In a small but comfortable conference room, in a publishing house in San Francisco, a group of high school students met weekly over the past year to read literary magazines, chapbooks, graphic novels, and countless articles. They had some good times. There was a whiteboard in the conference room, and often cartoons were drawn on this whiteboard. The cartoons were of varying quality. By the end of the year, with the help of a similar committee of high school students in Ann Arbor, and their guest editor, Rachel Kushner, they selected the contents of this anthology. The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 features stories about Bulgarian spaceships, psychedelic mushroom therapy, and a cyclorama in Iowa. If you don't know what a cyclorama is, you aren't alone. Read on to find out.The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2016 includes N. R. KLEINFIELD, ANNA KOVATCHEVA, DAN HOY, ANTHONY MARRA, MICHaeL POLLAN, MARILYNNE ROBINSON, DANA SPIOTTA, ADRIAN TOMINE, INARA VERZEMNIEKS and othersRachel Kushner, guest editor, is the author of The Flamethrowers, which was a finalist for the 2013 National Book Award and one of the New York Times's top five novels of 2013. Kushner's debut novel, Telex from Cuba, was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award, a winner of the California Book Award, and a New York Times bestseller and Notable Book.