best american essays 2009 edited mary oliver

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Year after year, we review dozens of reader nominations, revisit sites from past lists, consider staff favorites, and search the far-flung corners of the web for new celebration of new year essay for a varied compilation that will prove an asset to any writer, of any genre, at any experience level. This selection represents this year's creativity-centric websites for writers. These websites fuel out-of-the-box thinking and help writers awaken their choke palahnuik and literary analysis. Be sure to check out the archives for references to innovative techniques and processes from famous thinkers like Einstein and Darwin. The countless prompts, how-tos on guided imagery and creative habits, mixed-media masterpieces, and more at Creativity Portal have sparked imaginations for more than 18 years. Boost your literary credentials by submitting your best caption for the stand-alone cartoon to this weekly choke palahnuik and literary analysis from The New Yorker. The top three captions advance to a public vote, and the winners will be included in a future issue of the magazine.

Best american essays 2009 edited mary oliver how to write a great research paper simon jones

Best american essays 2009 edited mary oliver

Download for print-disabled. Check nearby libraries Library. Share this book Facebook. Last edited by ImportBot. August 28, History. An edition of The Best American Essays This edition was published in by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing. Subjects American essays , American essays, 21st century.

Libraries near you: WorldCat. Lists containing this Book. Loading Related Books. August 28, Edited by ImportBot. July 16, Edited by Clean Up Bot. January 15, Edited by Lisa. My other criticism, which seems to be a recurring one for this particular collection, is that you, the reader, may not find the navel-gazing of many of the contributors nearly as interesting as they evidently find it.

Personally, I am beginning to think that this particular volume in the "Best American" series is about ready to be put on the chopping block. Back down to two stars - the dross really outweighs the few decent contributions yet again. View all 3 comments. Nov 08, Dave rated it it was ok. Must be the slimmest collection ever. Disappointing selection of essays, with many being less than 10 pages long.

Oct 05, Carrie rated it liked it Shelves: read-harder There were about a handful of essays that were either difficult to get through or just didn't interest. There were a few others I enjoyed as well, but those were my favori There were about a handful of essays that were either difficult to get through or just didn't interest. There were a few others I enjoyed as well, but those were my favorites. Mar 03, Eva Strange rated it really liked it Shelves: non-fiction , essays-articles.

A collection of this kind is naturally always a mixed bag. If you share Mary Oliver's interests as I do , you'll likely find much in here to like and enjoy and nod along with, and won't gel as much with the pieces she likely included for neutrality's sake. I found several authors that were previously unknown to me and whose works I've put on my to-read shelf, and what more can you ask for? May 12, Shadin rated it liked it.

Some of these were such fun quick reads Patricia Hampl's and others were hard skims -- to be expected with collections. Jun 25, Jessica added it. I'm not sure why Mary Oliver, a poet, was chosen to edit an anthology of essays. I guess had this anthology been more enthralling it would have seemed an enlightened choice, but as it is, this is the worst of the BA Essay Anthologies I've read so far.

First of all, an overwhelming amount of the essays are about writing Patricia Hampl's is the best , which is great for us writers, but I'm sure less than captivating for everyone else. Such a selection sure doesn't invite the casual reader into th I'm not sure why Mary Oliver, a poet, was chosen to edit an anthology of essays. Such a selection sure doesn't invite the casual reader into the genre.

Secondly, almost all of the essays are shorter than normal, and on over-done topics, like dogs. I think I'm done reading essays about dogs, even if the dogs are Charles Darwin's. It's like dogs are supposed to be some sort of doppelganger doggelganger? I mean, I think dogs are cute in real life, but on the page, there are only so many things a dog is going to do. And third, even the best writers here seem to be at their worst: I am an ardent fan of Richard Rodriguez, but he should stay out of the Middle East - he doesn't know enough about it to earn his own profound voice.

I also love Jerald Walker, but he's writing about writing here, and like so many other writers on writing he comes off as more self-involved than I suspect he actually is. There are a few essays that outshine everything else: Amy Leach's "You Be The Moon" is one of those essays that will sail 1, applications to writing school - truly inspiring.

Everything else is kinda meh. Dec 12, Bill is currently reading it. I've been reading this series every year since it started appearing, back during the Reagan administration. For the most part I've found it a pleasing exercise. Sometimes it is full of things that I have already read, and am pleased to rediscover, and have between covers. And sometimes, rarely, it is full of essays that reflect the interests of the guest editor, and is otherwise oblique to me.

The year Susan Sonta I've been reading this series every year since it started appearing, back during the Reagan administration. Sontag liked to read, and I knew that we'd have an awkward evening if we were ever paired at a dinner party. She died before that happened, but now I have to worry about meeting Mary Oliver at a party. I'm not familiar with Ms.

Oliver's work. She is, I gather, chiefly a poet. The essays in the book she has edited seem to be largely concerned with the challenges associated with composition, rather than with the ostensible topics-- third world economics, or whatever. There's a lot of nature writing. It is a thin volume, but it seems that the number of pieces is about the same as in years past.

Many of the essays are short-- a couple of pages-- which no doubt appeals to Ms. Oliver's poetic soul. Dec 29, Whitney Archibald rated it really liked it. Essays are not boring! I'm giving this book four stars overall, but some of the essays definitely merit 5 stars. My top five: 1.

An epic war between a man and the deer who nibbled away his backyard arbor vitae, organized based on famous characters from literature and art. I didn't think I was interested in reading about the orbit of the moon, until I read this: "To get an idea of the relationship between the Earth and the Essays are not boring!

I didn't think I was interested in reading about the orbit of the moon, until I read this: "To get an idea of the relationship between the Earth and the Moon and the Sun, find two friends and have the self-conscious one with lots of atmosphere be the Earth and the coercive one be the Sun. And you be the Moon, if you are periodically luminous and sometimes unobservable and your inner life has petered out.

A family lives in an unbelievably posh mansion for a year. My attempts to say more about this essay sounds trite and preachy, but the essay itself is not. Incredible essay comparing the loss of Smith's mother to Robinson Crusoe. The evolution biological and social of our most prolific pet. Sep 05, Billie Pritchett rated it liked it Shelves: bae.

I was interested in about eight of these essays. And "The God of the Desert" is about a man's experience in Jerusalem and his reflections on the monotheistic religions. I bet I'm leaving some good essay out, but these are the ones that I remember most off the top of my head.

Aug 05, Karyn rated it really liked it Shelves: essays , anthologies. I was not disappointed. Just like any BAE, the collection is a mixed bag--some essays are more my taste than others. Wendell Berry's essay "Faustian Economics," for example, has truly compelling ideas--but a really annoying voice.

Patricia Hampl babbles on a little too long, and at the end of Cynthia Ozick's essay, I wrote "obnoxious. Most of these essays sing. Brian Doyle's "The Greatest Nature Essay Ever" is a great piece about craft--maybe too great, as it lays out too neat, too predictable a pattern. I'd like to think of it as a call-to-arms for reinvention. Most of the essays in the collection are about cycles of nature, the transcendence of love, and our place as humans on this planet--pretty much the subjects of most of Oliver's poems.

If you like her work, this collection will introduce you to essayists who share her sympathies. Feb 09, Kirsti rated it really liked it Shelves: journalism , language , writing-about-writing , arts-and-photography , imagination , nonfiction , eccentricity , essays , history.

I like the idea of a poet editing a collection of essays because poets have to have such command over language. Jan 15, Bibliophile10 rated it it was ok. This BAE contains mostly one-timers. The guest editor selected a somewhat limited range of subject matter and voice, much of which was dull or scattered, despite many of the included authors being well known.

I'd return to 5 of the essays. Of the 22 selections, 7 were by women--disappointingly scant representation. Oct 14, Frank rated it really liked it. I originally picked this up because of its inclusion of an essay by a college classmate—Kathryn Miles, whose essay "Dog is Our Co-Pilot" is one of the best and longest essays in an unusually short installment of this yearly series. Perhaps the brevity is a consequence of having a poet, Mary Oliver, as the editor.

Though some of the essays here are a little too short, there's lots of good stuff. I particularly liked and have already used in class Gregory Orr's "Return to Hayneville," a narrativ I originally picked this up because of its inclusion of an essay by a college classmate—Kathryn Miles, whose essay "Dog is Our Co-Pilot" is one of the best and longest essays in an unusually short installment of this yearly series. I particularly liked and have already used in class Gregory Orr's "Return to Hayneville," a narrative about harrowing experience the author had as a young civil rights volunteer in the deep South.

Sep 14, Liz rated it really liked it. I also loved God of the Desert by Richard Rodriguez, it's much longer than most included and is going to be part of a book he is writing about "Jerusalem and the ecology of monotheism"—basically, how Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are rooted in essentially the same place. It's fascinating, but you can't read it online unless you are a paid subscriber of Harper's. Rodriguez is a good writer and I'd recommend his book without having read it, just based on this essay.

Nov 16, Wesley rated it really liked it Shelves: advisory I thought this was going to be an interesting read and honestly it has a very appealing title. I must say it was very different from books i've read before. My favorite essay was written by a woman named Amy Leach, called you be the moon. Leach uses the science behind the moon's orbit to discuss the paths of human lives. The book has a very unique collection of essays and i really enjoyed the read. Mar 27, Anne rated it really liked it.

It's actually a stunning essay on the art and craft of writing itself and builds to a summary of why many of us read books: at the end of a well written book, "you sit there, near tears, smilin There are some essays in this collection that I enjoyed enormously - Mary Oliver's excellent taste is clearly evident here - including Barry Lopez's "Madre de Dios" and Michael Lewis' "The Mansion: A Subprime Parable.

It's actually a stunning essay on the art and craft of writing itself and builds to a summary of why many of us read books: at the end of a well written book, "you sit there, near tears, smiling, and then you stand up. Nov 05, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: best-american. If all the other volumes in this series are as good as the two I just read Science and Nature and Essays , then I am missing some fantastic writing each year.

How will I read it all??? But I digress. The best essay in this collection is "The God of the Desert" by Richard Rodriguez; a very evocative meditation on touring the religious sites Christian, Jewish, and Muslim of the Holy Land. Dec 16, M. This year's collection isn't quite as good as some of the other books in the Best American series. There are a few fine pieces of writing here, especially Michael Lewis's "The Mansion: A Subprime Parable," but none of them really shined as something you just have to tell your friends to read.

Many of the essays were more cute than great and so many were about writing that it started to feel a little self-indulgent on the part of the editor.

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Such a selection sure doesn't invite the casual reader into the genre. Secondly, almost all of the essays are shorter than normal, and on over-done topics, like dogs. I think I'm done reading essays about dogs, even if the dogs are Charles Darwin's. It's like dogs are supposed to be some sort of doppelganger doggelganger? I mean, I think dogs are cute in real life, but on the page, there are only so many things a dog is going to do.

And third, even the best writers here seem to be at their worst: I am an ardent fan of Richard Rodriguez, but he should stay out of the Middle East - he doesn't know enough about it to earn his own profound voice. I also love Jerald Walker, but he's writing about writing here, and like so many other writers on writing he comes off as more self-involved than I suspect he actually is. There are a few essays that outshine everything else: Amy Leach's "You Be The Moon" is one of those essays that will sail 1, applications to writing school - truly inspiring.

Everything else is kinda meh. Dec 12, Bill is currently reading it. I've been reading this series every year since it started appearing, back during the Reagan administration. For the most part I've found it a pleasing exercise. Sometimes it is full of things that I have already read, and am pleased to rediscover, and have between covers.

And sometimes, rarely, it is full of essays that reflect the interests of the guest editor, and is otherwise oblique to me. The year Susan Sonta I've been reading this series every year since it started appearing, back during the Reagan administration. Sontag liked to read, and I knew that we'd have an awkward evening if we were ever paired at a dinner party. She died before that happened, but now I have to worry about meeting Mary Oliver at a party.

I'm not familiar with Ms. Oliver's work. She is, I gather, chiefly a poet. The essays in the book she has edited seem to be largely concerned with the challenges associated with composition, rather than with the ostensible topics-- third world economics, or whatever. There's a lot of nature writing. It is a thin volume, but it seems that the number of pieces is about the same as in years past. Many of the essays are short-- a couple of pages-- which no doubt appeals to Ms.

Oliver's poetic soul. Dec 29, Whitney Archibald rated it really liked it. Essays are not boring! I'm giving this book four stars overall, but some of the essays definitely merit 5 stars. My top five: 1. An epic war between a man and the deer who nibbled away his backyard arbor vitae, organized based on famous characters from literature and art. I didn't think I was interested in reading about the orbit of the moon, until I read this: "To get an idea of the relationship between the Earth and the Essays are not boring!

I didn't think I was interested in reading about the orbit of the moon, until I read this: "To get an idea of the relationship between the Earth and the Moon and the Sun, find two friends and have the self-conscious one with lots of atmosphere be the Earth and the coercive one be the Sun.

And you be the Moon, if you are periodically luminous and sometimes unobservable and your inner life has petered out. A family lives in an unbelievably posh mansion for a year. My attempts to say more about this essay sounds trite and preachy, but the essay itself is not. Incredible essay comparing the loss of Smith's mother to Robinson Crusoe. The evolution biological and social of our most prolific pet.

Sep 05, Billie Pritchett rated it liked it Shelves: bae. I was interested in about eight of these essays. And "The God of the Desert" is about a man's experience in Jerusalem and his reflections on the monotheistic religions. I bet I'm leaving some good essay out, but these are the ones that I remember most off the top of my head.

Aug 05, Karyn rated it really liked it Shelves: essays , anthologies. I was not disappointed. Just like any BAE, the collection is a mixed bag--some essays are more my taste than others. Wendell Berry's essay "Faustian Economics," for example, has truly compelling ideas--but a really annoying voice.

Patricia Hampl babbles on a little too long, and at the end of Cynthia Ozick's essay, I wrote "obnoxious. Most of these essays sing. Brian Doyle's "The Greatest Nature Essay Ever" is a great piece about craft--maybe too great, as it lays out too neat, too predictable a pattern. I'd like to think of it as a call-to-arms for reinvention. Most of the essays in the collection are about cycles of nature, the transcendence of love, and our place as humans on this planet--pretty much the subjects of most of Oliver's poems.

If you like her work, this collection will introduce you to essayists who share her sympathies. Feb 09, Kirsti rated it really liked it Shelves: journalism , language , writing-about-writing , arts-and-photography , imagination , nonfiction , eccentricity , essays , history. I like the idea of a poet editing a collection of essays because poets have to have such command over language. Jan 15, Bibliophile10 rated it it was ok. This BAE contains mostly one-timers.

The guest editor selected a somewhat limited range of subject matter and voice, much of which was dull or scattered, despite many of the included authors being well known. I'd return to 5 of the essays. Of the 22 selections, 7 were by women--disappointingly scant representation.

Oct 14, Frank rated it really liked it. I originally picked this up because of its inclusion of an essay by a college classmate—Kathryn Miles, whose essay "Dog is Our Co-Pilot" is one of the best and longest essays in an unusually short installment of this yearly series. Perhaps the brevity is a consequence of having a poet, Mary Oliver, as the editor. Though some of the essays here are a little too short, there's lots of good stuff.

I particularly liked and have already used in class Gregory Orr's "Return to Hayneville," a narrativ I originally picked this up because of its inclusion of an essay by a college classmate—Kathryn Miles, whose essay "Dog is Our Co-Pilot" is one of the best and longest essays in an unusually short installment of this yearly series.

I particularly liked and have already used in class Gregory Orr's "Return to Hayneville," a narrative about harrowing experience the author had as a young civil rights volunteer in the deep South. Sep 14, Liz rated it really liked it. I also loved God of the Desert by Richard Rodriguez, it's much longer than most included and is going to be part of a book he is writing about "Jerusalem and the ecology of monotheism"—basically, how Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are rooted in essentially the same place.

It's fascinating, but you can't read it online unless you are a paid subscriber of Harper's. Rodriguez is a good writer and I'd recommend his book without having read it, just based on this essay. Nov 16, Wesley rated it really liked it Shelves: advisory I thought this was going to be an interesting read and honestly it has a very appealing title.

I must say it was very different from books i've read before. My favorite essay was written by a woman named Amy Leach, called you be the moon. Leach uses the science behind the moon's orbit to discuss the paths of human lives. The book has a very unique collection of essays and i really enjoyed the read. Mar 27, Anne rated it really liked it. It's actually a stunning essay on the art and craft of writing itself and builds to a summary of why many of us read books: at the end of a well written book, "you sit there, near tears, smilin There are some essays in this collection that I enjoyed enormously - Mary Oliver's excellent taste is clearly evident here - including Barry Lopez's "Madre de Dios" and Michael Lewis' "The Mansion: A Subprime Parable.

It's actually a stunning essay on the art and craft of writing itself and builds to a summary of why many of us read books: at the end of a well written book, "you sit there, near tears, smiling, and then you stand up. Nov 05, Melissa rated it it was amazing Shelves: best-american. If all the other volumes in this series are as good as the two I just read Science and Nature and Essays , then I am missing some fantastic writing each year. How will I read it all??? But I digress. The best essay in this collection is "The God of the Desert" by Richard Rodriguez; a very evocative meditation on touring the religious sites Christian, Jewish, and Muslim of the Holy Land.

Dec 16, M. This year's collection isn't quite as good as some of the other books in the Best American series. There are a few fine pieces of writing here, especially Michael Lewis's "The Mansion: A Subprime Parable," but none of them really shined as something you just have to tell your friends to read. Many of the essays were more cute than great and so many were about writing that it started to feel a little self-indulgent on the part of the editor. Jul 07, Melanie Faith rated it really liked it.

I love the Best American Essays series in general, but I was particularly glad to see one of my favorite writers nature poet and essayist Mary Oliver as the guest editor for the volume. Dec 06, Anie rated it liked it Shelves: essays , , non-fiction , female-author , male-author , own. I was up and down with respect to this volume. There were some very nice essays; the Lewis essay was wonderful, for example.

But, as other reviewers have mentioned, there are a few highly poetical essays in here, and not all of them are poetical in the good way. The Arthur essay in particular I found immensely conceited and unappealing, and I found myself disliking the author immensely after reading it. Nov 11, Jess rated it liked it Shelves: nonfiction , writing. The best essays transcend Oliver's proclivities religion, the ailing body, writing about writing to stand alone as excellent examples of what the literary essay can do.

I'm thinking in particular about Berger on the Zapatistas and Rodriguez on the ecology of the Israeli desert. But I guess that probably belies my own proclivities. Nov 22, Vanessa rated it it was ok. The collection was a let-down. In the past editions, the selections were examples of interesting, solid, and appealing writing rather than it being so lyrical. Michael Lewis's "The Mansion" was one of the few essays reminiscent of the past collections.

Hopefully, the edition will improve with a new editor. Dec 07, Maraya rated it really liked it. A collection of writers' writing. Gets off to a bumpy start with a few essays that I thought were gimicky and trite, and it did annoy me that Wendell Berry's Faustian Economics, important though it may be, is published here AND in the Best Science series. But I liked most of the essays, loved a few of them, and found some new favorite authors.

Feb 21, Joan rated it really liked it. Always treasure to find in this series. I am a writer, editor and teacher and live in beautiful Western Massachusetts. My work is usually a blend memoir, criticism and journalism that examine the ideas and beliefs that shape us as humans often including American history and family.

Also up on IrishCentral , a very popular site with 3. Read my UMass Alumni Magazine articles. The essay originally appeared in the Autumn issue of The Massachusetts Review.