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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 04-11-10, 04:15 PM
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Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Just going by what people post in the what are you reading threads, there doesn't seem to be a lot of people on the board that regularly read any fiction female authors, such as books from the JD Robb "In Death" series, the Iris Johansen "Eve Duncan" series, the Sue Grafton Alphabet series, the Janet Evanovich "Stephanie Plum" series, or even the Kathy Reichs "Temperance Brennan" series. Based on sales all of these are bestsellers, so someone is reading them, but it doesn't appear to be many on this board.

Just curious about this subject, since my sister in law has pretty much all of these books, and has offered them to me many times, but I'm hesitant, perhaps because of the author's sex. At this point, I've read the first Sue Grafton novel in the series, and two of the Temperance Brennan ones, and I've found both of them pretty standard fare for the genre, regardless of the gender of the author. So is there a lack of female authors in the what are you reading threads because this is a male dominated board and most males tend to stick to male writers? If so, is it because there is an assumption that if a female wrote it, it will be female oriented and hence not as interesting to men? Are there any other reasons?
Old 04-11-10, 05:02 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Those aren't in a genre I really read much of, but I probably read half or more female authors. My last 2 or 3 I've posted in the what you're reading threads have all been female authors.
Old 04-11-10, 05:05 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Given that most peopel here don't read, (just look at how few people post in the book forum & its pretty much the same people) it shouldn't be much of a suprise that the few people that do read mostly read male authors.

I'm a big fan of Robin Hobb but for me there just aren't many good female authors. Much like film & music, I don't typically gravitate to mainstream fare, which is what this forum is dominated with. I'll read a good author man, woman, kid, whatever as long as the content is there. But DVD Talk is board consumed with mass-market, mainstream-don't-stray-off-the-beaten-path taste, so it really is pretty obvious why the few readers here, only read male authors, when men typically are what comprise the best seller list.
Old 04-11-10, 08:24 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Not really. There are a lot of woman authors on the bestseller lists. They write books aimed at women. Since almost everyone on the forum is a man, most of them are going to be reading the bestseller authors who write books aimed at men.

According to the New York Times:

Hardcover Fiction
Top 5 at a Glance
1. SILVER BORNE, by Patricia Briggs
2. THE HELP, by Kathryn Stockett
3. CAUGHT, by Harlan Coben
4. DECEPTION, by Jonathan Kellerman
5. HOUSE RULES, by Jodi Picoult

Two are men, two are women, and one is named Jodi.
Old 04-11-10, 08:31 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Are you forgetting J.K. Rowling?

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/book-talk/5...ilers-duh.html

http://forum.dvdtalk.com/book-talk/5...tter-book.html
Old 04-12-10, 01:30 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

One of my favorite authors is Virginia Woolf, does that count?
Old 04-12-10, 08:00 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

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. For example (and this was my fault), I started reading something by Laurell Hamilton and it was beginning as a pretty good urban fantasy novel before it turned into a porn. No thanks!

If there are exceptions, particularly urban fantasy, I'd like to know. How is Patricia Briggs?
Old 04-12-10, 08:07 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I read female writers when they write stuff I want to read. But the science fiction, horror, and hard boiled detective genres are sausage fests.
Old 04-12-10, 08:10 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I don't pick books based on the author's sex, and I've never even considered that as a basis or criteria for selecting reading material.

I love the Grafton series, btw. She made me fall in love with Kinsey Millhone.
Old 04-12-10, 08:16 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by wmermine
If there are exceptions, particularly urban fantasy, I'd like to know. How is Patricia Briggs?
I think this cover says it all:



I also recommend against Kim Harrison.



However, the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson is pretty good.

Old 04-12-10, 09:22 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I certainly read more books by men, but it's just the way it's worked out.

Some of my favorite female writers:
Mary Shelly
Meg Gardiner
Zora Neale Hurston
Amy Hempel
Lee Harper
Flannery O'Connor
Joyce Carol Oates
Old 04-12-10, 09:39 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

In honor of this thread, I started reading a novel by Patricia Highsmith this weekend (Ripley's Game).

(My favorite female author is...Joan Didion.)
Old 04-12-10, 10:56 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Yeah, I might get some strange looks from the wife if I start reading those (although, I could just put them on the Kindle).

I did read the first Sookie Stackhouse book and enjoyed the plot and all, with the exception of the softcore porn elements. I heard it just got worse in the subsequent novels.

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
I think this cover says it all:



I also recommend against Kim Harrison.



However, the Greywalker series by Kat Richardson is pretty good.

Old 04-12-10, 12:39 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by 12thmonkey
I love the Grafton series, btw. She made me fall in love with Kinsey Millhone.
Glad to hear that, I read the first novel, and while I did put it down a little way in, after I picked it up again, it got much better towards the end.

Originally Posted by wmermine
I did read the first Sookie Stackhouse book and enjoyed the plot and all, with the exception of the softcore porn elements. I heard it just got worse in the subsequent novels.
I forgot about the Sookie Stackhouse series, or else I would have included it in my list of examples. I definitely want to start this series as well. So supposedly did the books get worse or did the softcare porn elements?
Old 04-12-10, 12:59 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by movieking
I forgot about the Sookie Stackhouse series, or else I would have included it in my list of examples. I definitely want to start this series as well. So supposedly did the books get worse or did the softcare porn elements?
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).
Old 04-12-10, 01:38 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I also like Wuthering Heights. I feel like these aren't the kind of female authors you're looking for, though.
Old 04-12-10, 02:50 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
I read female writers when they write stuff I want to read. But the science fiction, horror, and hard boiled detective genres are sausage fests.
There are plenty of good female SF writers (Bujold, Willis, Elizabeth Bear, LeGuin older stuff at least, and lots more).
Old 04-12-10, 02:54 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I looked back at my lists of books I've read (since 2006) and I only came across these female authors on my list.

Laurell K. Hamilton
Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler
Chelsea Cain
Agatha Christie
Mary Shelley

I have also read books by Anne Rice in the past but none since Merrick.

For the most part female authors don't really write characters I identify with or stories I want to read. I don't go looking for female or male authors, I just pick up books that interest me and when I find an author I like I stick with them.

Last edited by mlemmond; 04-12-10 at 02:58 PM.
Old 04-12-10, 03:31 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Someone above hit on the reason for this: This forum is male-dominated and men don't typically read books written by women. (This is in contrast to women, who are willing to read books by both sexes. A good thing, too, since they represent a solid majority of fiction buyers.)

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.
Old 04-12-10, 04:12 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

For fantasy readers, two female authors that I have read that are quite excellent are

N.K. Jemisin

http://www.amazon.com/Hundred-Thousa...1106573&sr=8-1

Anne Bishop

http://www.amazon.com/Daughter-Blood...1106677&sr=1-1
Old 04-12-10, 07:12 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

I've been a terrible reader lately, but half of them have been women. With the exception of Rowling, it's only because of they are from a series of franchised books (Stargate), and not because I love the authors.

Margaret Weis and Tracey Hickman were my favorites growing up. Do they count?
Old 04-12-10, 07:23 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

3 of the last 5 books read were women:
Kim Harrison - Black Magic Sanction
Patricia Briggs - Silver Bourne
Kayalana Price - Twice Dead

The last two are urban fantasy without too much romance at all. Kim is def. girly and there's a lot of men but it's less romance and more screwed up relationships and there's far more action than that. It's a fun series.
Old 04-12-10, 08:54 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Ginwen
There are plenty of good female SF writers (Bujold, Willis, Elizabeth Bear, LeGuin older stuff at least, and lots more).
Of those, LeGuin is the only one I consider good. I've never made it past 20 pages of a Bujold novel, and I damned near tossed The Doomsday Book across the room because of all the idiotic characters. Of Moon, I've only read Shoggoths in Bloom, which I found completely predictable.

Now Cherryh, and C.L. Moore, those were good authors, but Moore's dead and Cherryh and LeGuin are on the downsides of their careers.
Old 04-12-10, 11:04 PM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

Originally Posted by Sean O'Hara
Of those, LeGuin is the only one I consider good. I've never made it past 20 pages of a Bujold novel, and I damned near tossed The Doomsday Book across the room because of all the idiotic characters. Of Moon, I've only read Shoggoths in Bloom, which I found completely predictable.

Now Cherryh, and C.L. Moore, those were good authors, but Moore's dead and Cherryh and LeGuin are on the downsides of their careers.
I understand your complaint about it, but I loved the Doomsday Book, in spite of the infuriating parts. The new one's even worse that way incidentally--way too much time spent on people not realizing they're stuck and trying to deal with it. The misunderstanding/miscommunication pieces of the plot I could do without, but taking a modern person and putting them into the middle of the plague (or the bombing of London in the new one) is totally interesting to me.


You meant Bear, not Moon (although I like Elizabeth Moon too, I generally have a thing for females overcoming impossible odds which she has a lot of). I haven't read that story you mentioned, some Elizabeth Bear (the more SF stuff) I like a lot (especially Hammered probably due to another kickass female) the fantasy stuff I could do without but fantasy isn't my thing in general. Bujold I really enjoy the Miles Vorkosigan(?) books (however you spell it)--they're goofy but I think they have some pretty interesting ideas in them, and I just think they're entertaining. Again, not as fond of the fantasy stuff although it's not bad as some.

I don't like when some female authors (Laurell Hamilton comes to mind) have the explicit endless sex (although I just skip right past those parts usually, until they start taking over) but it's not like every woman has all that touchy feely stuff, look at Ripley, written by a woman and that guy is totally cold.

Last edited by Ginwen; 04-13-10 at 02:51 AM.
Old 04-13-10, 12:40 AM
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Re: Why Don't More People Here Read Female Authors?

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?

I've read LeGuin, Bradley, Rowling, Highsmith, Morrison. But I have little interest in those alphabetized murder mysteries. I want a story with ideas. That's why SF appeals to me more than any other genre, though I don't have much interest in space ships and laser guns.

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 don't have anymore interest in them than Tom Clancy, John Grisham or Nicholas Sparks.

Maybe female authors need to take risks more often. Then they might produce something original and lasting.

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