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The Best American Essays 2012 (The Best American Series ®) Paperback – October 2, 2012
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From the Back Cover
First, Best, and Best-Selling
The Best American series is the premier annual showcase for the country s finest short fiction and nonfiction. Each volume s series editor selects notable works from hundreds of magazines, journals, and websites. A special guest editor, a leading writer in the field, then chooses the best twenty or so pieces to publish. This unique system has made the Best American series the most respected and most popular of its kind.
The Best American Essays 2012 includes
Marcia Angell, Miah Arnold, Mark Doty, Joseph Epstein, Jonathan Franzen,
Malcolm Gladwell, Francine Prose, Lauren Slater,
Sandra Tsing Loh, Jose Antonio Vargas, and others
[INSERT AUTHOR PHOTO] DAVID BROOKS, editor, is a New York Times op-ed columnist and the author, most recently, of The Social Animal. He is also a commentator on the PBS NewsHour and a frequent analyst on NPR s All Things Considered.
Look for the other best-selling titles in the Best American series:
THE BEST AMERICAN COMICS
THE BEST AMERICAN MYSTERY STORIES
THE BEST AMERICAN NONREQUIRED READING
THE BEST AMERICAN SCIENCE AND NATURE WRITING
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES
THE BEST AMERICAN SPORTS WRITING
THE BEST AMERICAN TRAVEL WRITING
About the Author
- Item Weight : 13.6 ounces
- Paperback : 336 pages
- ISBN-10 : 9780547840093
- ISBN-13 : 978-0547840093
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.79 x 8.25 inches
- Publisher : Mariner Books; 2012th edition (October 2, 2012)
- ASIN : 0547840098
- Language: : English
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,205,601 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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* Wesley Yang on Asian stereotypes and attempts to break them by Asians themselves (he really means east Asians) who want to move beyond academic success.
* Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough on connection to her grandmother in Poland through her attachment to objects and other artifacts. Sweet story.
* Dr. Don is not your usual druggist, this time in rural Colorado, tending to the various needs of his isolated cohort.
* The examination of Edward Hopper works best with a computer at hand for viewing the art along the way.
* You Owe Me - how could it not be difficult to teach writing to children dying of cancer? She writes strongly in an area susceptible to going over the top.
* The Crazy State of Psychiatry is distressed about the rise of medication as the central force in the field.
* Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here? - with a third offspring finishing college, there seems to be enough truth in here to be solid. One thing for sure: you can get by even in elite colleges without doing a whole lot, but the opportunity to get a lot more out of it is there for the motivated.
Sandra Tsing Loh is clearly a writer who can yield high negatives. Her aggressive and loud style is entertaining in The Atlantic, from where this piece came.
Sure, Jonathan Franzen's personal travel memoir is well crafted, but is not interesting enough to be notable, perhaps because David Foster Wallace means little to me.
The essay on a father's dementia, more of a story with mostly dialog rather than an essay, is another one that is uncomfortable, about that possibly terrifying future.
In January the essay Duh, Boring was so provocative it took up the entire two hours set aside for our talk. We moved its companion Dr. Don, an altruistic druggist, to February and paired it with (My Father/My Husband) about a husband and wife dealing with her Alzheimer's.
Each edition since 2002 gave us much to learn, enjoy and think about Yet we all agree this year's 2012, edited by David Brooks, is the most consistent in intriguing topics and easy reading. We are all reading ahead of our assignments. It's hard to put the book away.
This particular essay collection is like a box of bon bons. It includes so many tempting topics, with alluring titles it's hard to make a choice. But like bons bons once you read one essay you want more. That's okay. They're not fattening unless you consider deep thoughts weight.
Great for short waits, hot baths, plane trips, and "also reading" lists.
No underlying theme. Pretty diverse subjects which means you will probably not want to chain read these essays. You'll find it hard to suddenly switch gears when a new essay goes in a different direction with totally different tone and feel.
Overall, I feel there is some contemporary merit in these essays, but only the sort of merit that lightly titillates the ruminating mind and not the sort of merit that knocks your socks off.