Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Best 2010 Writing Linked To

Following on the heels of my 2010 Blog Posts - In Review posted earlier this week, I wanted to look at some of the best stuff linked to (or books reviewed) from the past 12 months.

Two pieces from Esquire stood out for their... remarkableness of writing (meaning: well written and poignant stuff about interesting topics).

- First was "Roger Ebert: The Essential Man" by my writing man-crush buddy (we've traded e-mails a few times, so you know... we're tight), Chris Jones. Commentary written on and the piece linked to here.

- Six months later was "Eleven Lives" from Tom Junod (and posted about here) on the men who died in the drill rig explosion that preceded the Gulf Oil Spill.


Favorite books from the year were both non-fiction and from authors I've read before.

- In July I reviewed probably the more lyrical of the two... "The Tender Bar" written by J.R. Moehringer. It's a memoir of a guy who became a writer and I learned of it from the Andre Agassi autobiography "Open" penned with Moehringer (which was also excellent and I reviewed here).

- In September I saw a Sports Illustrated piece that could well be described as a sort of writing catnip for me. A book excerpt (which I'm often drawn to as the magazines I read tend to only excerpt solid books) written by Susan Casey (who wrote "The Devil's Teeth" that I reviewed here way back when) about big wave surfing...

Upon reading the book itself, I found "The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean" was fascinating and about more than just surfing (and reviewed it here).


Back to short (well, shorter than books) writing... two final pieces that qualified as favorites over the past year.

- From a November Sports Illustrated, Chris Ballard wrote "The Courage of Jill Costello" about the crew athlete from UC Berkeley. Very powerful story that I posted on here.

- Final piece of writing to note here was "How do they get to be that way?" by Roger Ebert on his Chicago Sun-Times blog. About racism (and no less lyrical than Moehringer's memoir), a good way to sum up the piece is to simply quote from Ebert (which I did in the related blog post as well)...

"I believe at some point in the development of healthy people there must come a time when we instinctively try to understand how others feel. We may not succeed. There are many people in this world today who remain enigmas to me, and some who are offensive. But that is not because of their race. It is usually because of their beliefs."