Like many zine folk I was irritated by Microcosm's use of the term "bookette" in association with zines, but when I got the WNHP Greatest Hits compilation, I was like yeah, this little thing is pretty much a "bookette." It's an adorable half-legal sized, 80 page paperback that weighs 4 ounces. The volume brings together sixteen of Andria's favorite essays, one poem and one comic from the first eight issues of her literary comp zine We'll Never Have Paris, "narrative nonfiction 'for all things never meant to be.'"
This book is based on zine content, so read it for the window into contemporary life. These true stories and how they're told give insight into early 21st century work, parenting, family relationships, love & loss, performance art, travel, internet dating, and drunken musings.
The interesting thing isn't what the contributors say, but what they choose to write about and how. For the most part, these are casual pieces that don't appear to have been edited or revised, so you're getting a glimpse almost right into the authors' brains. There has been some selection of what they want to share, so it's not as raw as say their journals might be.
Then again there are also painstakingly crafted pieces like Betsy Housten's memory of being torn away from a performance installation she was attending in Seattle with her long-distance girlfriend, which is perhaps the essay that best evokes the things never meant to be theme.