What do you read?

I recently read an article about female writers are on the decline. With the current push for diverse books I’m a tad skeptical. I admit, most of the books I read are cozy mystery books. That genre seems to be mainly female authors and protagonists. Not always.

This year I have read 19: 2 books were written by men and 17 were by women, including 1 by a wife/husband team.

So I decided to take a look a the books I read in 2017.

In 2017 I read 96 books 🙂

Authors:

female- 66

male- 28

both authored same book- 1

Yes, I realize I my math doesn’t add up. I missed a book somewhere. It’s safe to say it was probably written by a woman.

Because I’m avoiding my WIP, let’s go one step further and look at the genres I read. This should be interesting.

Genres:

mystery- 38

fantasy/sci-fi- 11

non-fiction- 11

fiction- 7

YA- 21

children/middle grade- 6

romance- 1

WOW! I actually thought I read more fantasy than that. Well, YA is fantasy…mostly. Only 1 romance! Yeah, I don’t read romance.

And yes, I’m still missing a book somewhere… **sigh**

Anyway. For even more fun let’s see how these books were published.

Publication:

traditional- 75

indie- 21

That time my math works!

What does all this mean? It means I read a lot of books by and about women knee deep in dead bodies!

Take away:

I don’t know if there is a decline in women writer’s. I don’t have a problem finding new books by female authors. When choosing a book, I don’t look at gender or skin color of the writer or protagonist. I didn’t break down race because I’m pretty sure it’s overwhelmingly white.  And I would have to think really hard about each book and that’s too much work this morning.  If you went with me to the book store/library, you would see me walk down the aisles, picking books up to gaze at the cover and title. I might look at the author but I can guarantee I never read the back blurb. I apologize to all the authors. I know how hard those back blurbs are to write.

So, my reading isn’t very diverse. I lean toward southern mysteries centering around a female protagonist. If you happen to know about a mystery featuring a non-white protagonist let me know.

All this talk of books makes me want to go to the library.

Catch you later,

-CK

 

 

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Read the Books You Have

If you’ve read this blog for long, you know I have a problem with books. I love to read. A few years ago (2014) I bought a paperwhite kindle. In the years since I have aquired around 537 books . Those are only the books I haven’t read. That’s a lot of books. There’s also around 20 books on my bookshelf I need to read!

Most of these books were free or spur of the moment purchases. Some I started and hated. A few are classics I know I will never read.

I’m going to look at the 5 oldest books on my Kindle. Then decide if it’s a book I will read. Then I will chose one to read this month. Similar to the TBR hole.

The Books:

Water Dance: The Story of a Were-Mermaid (The Sisterhood of the Ring Book 1) by [Greenstein, Jay]

Water Dance: The Story of a Were-Mermaid (The Sisterhood of the Ring Book 1) By Jay Greenstein

Aug. 2014, It was free and there is a mermaid. It was actually one of the 4 books I purchased when I bought my kindle. The blurb sounds familair, I think I may have started reading it but didn’t finish.

The Summer I Learned to Dive by [McCrimmon, Shannon]

The Summer I Learned to Dive by Shannon McCrimmon

Sept. 2014, This sounds like a YA book. It has pretty good reviews. I don’t know why I haven’t read it. I do see a theme with these books. Do you?

Secret Adversary by [Christie, Agatha]

Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

Sept. 2014, Somethinf I’ve learned about these public domain books. The formatting can be crap. The formatting is weird in this one. There dosne’t seem to be page breaks between sections. The pages just run into each other. I haven’t read this and I’m leaning to just deleting all of the public domain books I have. *sigh*

 

The Turn of the Screw by [James, Henry]

Turn of the Screw by Henry James

Oct. 2014, Another public domain book. Flipping through the first few pages the formatting looks okay.  I think I tried to read this once and gave up. I should probably keep these. I need a book with an ugly/boring cover for a reading challenge.

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel by [Eason, Lynette]

Too Close to Home (Women of Justice Book #1): A Novel by Lynette Eason

Nov. 2014, I read book 3 in this series which is why I bought book 1. There tend to be full of tension and suspense.

 

Take Away:

Delete: 2 books deleted- they were free so it’s okay.

TBR: 1 book moved to the top of my TBR list, Too Close to Home

That brings the grand total of unread books on my Kindle to 537!

-CK

 

February TBR Final

February is a short month, but I read plenty. I actually surprised myself. My goal is 1 book a week, equally 4 books a month. I read 8 books this month. Total for the year 14/52

 

  • The Crimson Claymore by Craig A. Price Jr.  Great read. Epic quest.
  • Eats, Shoots, & Leaves by Lynne Truss.
    DNF– I fell asleep.
  • The Cat Who Came in off the Roof by Annie M. G. Schmidt, This was a cute children’s book. Imagine a cat turning into a human and living with a reporter in an attic. It’s really funny. Very quick read.
  • Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods by Hal Johnson, DNF. The pictures were fun, they even glowed in the dark. The stories about the creatures didn’t keep m interest.
  • The Night Gwen Stacy Died by Sarah Bruni. I know nothing about this book, other than the title. It’s not a graphic novel it’s an actual book. If you read comics, you should get the reference.
  • I Am Number Four by Pittacus Lore. I wasn’t thrilled with this book. The plot and characters were intriguing and kept me reading, but the writing felt stiff and dull at times. I didn’t like it enough to read the others in the series.

On my Kindle:

  • The Dragon’s Curse (The Dragon and the Scholar Book 1) by H.L. Burke. I love dragons.
  • Let’s Get Visible by David Gaughran- It was OK. I’m not in a position at the moment to use most of the information, so it’s hard to say if it’s useful or not.
  • The Seer’s Choice by J. Kathleen Cheney. This novella centers on two minor characters from The Golden City  books. It’s really a quick read, just a couple of hours. Great, loved it.

Extra books I read:

  • Amazing Fantastic Incredible Stan Lee by Stan Lee and Peter David. Really do you need a reason to read it? It’s a graphic novel of Stan Lee’s life! It’s a great quick read.
  • 100+ Free Facebook Book Promo Sites by Frank Daley. Quick read, not sure how useful the info is.
  • Cora and the Nurse Dragon by H.L.Burke. Loved it. This is a great read. I really want a dragon now.
  • Uncanny Avengers #1-5 I don’t include comics in my book count. If I did I’d have to up my number significantly.

I have 97 books on my kindle and bag full of library books. Plenty to choose from for the March TBR.

What did you read this month?

-CK

Why I read what I read-Fantasy

I started reading  mysteries (still love them) then I moved to bodice rippers (moved beyond that). Years later, I discovered fantasy.  Beyond fairy tales the first fantasy I read was Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  From there I moved into Harry Potter, The Inheritance Saga, The Lightening ThiefNarnia…  Do you see the trend?  Most of my fantasy has been limited to middle readers and YA.  I’m not complaining.  I love the writing and the subject matter.  I also enjoy the lack of sex and language.  I live with a little book worm who will devour any book left lying around.   I love climbing into a new world and exploring it, playing each scene out in my head.  Non-adult  fantasy can be very rich with complex characters. Snape was complex.  The reader is torn between hating him and loving him and his true loyalties  are tangled until the very end. I’ve also found world building to be well thought out and logical for the story.  I wanted to live in Narnia and Alagaesia.  Yes, you do run into “formula” books, but those can be found in all genres.

Granted, in most of these types of books the writer explains more.  That doesn’t bother me.  Nor does it bother me that most of the protagonists are young adults.  Let’s face it most adults wouldn’t be able to carry on a conversation with a talking lion.  Maybe it’s because I taught middle school, but I like kid lit.  That being said, I would love to find a rich, layered grownup fantasy series.  One that will send me to the book store and willingly plop down cash for the newest release. That hasn’t happened since  Potter and the Inheritance Saga finished up.

The success of The Hunger Games introduced me to the futuristic dystopian fantasy of YA.  (I’ll keep my politics to myself about the future of America.)  While it lacked warm and fuzzy it was fascinating and tragic.  I think reading too much of this would make me depressed, I did love it (and the movies).  That of course led to Divergent.  Again, great but depressing.  No, I don’t have to have a happy ending, but a small silver lining wouldn’t be bad.

I don’t read horror.  I don’t like to be scared.  I know what monster lies beneath my bed and as long as I feed him Oreos we’re OK.  In college I made the mistake of following a day of reading Poe with The X-Files.  I’m adult enough to admit I had nightmares.  I did enjoy reading King’s Firestarter.  That’s as far as I go.

Earlier this Spring, I decided to find a fantasy series written for adults.  I’m still looking.  I do enjoy a good dragon tale, so I checked out a few ladies known for fantasy.  I enjoyed the books, but not enough to invest more time in other titles.  (Sad face.)

Then I thought, I love Star Trek, maybe I should look into science fiction.  Nope, I found out I like to watch my sci-fi over trying to decipher the jargon.  My next try was a fantasy magazine.  I was so excited to get it home and start reading.  It scared me- leave it at that.

My last trip to the library, I searched the aisles looking for the yellow fantasy tag.  I was rewarded with a  few books I really liked. The Golden City by J. Kathleen Cheney is great and I am looking forward to the next two.  I don’t know if I should tell  you why, I don’t want to ruin it.  My favorite mythical creature is involved, I’ll leave it at that.  I’ve also enjoyed several of Carolyn Turgeon’s books.  She takes your classic fairy tales and gives it a good spin.

These are all great reads, but I am still craving an epic fantasy.  My mind is looking for a certain book and I can’t find it. (yes, I know I’ve heard that if you can’t find it-write it)  If you have a favorite fantasy (not the one turned into a cable show) post it in the comments.  I need a good read.

CK