Despite the complaints of many, journalism is structured to tell the “bad” news rather than the “good” news. That’s when it works best — when it points out the flaws and evils in our society.
But the bad news, when piled on top one after one, can be depressing.
That’s the feeling I had when I read through LitHub.com’s 20 best works of non-fiction for the decade just ended.
The . . . books were finally chosen after much debate (and multiple meetings) by the Literary Hub staff. Tears were spilled, feelings were hurt, books were re-read. And as you’ll shortly see, we had a hard time choosing just ten—so we’ve also included a list of dissenting opinions, and an even longer list of also-rans. Source: The 20 Best Works of Nonfiction of the Decade | Literary Hub
These are all undoubtedly excellent books — the LitHub editors are no slouches when it comes to picking good books. I have even read a couple and intend to read some of the others.
But the plethora of problems they cover gives one pause: racism, immigration, environmental collapse, political disunity and subterfuge, illness, greed, murder on an individual and mass scale, witchcraft and mob violence, etc. You get the picture.
So, here’s the disclaimer. It’s a good list and one you should read. But be prepared, because it isn’t comforting. At least we have a new decade to work on these problems.
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