One night, I started to read this thinking it would be good 'bedtime material.' Each micro-memoir was like a cliffhanger that kept me turning pages. I ended up devouring half the book that first night. My pace slowed down as I came upon the darker stories in the War, Love, and Death chapters. Even the introduction is an interesting backstory about how the National Story Project started on National Public Radio. The 179 stories in this book are organized into thematic chapters (Animals, Objects, Families, Slapstick, and so on...) which serves 'mood-reading' very nicely. Very enjoyable book that keeps me coming back.
Quick bites of Americana, told through the radically diverse voices of Americans. The vast experiences, insights and coincidences leave you with a taste of reality peppered with wonder and faith. Excellent compendium.
Editor Paul Auster has collected a large number of mini-memoirs, ranging from a few paragraphs to a few pages in length, and organized them into sections: Animals, Objects, Families, Slapstick, Strangers, War, Love, Death, Dreams, and Meditations. The essays range from those that didn't grab me to ones that were truly delightful! It's good "bathroom reading", meaning you can open to any page and read, without having to have read what came before. It's also great for when you're waiting for an appointment or for a friend to show up. I kept it on my desk at work, for days when I'd find a few minutes to read after lunch.