This was a serious splurge for me, and in the case of one or two of these books something of an indulgence, but they're here now, so there's nothing for it, but to be happy, settle down with one or two and read away. I did find a few other titles at my public library and am waiting for my turn to come, so I have quite a variety of writing to dip into (and look forward to dipping into in the case of library books). I seem to be very much on a kick when it comes to shorter writing--short stories especially, so for me this was part of the draw. Imagine having the whole run of these books. Considering, however, how slow a reader I am, this pile will likely take me the greater part of the year to make my way through.
What I have to look forward to:
The Best American Short Stories 2013 edited by Elizabeth Strout - Includes stories by Junot Diaz, Lorrie Moore, Alice Munro, Steven Millhauser, and Antonya Nelson (one of my recent finds!).
The Best American Essays 2013 edited by Cheryl Strayed - Includes essays by Alice Munro (!), Zadie Smith, Dagoberto Gilb and many other writers who are new to me.
Best Food Writing 2013 edited by Holly Hughes - I don't read much food writing, and I fear I have been spoiled by reading M.F.K. Fisher, but I am hoping that this will be as entertaining as it sounds. The book is broken into sections: The Way We Eat Now, A Critical Palate, Farm to Table, The Meat of the Matter, Home Cooking, To Be a Chef, and Personal Tastes.
The Best American Science and Nature Writing 2013 edited by Siddhartha Mukherjee - I have been keen to read more nature writing and I like that this collection includes science topics as well, so I'll be branching out a bit. The writings come from a variety of magazines including Orion, Harper's, Outside, Scientific American, Virginia Quarterly, The New Yorker, Playboy and a few others.
The Best American Travel Writing 2013 edited by Elizabeth Gilbert - Oh joy! This is going to be a year of armchair travel for me--I have to pay more careful attention to my budget and hope to pay down a few bills and save a little money, so this might have to be my stand in when it comes to travel. It's hard to say just where each essay is focusing on--but from the titles I shall be 'traveling' to Istanbul, Sarajevo and Vietnam.
The Best American Infographics 2013 edited by Gareth Cook - This was the main indulgence. I am not sure what possessed me to pick this one, but I am interested in art/graphics, so was curious about it.
Now the question is how to go about tackling this pile. Do I pick up one and begin reading, do I keep the whole stack by my bed and read one essay/work a night rotating books each day, or just read entirely randomly? It'll probably be a matter of trial and error, and I am sure I will enjoy figuring the dilemma out.