sale. It even features a bulleted list of "Best" excerpts from Kurt Vonnegut's novels!
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