Or I could call this post Long Time No Post but Two Books to Report. I started reading the first book, The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003, and read most of it. It is highly amusing in places, serious in others, but good writing all around. This book series is edited by Dave Eggers, and each year a new edition is published with somewhat overlooked writing worth reading.
Then I got Schmidt Steps Back by Louis Begley and just finished it last night. You might have heard of About Schmidt, either the book or the movie starring Jack Nicholson, Hope Davis, Dermot Mulroney, and Kathy Bates. I saw the movie but didn't read the book. Schmidt Steps Back is the third Schmidtie book; the second is Schmidt Delivered.
I was struck by how different Schmidt was in the book from the character in the movie. The film makers changed him quite a bit and once I accepted that fact, the book was fine.
I'd recommend either book or both.
Books Read: The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2003 and Schmidt Steps Back
Editor: Dave Eggers, Author: Louis Begley
ISBN: 0-618-24695-9 and 978-0-307-70065-0