Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Top Ten Tuesday: 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?