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Buzzfeed’s fiction books of the year

December 12th, 2016 | Posted in Blog | Comments Off on Buzzfeed’s fiction books of the year

A couple of days ago Buzzfeed Books released their list of the 24 best fiction books of 2016. The titles were not, however, “ranked” in any particular order, the books simply made up a list of books, that the editors of the popular branch of the Buzzfeed family, loved. As with the other branches of Buzzfeed, the Books division reaches a wide, diverse, and global audience, which is without a doubt also reflected in their choice of “Best Fiction Books of 2016”.

The list is supposedly representative of the broad term fiction, and it includes a variety of fiction titles, from “Imagine Me Gone” by Adam Haslett, a story of a family and its legacy of mental illness, to the science-fiction-ish novel “Version Control” by Dexter Palmer that holds a distorted “mirror” to our world, and “reflects back something all the more truthful for its bizarreness”. Buzzfeed’s goal of achieving diversity in the titles posted is further confirmed by the various branches of fiction, that the list includes. For instance, the list includes the title “Some Possible Solutions”, which is a collection of short stories by Helen Phillips about the complexity of her characters struggling to connect to one another, while moving through life with problems such as knowing the exact date that they are going to die. There is also a broad range of authors, who originate from different countries, and who come from different backgrounds. There are 14 female authors on the list (and 10 male for those numerically challenged) which also creates diversity sex wise. However, 10 authors on the list are white, which is still a fairly large percentile.

Each novel presented on the list has its own little bio, and below has a link to where you could buy the book, which is, of course, a part of Buzzfeed’s business model.

Personally, I like the diversity of the list, and I have enjoyed reading several of the titles on the list, especially Zadie Smith’s novel “Swing Time”. When you have a company, like Buzzfeed, that prides itself on diversity it is important for them to have a list of the “Best Fiction”, which reflects this strive for diversity. Buzzfeed Books has 5 full-time employees and thus each person has contributed and voted on their favorite books of the year. Buzzfeed is, in my opinion, one of the major players in a novel becoming popular and the way in which the books that they choose to get marketed and talked about is amazing for future book sales and for name recognition for the author as well (they have links to the author’s twitter profile below the book bio).

Diversity in publishing is something we’re lacking, or at least that is what we hear in class and through the visiting speakers all the time, but looking at Buzzfeed’s list of Best Fiction, I think that the diversity is already out there. We just have to look for it. It gets buried in the branding and marketing by larger publishing houses who don’t for some reason choose to take on diverse authors and expand and diversify their lists. But luckily there are publishers and authors out there who help us see the world as it is. Diverse, different, and ROUND.

“Best Fiction Books of 2016” is only one of the lists the Buzzfeed Books staff has compiled. They also have a list of best YA books of 2016, and usually, they will compile a list of books being released in the new year.