The New Kings of NonFiction was better than a text book or going to the dentist but I don't think it was my cup of tea. I read the introduction, trying not to nod off, thinking that there was a lot of useful information in this book, but it was so scattered. I felt that as soon as I understood one topic, it jumped into another without much of a transition. I had a hard time following, but maybe that was just me. Maybe it was because I was tired and hungry.
It isn't necessarily that the "New Kings" book wasn't inspiring but like in pg. 10 & 11 the author is talking about Weschler and Orlean and how he likes both of these writers, then all of a sudden WHAM!! Chuck Klosterman pops up. Who is this guy? Did I read about him earlier and forgot about him. I dunno and by the time my mind as made this crude transition, there are three little stars and we are on to another topic.
As I have been saying all along, it's not that there isn't a lot of valuable information, but there isn't much flow. I had a few questions from reading this section; the main one being "How am I going to read this book that I feel is poorly written and take any advice from this guy about writing?" and along those lines maybe it's just me but "how do I get any of this useful information from this book if my mind can't work around the crude transitions?"
I did find one thing that I was intrigued by and I wasn't distracted about, I like that he thinks that "Literary nonfiction" is a bore, a phrase for losers, and it's pretentious. (p. 12 I agree full-heartedly.
The book Telling True Stories is a much better fit for me! I feel that it made more sense, was written better and also had some great information. I liked how they talk about stories and how significant they are. From the way Sudan-people would live in horrible conditions but every night would sing about their history, tell stories. I like how the said that "stories are our prayers, stories are parables, stories are history, stories are music, stories are our soul."
This saying hit a cord with me because oddly enough 5 years ago I was a senior in high school and my senior quote was "Everyone's life is a story, it's not how you tell it, it's how you life it!" In some ways that is true, but now on my fifth and final year of college, with a Journalism Minor and a Communication Major, it is important for everyone to life there life to the fullest (the greatest story) but it is a Journalists job to tell the stories. So if I could change my quote I would. "Everyone's life is a story. Life it well and a good journalist will tell it great."
One really important thing I learned about this section of the book is that you need to take interest in the subject, not just look for a story. Give yourself all the time in the world, and don't give up until you have it all. At the end of every interview, ask them who they can talk to next. And above all else, just enjoy your work and keep in mind that in the end the work is mind-stretching, life-enhancing, slap-up fun. (p. 16)
Another thing that I found interesting in this book is when they state that "chances are, you've come into this work because you genuinely like talking to people. If not, you should probably find other work." I think that being extraverted and open to talking to people is a very good/strong trait to have in a journalist because you are talking to a lot of people. But introverts also have the advantage that they don't talk much, they just listen. So I was wondering what other people think of that "Who would be a better Journalist? An extravert or an introvert?"