The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2005

Author: Dave Eggers (series editor), Beck (introduction)

Type: Fiction, non-fiction, short stories, essays, comics, poetry, humor (anthology)

Published: 2005

I read it: September 2013

best 2005

I’m trying to go back and collect and read the entire series. Unfortunately 2005 lacked a bit of the pizzazz of most other volumes. There were just a few too many duds. But the standouts are…

  • “The Death of Mustango Salvaje” by Jessica Anthony. In which a female matador(a?) reaches self-actualization.
  • “A Lynching in Stereoscope” by Stephanie Dickinson. Townspeople-and-pitchfork afternoon seen through two distinct decades.
  • “The Lost Boys” by Jeff Gordinier. Journalistic account of young men excommunicated from Utah’s Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints community.
  • “Roadkill” by Kate Krautkramer. Pregnant woman muses on life, death, humans, animals.
  • “Hell-Heaven” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Slow-burn excellence by this writers’ writer.
  • “They Came Out Like Ants!” by Jonathan Tel. Engaging real-life tale of an attempt to uncover tunnels built by and for the Chinese around the U.S.-Mexico border.

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