The Best American Essays 2005 edited by Susan Orlean (Series editor Robert Atwan)
I have, at home, almost a complete set of The Best American Essays, starting from 1986. I have only read about 20% of them.
Since the editor changes every year, the number of essays that I find interesting in each vary considerably.
I pulled 2005 of the shelf because I have read and enjoyed Susan Orlean’s essay collection The Bullfighter Checks Her Makeup. Also, other authors in this one include David Sedaris, David Foster Wallace, Jonathan Franzen, and Ian Frazier.
Sedaris has a witty and surprisingly touching essay about lancing a boil on his butt.
Kitty Burns Florey has a nostalgic essay about diagramming sentences.
Ian Frazier’s essay about memory or the lack thereof is a bit tiresome.
Ellen Ullman has a disappointing essay promisingly titled “Dining with Robots” that ends with the line “Robots aren’t becoming us, I feared; we are becoming them.” What. Ever.
David Foster Wallace delves into a lobster festival in the overly analyzing, wordily written, extensively annotated way that only he could. (RIP)
I enjoyed Jonathan Franzen’s essay The Comfort Zone about his obsession with Peanuts against the backdrop of the 60’s. I find I appreciate Peanuts more reading about it than actually reading it.