Sunday, January 31, 2010

Books of the Aughts: Fiction/Non-fiction breakdown

While compiling the several Books of the Aughts posts I've written in January, I noticed a pattern. A picture is worth a thousand words:

I had no idea that the breakdown would be this clear, but there it is. I like old fiction and current non-fiction. Both patterns make sense. If I'm going to pick up a novel or short story collection this decade that wasn't written this decade, chances are it's been well-reviewed or it's a classic or won awards when it was published. On the other hand, non-fiction tends to be best when fresh. It ages quickly.

One rule I would offer to non-fiction authors: don't name the president when trying to make a point. It's a sure time marker of the material, and it's unnecessary. Using "the President" in your analogy carries as much power as using "Ronald Reagan".

[Blogger's note: I tried to use the charts in Google spreadsheet for this post, but the labeling options stink, and I wasn't happy with them. I really wanted to like them,but I couldn't.]

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