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In Praise Of: Essays

In this curation, we're spotlighting the essay! 

Essays can offer us exposure to experiences, and perspectives, and essays can be informative or intimate, so reading an essay can feel as if we're at a sharing, or in a conversation with some one we may not get to meet in reality. The essay, after all, is best for you if you'd like to read despite a busy schedule; it's easily finished when you're commuting, in the half an hour before you turn in.

Read more, in this blog post!

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21 Results

A Handbook of Disappointed Fate offers a refreshing perspective on the human experience, tackling unanswerable questions with a mix of wit and vulnerability. Boyer's unconventional musings on topics like illness, loss, and motherhood are sure to resonate with readers searching for deeper meaning in their lives.

Four Feet Under

Condition: Very Good


Four Feet Under would be a good read for anyone looking to gain a deeper insight into the lives of London's homeless population. It provides a unique perspective into the challenges they face, from childhood to current day. The book is raw, real and touching, giving voice to those who are often invisible. The personal stories are accompanied by intimate photographic portraits, capturing the essence of the unique individuals that Tamsen met during her two months of listening and observation.
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER'I've been wondering who might fill the intellectual void after James Baldwin died. Clearly it is Ta-Nehisi Coates' Toni Morrison'Searing. One of the foremost essayists on race in the West... [He] is responsible for some of the most important writing about what it is to be black in America today' Nikesh Shukla, editor of The Good ImmigrantAn essential account of modern America, from Obama to Trump, from black lives matter to white supremacists rising - by the bestselling author of Between the World and MeObama's presidency was a watershed moment in American history. From 2008-2016, the leader of the free world was a black man. In those eight years, Obama transformed the conversation around race, gender, class and wealth - inspiring hope but also attracting criticism and breeding discontent.In this unflinching book, Ta-Nehisi Coates takes stock of Obama's eight years in power, through such iconic, unmissable essays as 'Fear of a Black President' and 'The Case for Reparations'. His account traverses the intersections of the political, the ideological and the cultural, presenting an America in radical flux and yet still in the grip of racial injustice, class warfare and institutional conspiracy. And it reflects on the author's own journey through these eight years, charting the public through the private in passages of startling intimate and piercingly relevant memoir.Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of our most brilliant, most fearless and most essential living writers - and his work is crucial to understanding race in America today.Finalist for the Los Angeles Book Prize 2018Longlisted for the Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence 2018RAVE READER REVIEWS:'Brilliantly written, incisive, and extremely relevant. Read it with your families, use it in your classrooms, give copies to your friends' (Liz)'Coates thinks more deeply and writes more clearly about the national tragedy and disgrace that is our collective failure to confront the legacy of White Supremacy than just about anyone... I can't recommend it highly enough' (Worddancer Redux)'Every white person who wants to really know how it looks from 'the other side' should take on the responsibility of reading Coates' eye-opening, informative book... A must read for everyone of every colour' (Indy JV)'A masterful understanding of how the USA really works' (shedgirl)'If you want to know the wellsprings of racism in America - then read this book!' (David C. R. Hancock)
This book would be a great read for those interested in analyzing and questioning the inner workings of popular culture. Klosterman takes a unique approach to discussing topics such as football, time-travel, and media. The book is both humorous and informative, making it an enjoyable read for those who appreciate witty commentary.
The Unspeakable could be a good read for users who enjoy personal essays that bring a fresh perspective to daily experiences. Through her writing, Meghan Daum dissects our culture's illusions and blind spots while retaining her own joy and compassion. With a mix of piercing insight and funny anecdotes, Daum explores the ups and downs of life and pushes back against false sentimentality. Users who appreciate Nora Ephron's humour and Joan Didion's insight would likely enjoy this book.
"A Supposedly Fun Thing I'll Never Do Again" is a highly recommended book for those looking for clever, witty essays on a variety of topics. David Foster Wallace's writing style is fresh, engaging, and humorous, making this book a must-read for fans of non-fiction. The book's most notable feature is its ability to take mundane topics and turn them into engaging, thought-provoking reads.
Naked by David Sedaris would be an enjoyable read for anyone who appreciates humour and enjoys reading personal memoirs. Sedaris has an incredible ability to find the humour in everyday situations and his witty writing style will keep readers hooked. The unique aspect of this book is the honest and vulnerable portrayal of the author's life, making it relatable to many readers. Overall, Naked is a well-written and entertaining book that will leave readers feeling both amused and introspective.
"Fight of the Century" is a compelling anthology that brings together some of the greatest living writers and their personal takes on a century's worth of landmark civil liberties cases. Written by Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman in partnership with the ACLU, this book is perfect for history buffs and those passionate about civil rights and social justice issues. The essays are crafted in a way that educates and entertains, making them accessible to a broad readership. The focus on each of the famous and not so famous cases is unique and offers readers an opportunity to understand how each has influenced modern society.
This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:PicturesWordsStories about things that happened to meStories about things that happened to other people because of meEight billion dollars*Stories about dogsThe secret to eternal happiness**These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!
What the Dog Saw: Essays, by Malcolm Gladwell, is an excellent read for anyone who enjoys delving into the intricacies of everyday life. Gladwell's unique style of storytelling paired with his investigative journalism takes readers on a journey of surprising and thought-provoking observations. Through analyzing topics such as ketchup and mustard, personality tests, and homelessness, Gladwell provides answers to questions we never knew we had. Don't miss out on this captivating read that sheds light on the hidden histories of our world.
The book can be a relatable and humorous read for young women, especially those who are struggling with societal expectations and stereotypes. It provides a unique perspective on being a working mom in a male-dominated world, and shows the importance of being unapologetically oneself. The book's most distinctive feature is its unfiltered and personal anecdotes that are simultaneously shocking and satisfying.
A Burst of Light is a powerful collection of essays by Audre Lorde that resonates with contemporary social justice warriors. Lorde's writing tackles the intersections of race, cancer, intersectionality, parenthood, and injustice, calling for a radical politics of intersectionality. Her message of caring for oneself as an act of political warfare is particularly inspiring, and her thoughts on Black women and LGBTQ+ communities organizing, as well as her insights on erotic pleasure, continue to be relevant today. This book is recommended for readers looking to expand their understanding of anti-oppression and resistance through the lens of intersectionality.
The Drowned and the Saved is a must-read book for anyone interested in understanding the Holocaust and its long-term impact. Through his honest and powerful essays, Primo Levi challenges the popular narratives about the Holocaust and sheds light on the experiences of both victims and oppressors. His introspective approach to memory and trauma makes this book a valuable resource for students and literary readers alike. His personal experiences as a survivor bring the Holocaust to life and honor the resiliency of the human spirit.
Recommendation: The Irresponsible Self takes a refreshing and amusing approach to critiquing literary classics. James Wood's commentary on authors like Shakespeare and Cervantes is sharp and thought-provoking, making this book an enjoyable read for anyone interested in literature and criticism.
This book is a perfect combination of thought-provoking essays and short fictions that explore the complex, yet intertwined relationship between love and hate. The readers will find themselves navigating through the realms of betrayal, loyalty, imagination, and repression, making the book a relatable and eye-opening read for anyone interested in exploring the multifaceted emotions that drive human relationships. The bravura piece of personal reportage about the conman who steals Kureishi's life savings highlights the author's candid writing style, making the book an authentic, heart-warming, and at times, a scathing reminder that love and hate have an inevitable and complicated connection.
What If? is a collection of counterfactual essays concentrating on some of the most intriguing military turning points of the last 3,000 years. Twenty celebrated historians, including Alistair Horne and John Keegan, have come together to produce a group of essays that enhance our current understanding of these decisive events.Where might we be if history had not unfolded the way it did? Why, how and when was our future determined? The answers are surprising, sometimes alarming and always entertaining.
A classic of reportage, Oranges was first conceived as a short magazine article about oranges and orange juice, but the author kept encountering so much irresistible information that he eventually found that he had in fact written a book. It contains sketches of orange growers, orange botanists, orange pickers, orange packers, early settlers on Florida's Indian River, the first orange barons, modern concentrate makers, and a fascinating profile of Ben Hill Griffin of Frostproof, Florida who may be the last of the individual orange barons. McPhee's astonishing book has an almost narrative progression, is immensely readable, and is frequently amusing. Louis XIV hung tapestries of oranges in the halls of Versailles, because oranges and orange trees were the symbols of his nature and his reign. This book, in a sense, is a tapestry of oranges, too―with elements in it that range from the great orangeries of European monarchs to a custom of people in the modern Caribbean who split oranges and clean floors with them, one half in each hand.
As someone interested in Singapore politics and contemporary issues, "Singapore: The Air-Conditioned Nation" is a must-read. Cherian George's collection of stimulating essays provides an insightful analysis of the political success of the ruling People's Action Party and sheds light on the tensions and contradictions inherent in Singapore's system. The book enables readers to gain a more nuanced understanding of the factors shaping Singapore's politics and society.
Non-Fiction by Chuck Palahniuk is a thought-provoking and unconventional book that offers a glimpse into alternative subcultures and peculiar human experiences. From encounters with Marilyn Manson to life as a hospice volunteer driver, each essay is entertaining and unsettling at the same time. This book is perfect for readers who want to explore the unconventional side of life and get a glimpse into the lives of others in a unique way. Chuck Palahniuk's distinctive and daring approach to storytelling shines in Non-Fiction.

Award winning Paul Theroux has written many iconic shorter pieces of travel writing which have been collected together in the captivating Sunrise with Seamonsters.

Sunrise with Seamonsters is Paul Theroux's immensely entertaining collection of his shorter writings, ranging from sketches to critical essays. Each piece marks a new 'confrontation with the world' and throws new light on the political and social climate of diverse cultures such as those of New York, Singapore, Ireland and Malawi. Others give a lively portrayal of the people Theroux has met or books and landscapes which have inspired him.

Above all, this is a fascinating perspective on two decades of travelling, writing and living away from home.

'As observant, intuitive, wry, inventive and eloquent as Graham Greene' Sunday Times

'Theroux is one of those damnably good writers for whom dullness is a cardinal sin and who seems unable to put a foot wrong. Certainly the brightest collection of essays to hit the streets in years' Irish Times

'One of the best literary travellers we have' Evening Standard

American travel writer Paul Theroux is known for the rich descriptions of people and places that is often streaked with his distinctive sense of irony; his other non-fiction titles, Riding the Iron Rooster, The Happy Isles of Oceania, The Kingdom by the Sea, The Tao of Travel, Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, The Old Patagonian Express, The Great Railway Bazaar, Dark Star Safari, Fresh-air Fiend, Sir Vidia's Shadow, The Pillars of Hercules, and his novels and collections of short stories, including the James Tait Black Memorial Prize winner The Mosquito Coast are available from Penguin.

Author: Paul Theroux
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 512
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publication Date: 16 Jun 2011