Thursday, March 25, 2010

Update on Non-nonfiction

This is an update to my last post. I was remiss in sharing this sooner. A March 8th article in the NY Times tells us that earlier this month Henry Holt and Company, the publishers of Charles Pellegrino’s book Last Train From Hiroshima has stopped printing and selling the book.

The publisher placed a statement in the product description of the books offering on Amazon. However, Amazon is still selling their stock of the suspect book. For a while there was a rousing debate going on in the customer reviews of the product where the author joined in to defend himself and the book that he says is factual with the exception of a small part where he was “duped.”

Back to the NY Times article. It’s a good read for us budding authors, as well as fans of nonfiction. It reminds the reader of several recent and notorious cases of fabricated nonfiction works. I’m still at a loss as to why one would need to make up a story when real life and history is so full of action and excitement in its truth. As I’ve mentioned before in this blog, my first book project (research coming along quite well, thank you) concerns the 509th Parachute Infantry Battalion in WWII. Their story is so much better than fiction that I can’t wait to tell their story.

One glimmer of hope for us history fanatics: The Pacific by Hugh Ambrose is #5 on the current NY Times Best Seller list for hardback nonfiction. I’m glad to see the interest in military history, even if it is the result of a television miniseries. It put a good history book on the list that is clearly dominated by books about fad diets and “tell all” gossips. I’m reading Mr. Ambrose’s book now and will review it for you later. Spoiler alert! I’d go ahead and buy it. ;-)

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