Essay collections are always a mixed bag; you can find some real gems, but sometimes have to skip over lesser pieces. That's never the case with John McPhee, who's written for Time and the New Yorker, won the Pulitzer Prize, and authored 28 books. No skipping -- his books get read cover to cover!
McPhee's newest title is Silk Parachute. Between its covers are essays on the cultural evolution of lacrosse in the United States, adventurous eating -- puffin or mooseburger, anyone? -- how knowing how to roll a canoe once saved his life, the chalk geography of Europe, plus (a favorite in our Knowledge and Learning Services department) the trials and tribulations of fact-checking. The title essay, a mere four pages long, packs a series of memories of his mother into a delicate and loving tribute that will long stay in your memory.
Any of McPhee's essay collections is perfect for summer reading: in the backyard, on the go, or wherever you might be. We've compiled a list below of some favorites, but if you're just starting to discover his writing, Silk Parachute is one collection that won't let you down.