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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004

I will read whatever Dave Eggers edits, I just can’t stand the things he writes. In fact, I skipped his introduction entirely. This series is clearly aimed at people like me. The covers are colorful and usually done by known comics artists, this one was by Adrian Tomine who I have always had a crush on. The selections are from things I already read and contain some writing by people I already know. In this case, I read a story by Thom Jones that I hadn’t read before and stumbled across a David Sedaris story that I had only heard read aloud.

Of course, there is the “usual suspects” problem where I wonder if David Sedaris needs any more print time, but many of these authors wrote things that I thougth were delightfully inventive and I would have otherwise never seen. There is a story about a lion hunter in New York City and an essay [because this is both fiction and non-] about that guy who lives in the airport and what he is really like. Most of the stories washed over me with their style and wording and if I was still a bus commuter, I would have travelled far beyond my stop because I was so engrossed in this. Don’t let the Eggers name scare you, there is good writing here.