Of the ten authors longlisted for this year’s National Book Award for Nonfiction, only Greg Grandin has previously been a nominee, for his 2009 book, “Fordlandia: The Rise and Fall of Henry Ford’s Jungle City.” This year, Grandin was selected for “The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America,” which Francisco Cantú praised for its efforts “to situate today’s calls to fortify our borders in relation to the centuries of racial animus that preceded them.”
Fiction usually outsells nonfiction in books, though the opposite is true in the magazine and newspaper world. I notice that when people online or in real life sit around and talk about the books they’re reading, it’s mostly fiction they’re mentioning.
I read a lot of nonfiction if I see that it has a long-term value. That is, I don’t care much for books about current political issues because I think they’ll soon be out of date. But history itself, I like. Or philosophy or psychological theories.
At any rate, it’s always nice to see news stories about nonfiction books because they remind us nonfiction is out there and can often be just as compelling as a novel.
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