I give up. There's no way I can communicate, within a reasonable investment of my time, the many great things about this book. But if you've an interest in the essay genre, and have not read it, you're doing yourself a great disservice.
Reviewing the table of contents removes any need for me to comment on the actual essays. From staples like Montaigne and Lamb to contemporary pieces from Dave Berry and Tom Wolfe-the editor has presented a fresh variety of both content and form. He leaves you to beat any one of these essayists into the ground on your own time, and instead lifts you up on his shoulders to have a look around.
In my estimation, the book's best quality is its ability to guide you through the process of reading essays analytically; as well as guiding you through these works individually without shoving the editor's interpretation down your throat. Exercises for analytical reading, notes on the authors, notes on the individual works-it's got it all.
This book holds something valuable for everyone.
William Dylan Powell