I don’t even think it’s an issue about literary versus commercial fiction. To me, fiction is fiction, a story a story, and if it works, it works. I suppose Oprah is looking for BIG stories, but I’d just as soon have her select a steampunk novel. How cool if everyone was reading Gail Carriger’s books at the same time. Or, insert some book you thought was fresh and cool that not enough people know about. That’s about 99% of all books out there! The ones who get the big ad budgets and get the attention of the big media (and big voices like O’s) get the sales.
One person’s BEST THING EVER is another’s MEH. As the editor at Book End Babes, I get a lot of books in the mail, though only a tiny fraction compared to my husband’s mail call each day for his site Bookgasm. Combined, I get to peruse at least twenty new titles a week. I give new authors a chance all the time. I love to discover new voices, which is, I suppose, what rubs me a little wrong about Oprah’s choice. She could’ve made someone’s career with her selection, yet she chose a book that’s already had huge buzz, huge best-seller status and I was really hoping for her to help me find someone new to love. Yet, does one actor deserve to win the Academy Award twice? Sure, why not? If she wants to give the same author her coveted seal of approval, it’s her show. I often recommend sophomore and junior efforts here on BEB of authors I think are hitting home runs again and again.
And this is your book club. Sure, we want to be your resource to find out about great books. We list four good reads all month long in the sidebar, and they aren’t all women’s fiction, either. Our Bookettes, our featured bloggers, also introduce our readers to books they have loved. What I care most about is that you find something you connect with and then share that with people in your life. Each of us can light a spark. As always, we welcome authors to discuss their lives here. We genuinely want to get to know readers and authors and share the stories of our lives. Our real estate is yours.
Thank you for reading whatever you choose, as often as you can. If you’re reading FREEDOM, we’d love to hear your thoughts on it. If you were Oprah and could get millions to read a book of your choosing, what would that book be?