Marcus, our book buyer here at UBS Otago has just got in a variety of The Best American….2014 anthologies of stories and articles. These are consistently good, year on year, you can read each one’s offerings all at once, and from beginning to end or languidly pick and choose, like selecting your favourites from a tasty box of chocolates. I have just read The Best American Mystery Stories – they were so good, each was amusing and clever and several were startling, subverting the idea of what we think of when usually discussing mysteries.
I like this series because you never know what you’ll get and if you read them cover-to-cover, you often end up surprised and joyful to have discovered a new writer or usefully having paid attention to something that usually you’d have skipped because you thought you weren’t interested in the subject. I like the cover-to-cover campaign through the pages as you don’t get the chance to pre-judge or self-censor, although I don’t neccesarily read the whole thing in one go, just make sure I read them all.
On the horizon for this weekend is The Best American Essays 2014 and The Best American Short Stories, with maybe The Best American Travel Writing 2014 and The Best American Infrographics 2014 for dipping in and out of next weekend. Nature & Science Writing and the Non-Required Reading might wait for Christmas lolling around.
The only thing that would make them better would be gorgeous covers – they are a bit staid, dour even, and give no hint of the treasure within.