Yes, it's partly because of the rise of independent publishing, and partly because I've been hanging around academics for more than a decade. And certainly, this wouldn't be the case if I read more of the classics, or bestsellers. But knowing these authors is a nice trend, seems likely to continue, and lends itself well to sparkling dinner conversation.
I must keep in mind Uglow's assertion -- that a group with the right mix of insularity and homogeneity can produce great things. Alas, Uglow (and Gladwell) are two authors I haven't met.