Thursday, December 11, 2014

Book Review: Best Americans Series 2014

It's not secret that I'm completely devoted to the Best American Series.  I collect Short Stories, Non-Required Reading, and Essays and I'm quite proud of how nicely my collection is filling out.  I was excited to see some other versions on NetGalley this year and decided to give them a try to see if I need to add them to the collection as well.

As much as I enjoyed this one, I'm not sure that it'll be added to my yearly collection.  It's exactly how it sounds - a collection of the best infographics posted online and in various publications throughout the year.  Some appealed to me more than others, just based on content (I'm never going to be really excited by anything related to sports), but that didn't diminish the quality.  They're all well done, informative, and contained a great deal of information presented in a visually appealing way.  I enjoyed the reading experience, but I think it's something I'll be fine picking up from the library and not owning personally.

My favorite thing about this book was how it really helped me see in a concrete way exactly what kinds of comics appeal to me.  I loved the way it was organized and the quality of the comics was, of course, impeccable.  I feel like the organization by type/genre helped me figure out what I love (graphic memoir, history, and contemporary personal stories), what I like (fantasy and superheroes) and what I'm not as much a fan of (surrealism).  Even the comics that I didn't "get" were beautiful to look at.  These will be appearing on my bookshelf in the near future.

I started my essay collection after I'd already requested this one, but my read of it definitely cemented that decision as a good one.  I thoroughly enjoyed my experience with this years' best essays, including my favorite essay from The Empathy Exams, which I read and loved earlier this year.  Highlights also included "The Old Man at Burning Man" by Wells Tower and two extremely hard to read, yet beautifully done essays by male authors who experienced childhood sexual abuse.  

Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with copies of these books to review!

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