Yesterday morning I had a hilarious conversation with my sister regarding Dylan Ratigan's book Greedy Bastards: How We Can Stop Corporate Communists, Banksters, and Other Vampires from Sucking America Dry and Matt Taibbi's Griftopia. She is reading the Ratigan book currently, and is planning to read the Taibbi. Because I cannot help but have an opinion on ALL nonfiction books, even those I haven't read (and I haven't read the Ratigan), I did have to say that I thought Ratigan, host of The Dylan Ratigan Show on MSNBC, has a bit more of a "shtick"* than Matt Taibbi and therefore his book might not be as good. Although, I admitted, Taibbi does swear a lot.
At which point my sister pointed out, and rightly so, that swearing is Taibbi's shtick, and that I don't think he has a shtick simply because I like his shtick better. Well played, Sis. But I maintain that anyone who has an MSNBC show has more of a, for lack of a better word, "salesmanesque" approach** to furthering their media and publishing brand, than does a Rolling Stone columnist such as Taibbi.
This is all neither here nor there. The point of this post is that it got me thinking: Who are the authors (fiction or non) who you feel the most righteous for liking? That's an odd question, I know. But I think it's an interesting one. I think a lot of readers, if they're honest, have authors they feel a bit superior for a) knowing about, and b) liking to the point of being blind to that author's particular shtick. The authors I feel most righteous about are Taibbi, William Langewiesche, Wendell Berry, and Anne Tyler (and no, I do not consider what she writes to be "women's fiction"--more book snobbishness on my part!). How about you? Come on, give in, feel superior--and list your faves in the comments!
**I read the description of Greedy Bastards at Amazon, and this part also struck me as very schticky: "This country, now more than ever, needs passionate debate and smart policy, a brazen willingness to scrap what doesn’t work, and the entrepreneurial spirit to try what does." Puke. Because we all know all it ever takes to get ahead is an "entrepreneurial spirit."