Musings From A Bookmammal

Booking Through Thursday–What Do You Prefer?

11 Comments

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Click here to play along!

Booking Through Thursday is a semi-regular weekly meme that asks questions about books and reading habits. This week there are several questions to ponder:

All other things (writing quality, story, etc), which would you rather read?
1. Something written by a man or a woman?
2. Something with a male or female protagonist?
3. Something funny or something tragic?
4. Something short or something long with many parts?
5. Something simple or something layered?

My answers to all of these would be different depending on my mood at any particular time. If I have a lot going on in my “real life” I tend to want to read something short, lighter, and simpler.  At less stressful times, I adore digging into a big book that’s packed with lots of characters and intricate plots. On the other hand, I have friends who love to escape into a big complicated fictional saga to distract them from their lives when they have a lot going on.

As for the male/female thing, I often (but not always!) feel that a female author can capture the authentic spirit of a female character more accurately than a male can—and vice versa. However, there are always exceptions! For example, I LOVED the book Midwives by Chris Bojalian when I read it several years ago. The book club that I belonged to at the time had selected it as one of our monthly selections, and most of us were really drawn in by the authentic voice of the main female character in the book. I can’t tell you how SHOCKED I was when I found out that Chris was not a nickname for Christine, but was instead was the full first name of the male author of this novel!

What about you? Do you have preferences in any of these areas? Please share!

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Author: bookmammal

I love books, reading, writing, cooking, eating, reading while eating, and sharing thoughts about all of the above–plus a bit more! I usually post about topics relating to books and literacy during the week, and then participate in a variety of non-bookish memes on the weekend. Please feel free to join in! Some random things about me– –I have multiple bookshelves in every room of my home except the bathroom. They’re all filled to bursting. They help to make my house my home. –I have two cats who I love dearly, but who I definitely do NOT dress in human clothing. Ever. –I’ve never had a cavity. –I make a mean spaghetti sauce. –I’m a newcomer to yoga and I love it. –My day is not complete without a little chocolate.

11 thoughts on “Booking Through Thursday–What Do You Prefer?

  1. I really don’t care if it is a male author or a female author, as long as the story holds my attention. However, looking back over what I read in 2013, it appears I read more female authors.

  2. I agree with much of what you are saying…and although I forgot about it when writing my post, The Midwives was one I thoroughly enjoyed, too. My mood does dictate some of my choices, but I do generally prefer female authors, but have several favorite male ones. Like you, I usually think a male can capture the male voice best, while a female can inhabit the female characters. With notable exceptions! A complex issue.

    Here’s MY BTT POST

    • I really enjoyed Bojalian’s first couple of books, but unfortunately haven’t been able to get into his last few–it seems like they’re more historical fiction, and I just don’t read much of that genre.

  3. Male, male, funny, long and layered 🙂

  4. I agree that what I read depends on my mood although I did notice when I was at the used bookstore earlier this week that any novels that had a blatant romance element to them (even if it wasn’t a chick lit type book) had me feeling very meh so I tended to pass them up in favor of different narratives.

  5. ‘It depends’ would be my go-to answer for all of these, but I did in the end choose on or the other. I always hear people saying ‘I want to read more female authors’ but I must admit, it’s really not something I ever consider. I’ve never paid attention to the author’s gender until after I’ve finished reading in most cases. If I think I’ll like the story, I’ll read it.

    • I’m the same–I don’t recall ever basing my decision to read something on the sex of the author. I think I read more female than male authors, but it’s not a deliberate thing.

  6. It doesn’t usually matter to me whether a book is written by a man or woman or which gender is the lead character. As for the rest of the questions, like you, it depends on my mood.

    Because I review books, I don’t often have the luxury to make choices based on mood. That sometimes means I discover terrific reads that I otherwise might have skipped. Or terrible books that I wish I had missed.

    When I can make my own picks, I tend to look for books by authors I know or on themes of interest. Sometimes I use it as a chance to read a book that I’ve put off reading due to length or complexity and now can finally savor.

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