Best Essays to Read

Recommended Reading List

AS I SIFT through the pages of my personal collection of the best essays to read, I can’t help but feel a profound sense of connection to the authors who penned these words.

Essays are often written in the first-person, in which writers use their own personal experiences to reflect on a theme or topic for the reader. Many acclaimed authors I love —like James Baldwin and Toni Morrison—combine these pieces into collections of unique social commentary.

Therefore, each essay on this list holds a special place in my heart, and I’ve curated these essays worth reading based on my own, personal taste.

These essays, handpicked from diverse corners of literature, have left a lasting impression on me. They are more than just ink on paper; they are windows into my own thoughts, emotions, and experiences. These essays worth reading come from different times and places, each with its unique voice and perspective.

Some essays to read have provoked introspection, while others have had me bursting into laughter or shedding a tear. They’ve led me through deep philosophical musings and allowed me to vicariously experience the joys and sorrows of people I’ve never met. Among many things, these essays to read are more than just stories; they are my companions on the journey of understanding, empathy, and self-discovery.

As you delve into this collection of my favorite essays to read, I invite you to embark on a personal voyage of exploration. Let these authors be your guides, just as they have been mine, as we traverse the landscapes of their thoughts and experiences together. Whether you seek solace, enlightenment, or simply a good story, I hope you’ll find it within these pages.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into this collection of my favorite essays to read and the best essays to read which I thoughtfully curated. You can be sure that any book recommended on this page is worth your time as I obviously read every single one of them. Here are some of the best essays to read.

The top and best essays to read

These are the top 5 best essays to read. Click on the buttons for more details about the book: from community ratings to book summaries, reviews, and information about the authors.

Our women on the ground
by Zahra Hankir | Amazon |
Waterstones |

This essay is a volume of stories describing the unique challenges and advantages of several Arab and Middle Eastern female journalists, reporting from some of the most repressive countries in the world and what it’s like.

Notes of a native son
by James Baldwin
The Book Depository | | Amazon |
Waterstones |

A collection of 10 short essays that recollects the lived experience of a black person in the United States and Europe in the 50s.

The Year of Magical Thinking
by Joan Didion
The Book Depository | | Amazon |
Waterstones |

This beautifully written essay intimately explores the aftermath of her husband’s unexpected death and her daughter’s critical illness, capturing her emotional turmoil and the complex process of grief and healing.

Upstream: Selected Essays
by Mary Oliver
The Book Depository | Amazon | |
Waterstones |

This collection of reflective essays by Mary Oliver explores profound insights on life, creativity, and the enduring connection between humanity and the natural world.

Best personal essays

These are my favorite personal essays to read. In this genre of writing,  the writer shares their personal insights, anecdotes, and perspectives on a particular topic, theme, or event. Use the buttons to delve deeper into the details of the book.

Goodbye to All That
by Joan Didion
The Book Depository | Amazon |
Waterstones |

A personal literary essay about living in New York, United States, while feeling disconnected.

Letters to a young poet
by Rainer Maria Rilke | Amazon |
Waterstones | Barnes & Noble

A collection of insightful correspondence from renowned poet Rainer Maria Rilke, offering guidance and wisdom to a young aspiring poet, exploring themes of solitude, creativity, and the pursuit of an authentic artistic voice.

Why I Write
by Joan Didion | Amazon |
Waterstones | Barnes & Noble

This book explores the motivations and intricacies behind Joan’s writing journey, offering insights into the profound reasons that drove her creative expression.

Stay Connected.

I’ll be regularly updating this roundup to include additional thrilling new offerings.

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