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The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2013

2013, Jennifer Egan, Sherman Alexie, Kyle Minor, Dave Eggers, Dan Wakefield, Lynda Barry, Karen Russell, Nick Hornby, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Miroslav Penkov


Some of these stories are terrific ....but there is a wide variety of styles....short stories, poetry, tattoo graphic series, essays, and articlesDepressing...tragic -a laughter. In other words 'a mixed bag'. Given I paid a penny for this collection plus $3.99 for shipping....I've more than gotten my money's worth. I still have not read them all...."Finding Oscar, Massacre, Memory and Justice in Guatemala", from ProPublica is a page turning story.Oscar is living in the United States illegally. He learns he has ties to the genocidal attack in Guatemala. It's a sad horrifying story...."what kind of man slaughters families yet decides to save and raise a boy?""Hannah and Andrew", from the Texas monthly, is a reminder to me ( once again), of how damaging the media can be. In this case - a child was murdered...and the media may very well have been a contributing factor to injustice in the trial.On a lighter note....I loved the tattoo series. ....( funny - charming - 'show & tell )Nick Hornby contributed "Everyone's Reading Bastard". It was a little odd - takes place in London. A guy writes for an electronic publication....but not a very optimistictype of fellow - and basically people stink! If it was suppose to be funny - I missed the joke."Black Box", by Jennifer a fiction 'black- box' style ( delivery).... Symbolic story showing we are not we we see. One needs to read this slowly and think about what we are stripping away - and what we are. This story might create headaches! lolI read it a couple of times ... I'm not sure what the heck the point really is. I wondered if this story was written while on drugs. "Human Snowball", from the Paris Review, by Davy Rothbart...was perhaps my favorite story. It was a contemporary - inspiring story. Of course I'd love this's sad with a happy ending....with 'gentle' love. 5 stars for price value 4 stars overall!

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