Can anyone recommend a good book of essays?
I'm looking for a book of short 1-5 page essays which would make good reading before bed. Both humorous and serious books are fine, but I would prefer the essay topics to vary.
- Anonymous1 decade agoFavorite Answer
I think this is a really good question, and I'd like to find such a book myself. So I did some research on amazon.com and came up with the following possibilities:
First, don't rule out anthologies of essays put together for English composition classes. Here are two that look interesting.
50 Essays: A Portable Anthology, 2nd ed., edited by Samuel Cohen, Bedford/St. Martins, $23.95, 528 pages.
One Hundred Great Essays (Penguin Academics Series), 2nd ed., edited by Robert DiYanni, Longman, $37.60, 864 pages.
Here is an anthology of quirky stories from the Wall St. Journal. The average length is less than five pages.
Floating Off the Page: The Best Stories from The Wall Street Journal's "Middle Column", edited by Ken Wells, Free Press, $11.90, 304 pages.
Two great anthologies of essays of varying lengths are the following:
The Oxford Book of Essays, edited by John Gross, Oxford University Press, $15.26, 704 pages.
The Norton Book of Personal Essays, edited by Joseph Epstein, Norton, $20.70, 477 pages.
A form similar to the essay, but usually shorter, is the letter. This looks like an interesting anthology. It attempts to chronicle American history through the lens of individual letter writers:
Letters of the Century: America 1900-1999, edited by Lisa Grunwald and Steven J. Adler, Dial Press, $23.10, 752 pages.
My favorite letter writer is Flannery O'Connor:
The Habit of Being: Letter of Flannery O'Connor, edited by Sally Fitzgerald, FSG, $15.62, 624 pages.
Hope this gives you enough to go on!
- Arigato neLv 51 decade ago
You may try Francis Bacon's "Essays", his "Of Studies" is well-known and often-quoted in various articles. His narrative is precise and concise, you may skip the Latin parts (however, there're accompanying translations below for each page in a certain edition). For example:
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man.
- Anonymous1 decade ago
ANYTHING by David Sedaris is funnier than heck - and you will find me laughing out loud in bed. I really liked, "Me Talk Pretty One Day". It's the greatest book ever! He tells tales of his childhood - is often on NPR reading essays, makes appearances that sell out instantly, and is a GREAT storyteller of real life events. I guarantee you will love this, and all of his books!
- steve_geo1Lv 71 decade ago
Try Michele de Montaigne. He is the wisest person who ever lived. His essays range from short to long.
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- 1 decade ago
"The Best American Essays" series is always good. You can get the 2006, 2005,2004, etc. Go to Amazon and search around.
- 1 decade ago
Well, for horror/sci-fi, John Saul is pretty good. Nora Roberts/JD Robb for romance/fantasy.