Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Boom Time for Books

Book reviewers are saying it's time to create a new category of books likely to appeal to Baby Boomers, a term generally referring to people born between 1946 and 1964. Here’s the basic pitch Claude Nougat (she’s an author, a painter, a economist and a blogger) made when she started a GoodReads group on the subject:

"When baby boomers reached their teens in the 1950s/1960s, the Young Adult (YA) novel was born as a genre, dealing with coming-of-age issues. Now that baby boomers are 55+ and embarking on their second life, most of them in excellent health thanks to medical advances, it is time for writers to come up with Baby Boomer novels, or BB novels."
A BB novel deals with “coming-of-age issues”, and just like YA novels, it can be tragic, romantic, suspenseful, humorous, ironical but always compassionate.

Book experts say the category could be defined somewhat more broadly than coming-of-age stories, without losing its appeal, to overlap, not only with various fiction genres, but also with several nonfiction categories including biography and memoir, personal finance, and self-help.

There also are movies that might fit into this newly defined genre: "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel" comes to mind: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDY89LYxK0w  based on the 2004 novel These Foolish Things, by Deborah Moggach. Admission: I watched it twice during the holidays in private moments. And, there's the king of Boomer movie genre, Jack Nicholson. Think "Something's Gotta Give" about successful 60-something and 50-something, who find love for each other in later life.

As the BoomerCafe website noted the other day in the introduction to an article by Ms. Nougat on the subject “baby boomers are the biggest, richest demographic in the world today.” Boomers buy books, lots of them, and they enjoy movies relevant to their experience. If only they had more to read and a category to list them and make Boomer-centric literature more accessible.

Interesting idea. Are writers creating a new book category? Are producers creating movies that reflect Boomer experience and sensibilities? What books would you call "Boomer"? Which ones might make good "Boomer" movies?