Bibliophiliac is the space where one passionate, voracious reader reflects on books and the reading life. You will find reviews, analysis, links, and reflections on poetry and prose both in and out of the mainstream.

A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. Franz Kafka

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Trends I'd Like to See More/Less

Top Ten Trends I'd Like to See More/Less

Thanks to the always smart folks at The Broke and the Bookish for their Top Ten (my very favorite meme) lists. This week's list: the top ten trends of which you'd like to see more (or less).

1. Okay, this isn't a trend--yet. I'd like to see more of Big American Novels with a Social Conscience. If ever a time called out for a writer like Steinbeck, Dos Passos, or Upton Sinclair, this is it. Where is our Steinbeck when we need him (or her)?
2. Dystopian Novels for Grown-Ups. It never gets old (for me). As a way of thinking about the natural conclusion of today's social structure, the dystopian novel can't be beat. More like this: Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, Oryx and Crake, and The Year of the Flood. More like Brave New World, 1984, and Animal Farm. More like Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.
3. Stories from the Garden. I finished David Maine's Fallen recently (review to be posted soon), and I was entranced by this brilliant, profoundly human exploration of one of the oldest stories of all. Maine also wrote The Preservationist (his first novel) based on the story of Noah. His e-book will be released very soon, and I'm extremely excited to have a galley for it (the title is Gamble of the Godless).

Other writers who have elaborated on biblical stories: Thomas Mann (Joseph and His Brothers) and William Faulkner (Absalom, Absalom).
4. Historical Fiction That Gets It All Right. My favorite historical novel recently was Priya Parmar's Exit the Actress. I'll take more brilliantly written and well-researched historical fiction, please.
5. Short Stories. I LOVE beautifully written short fiction. Smart, gorgeous books like Robin Black's If I Loved You I Would Tell You This or Simon Van Booy's The Secret Lives of People in Love.
6. Women of Color are rockin' it when it comes to publishing break-out books. A few examples that come to mind: Dolen Valdez-Perkins with Wench; Lorene Cary with If Sons, Then Heirs; and Tayari Jones  with Silver Sparrow. More, please.
7. David Rhodes, any time you are ready. More like Rock Island Line and Driftless. Realistic Fiction about regular folks.
8. More Quirky Stuff that Needed to Be Written Because It Is True. Like Notes from No Man's Land and The Balloonists by Eula Biss.
9. I'd like to see fewer of those bitter, vitriolic political diatribes on the octagon at Barnes and Noble. Or wherever. You know, the kind of book that equates human beings who hold certain political views as satanic or inherently evil. Or books that declare that our entire world is about to come crashing down because of ______________. (You can fill in the blank any way you like). Less, please.
10. Fake Books. You know what I mean, don't you? Fake books aren't really books--they are an occasion for making money. It might be a celebrity "biography" (I'm lookin' at you, Snookie) or it might be about how to get rich, thin, or smart in 30 minutes. Every word is a lie, and we all know it--so why bother?

Okay, that's it: my top ten trends I'd like to see more (or less). What are yours?


LBC said...

Good list. I am reading Seta Jeter Naslund Adam and Eve right now, which is very strange. I like it, but I'm not totally sure about it. I'm reserving judgement until I'm finished.

As the Crowe Flies and Reads said...

I love your list! I've been thinking about my list all day at work (can't post from work) and I think I might borrow one of yours for my list. (I'll link back to yours if I do)

christina said...

Nice list! Fake Books - I LOVE IT. (Although I must admit, I am guilty of reading Tori Spelling's two out of three.)

bibliophiliac said...

@LBC-I'll look forward to your review!
@Emily-I can't wait to read your list....
@christina-there is a lot of *fakeness* in our culture today, but *fake books* - that's just wrong!

Anonymous said...

Great list, I'm with you on fewer political diatribes and more dystopian novels. I read my first Atwood a few months ago and it was such an eye opener - I hadn't had a clear sense of what she did in her work, and after having read some dystopian ya stuff it was a relief to see such a beautifully thought out (and beautifully written) world.

-- Ellen

Mayowa said...

Awright, awwright. Whose idea was this? This is my favorite top ten from all the Tuesdays.

I like your list a lot, Lisa. Couldn't agree more on novels with a social conscience (you know me and my rants, writers today are wusses, where is all the rebellion yada yada).

I haven't read much dystopian lit but I have heard great things about Atwood (i see Ellen likes her too).

Great list.

bibliophiliac said...

@fatbooks-Atwood is so sly and brilliant.She has quite a range, too-her earlier work is strongly feminist.
@Mayowa-I thought this was a brilliant idea for Top Ten Tuesday-this list was really fun to make.

Anonymous said...

I like your list esp. #1 and #2. Thanks.