The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present
The Art of the Personal Essay: An Anthology from the Classical Era to the Present Reviews

Review: This book is all encompassing, an anthology worth its weight--which is about two pounds.

From the father of the personal essay, Michel de Montaigne to one of the best representatives of contemporary, "New Journalism", Joan Didion The Art of the Personal Essay truly has it all. Whether you're a student of nonfiction or merely an admirer, this book needs to be in your collection.
Read more

A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again:  Essays and Arguments
A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again: Essays and Arguments Reviews

Review: Un senso di vuoto

È quello che provo nel leggere un saggio così tanto brillante e arguto e nel pensare che non ci saranno più altre parole.

Finito dopo quasi due anni: intendiamoci, non è che siano necessari due anni per leggere questa raccolta di saggi di DFW, è solamente che sia che si parli di tornado (intesi come vortici d'aria e non come caccia bombardieri!) che di tennis, o di David Lynch, o di tv, oppure di critica letteraria, DFW costringe ad accender... Read more

How to Be Alone
How to Be Alone Reviews

Review: The last time I was in the library, Jonathan Franzen written along a spine caught my eye. Why did I want to read this book? Where had I heard this name? The book looked brand new. However, most of its essays are from the late 90s and early 2000s. The political and social references are fascinating because they are now all in hindsight. Most (if not all) are pre-September 11th. They are all pre-current-economic-meltdown and new President Obama.

The essence of the essays are timeless. From... Read more

Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays
Barrel Fever: Stories and Essays Reviews

Review: A very ridiculous and absurd collection of stories. Once again Sedaris fiction comes through! Sometimes his stories are so twisted that they're hard to enjoy but it's all very funny. Also this book has the Santaland Diaries which is my favorite essay ever. Read more

The Complete Essays
The Complete Essays Reviews

Review: Although i just started this book, I am amazed,,, especialy the section, "An Apology for Raymond Sobund" a very amazing view of thoughts we share in time, in ancient times and how we try to organize our understanding of living. Really trying to read this from an orgainized viewpoint and structure.
This is an excellent book about us: today, yesterday and in the future, how - is the way M Montaigne expresses some of the great good we all possess contain, and how the not so-good can confuse our ... Read more

The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History
The Discomfort Zone: A Personal History Reviews

Review: i debated between giving this book two or three stars. ultimately, i'm giving it two; i wanted to like it more than i did. although the book starts off strong (i especially appreciated all of the cultural info from the 60s and 70s), toward the end, i found myself just wanting to be done with it. and i actually skimmed a lot of the last section. after a while, the narrative felt self-indulgent to me. although i appreciate franzen's honesty in all pages of this book, i also feel that the writing i... Read more

Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood
Touch Magic: Fantasy, Faerie & Folklore in the Literature of Childhood Reviews

Review: I read this book in about an hour and a half, but what it had to say about the importance of unsanitized, unsentimentalized fairy tales in the lives especially of children but also of the adults those children grow into, was profound. Yolen makes the case that all those old stories with all their magic and violence are necessary to children because through them they learn about good and evil, courage, honor, justice, choice and consequence, responsibility, and what it is to be human in a way tha... Read more

Slouching Towards Bethlehem
Slouching Towards Bethlehem Reviews

Review: Five stars for the writing. Didion is a brilliant writer, and I recall a few of these essays from their original publication back in the day. Her use of detail, the rhythm and cadence of her sentences—yes, a powerful writer. The collection is well worth reading, and a few of them are worthy of study as rhetoric.

Why three stars? Only an entitled white person could have written these essays. The first is wonderful, but then it mostly goes downhill. The love letter to John Wayne reveals a s... Read more

Useful Links