Survey papers are my favorite way to get exposed to a new area. I can read about fun results and cool techniques, without investing the time needed to take a class or read a textbook, and without getting lost and confused trying to read a single-topic paper. Surey papers are the condensed glory of a field, the closest we can come to reading the Book.

Here are some surveys I’ve read, appreciated and enjoyed, whether for fun or for research, ranging from quite accessible to fairly in-depth.