I was disappointed in the book, I'll admit it. At times reading the essasys felt like déjà vu, as a lot of the meat in some of the works had been featured previously on their personal websites. Both of Heather Armstrong's essays have, in part, been featured on her blog (Dooce) before.
Since I knew the outcome of the stories a lot of the excitement was lost. I was hoping for a new voice from her and it wasn't there. Especially considering this was her book, I expected the most from her (perhaps somewhat unfairly.) True, collections often feature writing that has been showcased elsewhere, And each writer that pulls from their own material, does add to it, but it didn't quite work as a whole.
This is not true, however, of all of the pieces. I truly enjoyed Doug French (of Laid off Dad, whose blog I had not read before this) and Jim Griffioen (of Sweet-Juniper, whose blog I do read) as stand alone works.
There are other strong essays in the collection, but none that rival Doug or Jim's. The other stronger essays felt like great blog pieces, but only average non-fiction pieces.
If you enjoy the bloggers featured in the book, I think you will enjoy the book. And it is worth purchasing just to support the bloggers and writers you enjoy on a daily basis. But this isn't a book I will keep coming back to.
The book simply doesn't stand alone as a collection (Doug & Jim's pieces are the exceptions.) Without the back story of the bloggers the book lacks real substance and makes it an unlikely gift, which is unfortunate.
And I know this is super picky, but the pull out quotes throughout the book drove me mad.