Joel on Software has this post which mentions preparation of a new book that will include all the best essays about software written in 2004. The essays will be both from online and printed resources. There is a discussion where everyone can promote this and that essay.
You can use this discussion to locate good essays and read them. This way you can: a) save money on the book (unless yo prefer printed pages to online versions) and b) read more good esseys than they will be able to get into the book. Of course, if you know of some essey that wasn’t mentioned in the discussion, please let them know.