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Posts Tagged ‘Michael Dirda’

Michael Dirda Answers Questions on Reddit

What is the worst book you’ve ever read?

Pulitzer Prize-winning book critic and author Michael Dirda held an epic “Ask Me Anything” interview at Reddit, fielding questions online from readers about self-publishing, Amazon and the worst books he ever reviewed.

At one point, he talked about the worst book he’d ever read. Check it out: “Judith Krantz‘s Dazzle. Even the sex in the book was boilerplate, a totally meretricious work. John Sutherland–a distinguished English authority on the novel and the best seller–once included Dazzle in his list of the 25 worst novels of the century.”

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Should We Set a Bestseller List Limit?

In a Book Forum essay, Washington Post book columnist Michael Dirda argued that bestseller lists generally support established authors and rarely help lesser-known writers. Dirda offered this solution: “A writer can only be on the best-seller list once.”

Dirda (pictured, via) explained: “As a result, the list would stay fluid, avoiding the sclerosis caused by the wearisome reappearance, year after year, of the usual suspects. At the same time, readers would start to pay more attention to reviews, whether in print or online, if only to learn that a favorite author had brought out a new book. The best-seller list itself would be transformed into a showplace for the hot, the exciting, the deserving.”

The New York Times bestseller list currently includes Ann BrasharesDavid Baldacci, and Charlaine Harris. These authors have all enjoyed the NYT spotlight on multiple occasions. Do you think Dirda’s solution would benefit the industry as a whole?