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Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

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Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Old 04-13-10, 09:32 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by wmermine
I'm not sure about the quality of the books generally. The first was pretty good, if you like really simplistic writing. I seem to remember a thread on this forum where people were saying, as the series went along, the sexual themes/elements were more prevalent. Of course, it is a vampire series, so some of that is to be expected. It just seems geared toward a more female readership... more like a romance novel than an urban fantasy or horror (of course, I don't mean to say that women only read romance novels).
God I hated the Sookie series. I bought a box set of them and enjoyed the first one. The second was iffy, but not too bad. After that, they got horrible. I forced myself through the fifth one, hoping they'd turn around, but they kept getting worse. They're just pathetic. The writing's lousy and horribly repetitive. Harris doesn't worry too much about continuity. Sookie herself becomes a less and less interesting character, devolving pretty much into an idiot with a sex obsession who's defined by the men/creatures that want to fuck her. They get to the point that they're nothing more than female fantasies where readers get to imagine themselves as Sookie, for whom all these incredibly powerful beings are just completely overwhelmed by her sex appeal. There are few books I'd recommend less.
Old 04-13-10, 11:04 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

A few years ago I was in a 'classic book' kick and read a bunch of well known and talked about books that for the first time. As a result I read Catcher in the Rye and The Bell Jar around the same time and always thought it was odd that people seemed to want to talk about the first but no one ever wanted to comment on Sylvia Plath's book.

I'm on book 7 of the Sookie Stackhouse books (I got the 8 book boxset for under $35) and while it's not great literature, I'm finding them fun to read and hard to put down.

I really enjoyed Christa Faust's 'Money Shot' from the Hard Case Crimes series and look forward to finding other stuff by her.

And I've read a couple books by Catlin R. Kiernan that I've enjoyed. She worked on The Dreaming comic which spun off of Neil Gaiman's Sandman after that was through, and her books seem to be in the same goth underworld horror vein.
Old 04-13-10, 11:07 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Tscott
I really enjoyed Christa Faust's 'Money Shot' from the Hard Case Crimes series and look forward to finding other stuff by her.

Yeah, Christa Faust is pretty good. 'Money Shot' was good, as well as her recent entry in the Gabriel Hunt series.


Anyone read any Megan Abbot? I've been wanting to check out her books since I'm a big fan of hardboiled stuff and it seems that's what her book as billed as.
Old 04-13-10, 01:30 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by wmermine
I'll just say it: I don't normally read books by women because they seem to lean more toward "romance" than what I'm interested in. Of course, there are female authors writing in other genres, but it seems their books still sometimes slip into a "romance" mode.
Although I am female, this is the reason I usually stay away from female authors. I primarily read thrillers/mysteries, and I don't like romance mixed in with that. About the only female author I liked is Edna Buchanan, whose early books were very gritty (I have not read her in quite a while). I found the mother/daughter team writing under P.J. Tracy quite promising with "Monkeewrench" and may try another of theirs. I also prefer male protagonists and will usually avoid lead female characters (for example, I like Thomas Perry, but do not want to read his Jane Whitefield series).

Once in a great while, I get in a different reading mood and may read something by Philippa Gregory or the like. I loved "The Other Boleyn Girl".

Last edited by rkndkn; 04-13-10 at 01:45 PM.
Old 04-13-10, 05:38 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Just thought of a couple others I've read: Agatha Christie and P.D. James

Although I don't read much pure mystery these days, these were the two I enjoyed reading when I used to. I didn't even realize P.D. James was female until later after I was looking into why there weren't more Cordelia Gray Mysteries written (I always liked her more than Dalgliesh).
Old 04-13-10, 07:31 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Dr. Mantle
I'd love to read more female authors, if only they wrote more novels that I'm interested in. Is there a female equivalent for Gene Wolfe, Isaac Asimov, or H.P. Lovecraft?
Have you tried Julian May, The Saga of Pliocene Exile and The Galactic Milieu Series? I wouldn't put her in an Asimov class level but I enjoyed her series a great deal.
Old 04-14-10, 08:27 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Suprmallet
I also like Wuthering Heights. I feel like these aren't the kind of female authors you're looking for, though.
I should have included some classic literature in my original post, but just listed some names off of the top of my head.

Originally Posted by djmont
Movieking, I've read all the authors you cite in your original post. I would recommend skipping Robb, Johansen and Reichs, none of whom I cared much for. The others are better.
Thanks for the recommendation. To me, the Johansen and Reichs series are very similar as they both deal with female scientists who try to solve murders (sort of), except one is a forensic sculptor, and the other is a forensic anthropologist. I read a number of the Eve Duncan series a few years ago and thought that they were fine, but definitely forgetable and I wouldn't go out of my way to recommend them. I haven't gotten too far with Reichs yet, and the two I read were out of order.

Originally Posted by Dr. Mantle
All of the OP's listed authors write that bland, buy-it-at-an-airport-read-it-on-the-plane-and-forget-about-it junk that's always clogging the bestseller list.
I wanted to list more mainstream books as they are by definition more popular and had a better chance of being read by people on the forum as opposed to something that is more niche.
Old 04-14-10, 10:19 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Dr. Mantle
I'd love to read more female authors, if only they wrote more novels that I'm interested in. Is there a female equivalent for Gene Wolfe, Isaac Asimov, or H.P. Lovecraft?
Try Leigh Brackett.
Old 04-14-10, 12:35 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

It's been my experience that female authors don't really have a very good fell for science fiction. I can't quite put my finger on what it is, other than it just doesn't seem like the female voice has any kind of "edge" to it.

On the other hand, I remember quite a few female horror authors from the 90s that were quite good, like Kiernan, Faust (mentioned above), Brite, Taylor, and Koja.

Never been a fan of the mystery genre, so I can't comment on any of the mystery authors with any kind of authority.
Old 04-15-10, 08:35 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I'm not much of a science fiction fan, so I probably wouldn't be interested in many of those types of authors, but I've decided to start reading a couple of books that I've had kicking around for a while by female authors that I just always kept putting on the backburner. I just started "In The Woods" by Tana French and I also have her second novel "The Likeness" available after (supposedly the second is superior to the first). I also have two Gillian Flynn books, Dark Places and Sharp Objects, that I'd like to read (I read her a lot when she was the TV critic for Entertainment Weekly).
Old 04-25-10, 01:37 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Looking over the list of what I read last year, I see that I read 35 books. Of them, five were written by women:

The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (and other western short stories) by Dorothy M. Johnson
Wait Till Next Year: A Memoir by Doris Kearns Goodwin
A Night Without Armor (poems) by Jewel
Bodies of Water by Roseanne Cash
The Sexual Life of Catherine M. by Catherine Millet

I read Johnson because I love the film version of Liberty Valance. Goodwin was a Christmas gift from my mom about a decade ago I finally got around to reading. Jewel and Cash are recording artists that got my attention again last year. As for Millet...that one got my attention by reputation. I apparently only read six graphic novels last year, and only one was by a woman: Marjane Satrapi's Chicken with Plums, which I read because the year before, a friend lent me her copy of Persepolis and I loved it.

I can't say why it is that so few women placed on my reading list last year, other than to speculate that it's symptomatic of what appeals to me in general. Last year, my reading was mostly either historical/political in nature (I read books by three different presidents, and a secretary of state), or it was prompted by favorite movies (I even read a pair of screenplays). For whatever reason, women apparently didn't figure prominently in my taste last year...which borders on being ironic, given that I found myself listening to more music by women last year than ever before.

None of the mainstream works cited in this thread so far have appealed to me, but I concur with Dr. Mantle--their male counterparts also fail to reach me. I've only read the first two Tom Clancy novels, and the first Grisham I ever read was Skipping Christmas--which I read for the first time last year and found disappointing.
Old 04-28-10, 10:09 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I read what I read. I do lean towards science fiction, and that often leans toward male writers, but there's still plenty of females (Le Guin, McCaffrey) and I've also been reading some more classics the older I get, such as Austen, Bronte and Harper Lee.

The only time I let the author steer me away from or towards a title is simply reputation, not gender.
Old 04-28-10, 12:12 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Generally speaking, I'm a genre reader (crime fiction) and I typically don't seek out all of the commercial/mass market authors that are so readily available. While there are exceptions (Michael Connelly, John Sandford, etc) the fact that I haven't read books by many female authors may likely be the same reason why I have yet to read a book by James Patterson.

There are a few female authors that have caught my attention in the crime fiction noir genre and I have enjoyed their work:
Megan Abbott
Christa Faust
Vicki Hendricks
Bonnie Kozek
Helen Fitzgerald

Additionally, I will be attending a P.J. Tracy signing tonight (mother/daughter duo of the 'Monkeewrench' series).

Last edited by Geofferson; 04-28-10 at 12:16 PM.
Old 04-29-10, 04:46 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Like other genre readers, the only bestsellers I read are the occasional fantasy or sci-fi books to actually make the lists.

My favorite author, like Sessa, is Robin Hobb.

I'm a fan of Margaret Weis also, but she generally writes with Tracy Hickman, so I guess that's 50/50. Ditto for one of my favorite series (Empire Trilogy) was by Janny Wurts, but co-written with Raymond Feist, and I wasn't as keen on her solo work.

I used to also enjoy some others, like Anne McCaffery, but she's not writing like she used to, IMO. I haven't picked up one of her books in ages.

I don't think the sex of the author matters to me much, though.
Old 05-02-10, 08:21 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

EW did a blurb a few weeks ago about "word of mouth smashes", and listed a few books, all which were written by females. Has anyone here read any of these? Without knowing much about them, they definitely seem to skew towards the female interest:
  • The Postmistress by Sarah Blake
  • The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shafer & Anne Barrows
  • The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffernegger
  • Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
Old 05-02-10, 11:11 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I just read two MC Beaton Hamish Macbeth novels and I love Agatha Christie novels, but overall I do read a lot of books from male authors. Don't think I avoid female authors on purpose, but it has kind of worked out that way.

I will say I rarely like female detective stories. Christie and Grafton are the rare exceptions. Don't know what puts me off about them exactly, but I just feel more comfortable with a Harry Bosch or Fletch as the detective. Maybe it is because I'm a guy and I relate to their point of view better? Not sure.
Old 05-04-10, 11:14 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I read a ton of women authors, but then again, I'm also a woman. Like others, one of my favorites is Robin Hobb. Bujold's Vorkosigan series is excellent, but most of the rest of what she has written is garbage. I couldn't finish the last book she wrote (The Sharing Knife). It was horrible romantic tripe. C.S. Friedman is another favorite. I'll devour anything she's written, but I especially loved the Coldfire Trilogy. I don't think many people realize that she's a woman. I really enjoyed Elizabeth Moon's Paksennarion series, and she finally came out with a new book in that series in March. I have that one saved in my pile for my next vacation. I've read a lot of horrible female authors, but I've also read a lot of horrible male authors.

For the most part however, most of the authors I read are men. I'm sure that's mostly because my preferred genre, fantasy/sci fi, is very male-dominated. My mom is a devoted mystery reader, and the male/female ratio is a lot more balanced there.
Old 05-06-10, 02:05 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Well, this thread sufficiently shamed me. Two nights ago, I started reading Toni Morrison's The Bluest Eye. I was assigned some excerpts to read back in college, but never took the time to read the entire novel until now.
Old 05-06-10, 02:08 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Shit. When did we get a Book Talk?
Old 05-06-10, 03:09 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Larry C.
Shit. When did we get a Book Talk?
Shhh...Nothing to see here...
Old 05-06-10, 04:03 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by MinLShaw
Shhh...Nothing to see here...
Larry C. quietly exits the strange place.
Old 05-08-10, 03:31 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/biblio-vatta.htm

http://www.elizabethmoon.com/biblio-serrano.htm
Old 05-08-10, 06:54 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I will read me some Camille Paglia now and then, some Edith Wharton and used to read a lot of Ayn Rand.
Old 05-09-10, 11:19 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Ayn Rand was a woman?
Old 05-09-10, 09:38 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ayn_Rand

touch manly looking but yes Ayn Rand was a woman

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