In this blog post, I’m going to strongly disagree with this post from Brenda at Daily Mayo, so I’d like begin by saying that I think that she wrote a wonderfully provocative post and asked a great question. Although I disagree with her conclusion, I think she makes a lot of good points along the way. However, I think she also accepts some biases which it’s important for readers to challenge. She points out that women authors are taken less seriously than male authors, with everything women write often being lumped in the chick-lit category, and suggests that women authors should respond by writing less romance. I have a number of problems with that statement, so I’m just going to run through them one by one and will include some direct quotes I’m referring too.
Author: Carolyn T. Dingman
Source: TLC Book Tours
Summary: Despite having a very average plot and sometimes frustrating main character, the quirky characters the authors created made this an enjoyable read.
Olivia has known for a long time that she doesn’t enjoy her “dream job” and she isn’t passionately in love with her fiance. She doesn’t have the courage to admit this to herself until she makes a trip to her deceased mother’s hometown to honor her last wish by scattering her ashes there. Once she starts to get to know people and learns more about her mother, she slowly realizes that she may not want to go home.
Author: Thrity Umrigar
Source: from publisher for review
Summary: The author’s beautiful writing made me experience the character’s emotions very deeply, but the emotional impact of the ending was weak compared to the rest of the book.
Psychologist Maggie has always been willing to try unorthodox methods and has become known for her ability to help in tough cases. When she is asked to help Lakshmi, an isolated Indian immigrant who tried to commit suicide, it is clear that unorthodox methods are called for. Lakshmi understand therapy to mean making friends with Maggie and Maggie relates to Lakshmi too much to maintain her usual distance. As these two very different women learn each other’s biggest mistakes, their differing backgrounds and expectations of their relationship will threaten their friendship, making it hard for them to forgive one another.
The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, August 18th and runs through Sunday, August 24th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 11 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.
Author: Brandon Sanderson
Narrator: Michael Kramer
As with Words of Radiance, I’m probably rating this book less highly because I read The Way of Kings first. Compared to The Way of Kings, Mistborn seemed like a younger sibling, a scaled down version perhaps intended for a younger audience. There are a lot of similarities between the two books: a world with a tyrannical ruling class; a male and a female narrator; chapters beginning with quotes from books; and similar magical combat. This is a good thing because these were strengths of The Way of Kings, but it’s also a bad thing because Mistborn felt much less novel. Mistborn also had a similarly consistent magic system and great character growth. Unfortunately, the epic scale and impressive world building of The Way of Kings were missing, but hopefully that will come as I read the next two books in the trilogy. Michael Kramer’s narration was spot on as always.
Author: Haruki Murakami
Summary: This book was written in the same beautiful, dreamy style I loved in 1Q84, but the ending felt a bit less climactic and a bit less resolved.
In high school, Tsukuru Tazaki was part of an inseparable group of friends. Coincidentally, the other four students all had colors in their name and Tsukuru didn’t, a fact that he found significant because he also believed himself to be the most average of the group. About a year after Tsukuru moved away, his four friends cut off all contact with him and refused to explain why. When, many years later, Tsukuru meets a woman he cares for deeply, he realizes that he needs to understand what happened with his friends before he can move on and believe he might be loved by someone else.