Aside from providing me with unreserved glee, the Frey Truthiness scandal has set me to demand justice.
Back in 2000, the New York Times Book Review undertook to redesign its Best-seller list for the first time in more than a decade and a half. The main purpose, it seemed, was to consign these measly little books to their proper place on the new “children’s list.” Never mind that adults buy the books in record numbers.
Now, it seems that the publishers of memoirs admit to an inability to provide thorough fact-checking for the memoirs they publish. As a result these books reign supreme on the Non-Fiction chart.
Is this really fair? Certainly Augusten Burroughs is far more tantilising than Jimmy Carter’s stentorian monograph on What’s Wrong With Kids These Days. Sales reflect the trends of the times, but is it fair. Granted, Kids These Days probably do suck, but should the general dressing down of our culture be forced to compete with fast cars, fast women and hard liquor? Especially since maybe the cars are really Pintos, the women are not so hot and the liquor is not yours to drink. Who knows anymore with these Memoirists.
So let’s suck it up again, NYT. Let’s have a Truthiness list where we can sequester all the memoirs. People will have a better understanding of what the books really are, and the latest How To Build A Pit Barbecue manual will have a fighting chance at the NF Top 10.