It's time for my first annual, completely-random selected day of Best Things I've Read This Year So Far. Few of these things were published this year, and a few I even started last year but haven't finished until now.
Mark Jenkins, "Ghost Road", Outside Magazine sometime in 2004, republished in Best American Travel Writing 2005: not just a hell-of-an adventurous account of sneaking into Burma, but also an epiphanic summarization of the conflicts of traveling "off the beaten track".
Poe Ballantine, "501 Minutes to Christ", from The Sun Magazine, sometime in 2005: "Tom Waits in book form" chronicles the random meanderings from one skid row to another. I think he just had a collection under the same name published; I just finished Things I like about America, which is pretty much the same (though 501 is better).
Christopher K. Miller, "Literary Mary": I found this on an online writer's forum, and it's one of the most riveting, captivating short-stories I've ever read. It makes me want to throw down my pen and go back to harvesting pumpkins. (Luckily, I write with a computer). I don't know much about Chris, except he's received hand-written, hate-filled rejection letters from Glimmertrain. You may have to sign up to read it: http://www.writingforums.com/writers-workshop/72802-literary-mary.html
Sherman Alexie, "Ghost Dance", McSweeney's Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales, March 2003, and not just because several scenes flash about Billings, MT. I've been meaning to ask if he's going to write a whole novel on this. Sherman, if you're reading this blog, can you finish this one book please? I liked it and it was a helluva lot better than Flight.
Finally, "Dating as a Jerry Bruckheimer Movie", though it's criminal to put it on this list as such blatant self-promotion. But hey, this IS my blog, afterall!