What do you get when you combine Dave Eggers, David Sedaris, and a group of high schoolers? Turns out it's The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2010! Part of the Best American series, Nonrequired Reading 2010 is edited by Dave Eggers and features an introduction by David Sedaris. Each year Eggers collaborates with two groups of high school students, one in California and one in Michigan, to select the material to be included in the collection. The students meet once a week to pore over literary journals, magazines, self-published zines, comics, etc. looking for "stories that hit them in the gut." The result is an eclectic mix of fiction, nonfiction, comics, poetry, and more.
Highlights of the thought-provoking short stories include Sherman Alexie's exploration of Native American identity in "War Dances" and New York Times reporter David Rhodes' "Seven Months, Ten Days in Captivity," which details his time as a prisoner of the Taliban in Afghanistan. The collection's lighter offerings include illustrations of the Best American New Patents, a list of the Best American Farm Names, a compilation of the Best American Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak, and Wendy Molyneux's hilarious "Best American Woman Comedy Piece Written by a Woman." If you pick up this unique and unusual collection, be sure to check out the cover art provided by celebrated illustrator Maurice Sendak.
Submitted by Jennifer @ MPL Central