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Fri Apr 27, 2012, 11:56 AM

Do any of you ladies or men notice any differences in books by female authors?

I myself prefer men authors. Some exceptions - Penney, McCrumb, Bolton and some I will remember sooner than later...

I notice that women have a really different outlook on their romantic male characters and make them into really loving, caring, protective and perfect people who stay awake at night dreaming about the woman.

Maybe they never had the experience (when they were young) of giving some guy their phone number, sure that he's as crazy about her as she is about him, and waits for the phone to ring and it doesn't. Have any of you figured that out? I never did....in books he always calls....

I have the feeling I will delete this post, mostly because I wasn't able to express my feelings well enough to be understood...

Back to my subject question...what differences do you men or ladies see in books written by women?

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Reply Do any of you ladies or men notice any differences in books by female authors? (Original post)
fadedrose Apr 2012 OP
Scuba Apr 2012 #1
Arkansas Granny Apr 2012 #2
mvccd1000 Apr 2012 #3
fadedrose Apr 2012 #13
marions ghost Jun 2012 #34
mvccd1000 Jun 2012 #40
Little Star Apr 2012 #4
MaineDem Apr 2012 #6
Little Star Apr 2012 #8
fadedrose Apr 2012 #14
Little Star Apr 2012 #15
Angry Dragon Apr 2012 #5
MaineDem Apr 2012 #7
fadedrose Apr 2012 #12
bemildred Apr 2012 #9
seabeyond May 2012 #26
bemildred May 2012 #28
seabeyond May 2012 #29
bemildred May 2012 #30
Little Star Apr 2012 #10
MaineDem Apr 2012 #11
Curmudgeoness Apr 2012 #16
marions ghost Jun 2012 #35
Curmudgeoness Jun 2012 #36
fadedrose Jun 2012 #37
Curmudgeoness Jun 2012 #38
fadedrose Jun 2012 #39
Curmudgeoness Jun 2012 #42
BlueIris Apr 2012 #17
bemildred Apr 2012 #19
ZombieHorde Apr 2012 #18
Lydia Leftcoast Apr 2012 #20
fadedrose Apr 2012 #22
JitterbugPerfume Apr 2012 #21
Rowdyboy May 2012 #31
dimbear May 2012 #23
raccoon May 2012 #24
Bruce Wayne May 2012 #25
seabeyond May 2012 #27
justiceischeap May 2012 #32
clyrc May 2012 #33
closeupready Jun 2012 #41

Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:01 PM

1. Well, take George Elliot for example....

Watching this thread should be interesting.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:11 PM

2. I read a lot of science fiction which doesn't contain much romance to start with.

The woman authors of that genre generally focus on strong, self-reliant, adventurous women instead of analyzing the romantic issues of the male characters in their books. The biggest differences I find between male and female authors is who the main characters of the books turn out to be, not how they are portrayed.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:29 PM

3. Yes

For the most part, I've given up on female authors, for exactly the reasons you mention. I think we're not alone, as many of the places I've worked overseas have "take 1, leave 1" book areas for English-language books. Invariably, those bookshelves end up full of books by female authors, with not a sign of a Tom Clancy, Stephen King, Michael Connelly, or Lee Child to be found. The books written by women don't seem to move off the shelves, while the ones written by men won't stay on them.

It seems unfair, and every once in a while I go back and try one that seems like it should be good, but I just don't enjoy it enough to try another.

One exception is Gayle Lynds; I remember her ghostwriting or co-writing with another notable author (Robert Ludlum?), and I really enjoyed her books.

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Response to mvccd1000 (Reply #3)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:26 PM

13. Yep, it was Ludlum

His Lynd books were among his best. And yes, she is good-looking.

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Response to mvccd1000 (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 06:35 PM

34. why do you think women writers

aren't as good as men?

Some reasons?

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #34)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 01:23 AM

40. I don't think that, exactly.

It's not that women writers aren't as good as male writers; perhaps it's simply that I don't connect as well with the point of view from which they tell the story. At least in my favorite genre (mystery/thriller), I'd rather read about HOW the protagonist was sneaking around in the night, looking for a car to hotwire, not what she was thinking and/or feeling as she snuck around looking for the car.

I also enjoy the mechanical or technological details in the stories; I cringe when I read of someone shooting a gun that doesn't exist, or hotwiring a car in 15 seconds flat, but not dealing with the ignition/brake interlock that keeps you from shifting out of park, etc.

There simply aren't a lot of female writers who either a) write those kinds of stories, or b) get the details right if they do.

I guess I'd sum it up by saying it has nothing to do with the quality of writing by female authors; it's simply the disconnect between the style of storytelling most of them provide vs. the type of stories I enjoy reading.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 12:45 PM

4. I've yet to come across a male Cozy writer. Any one know of some?...

Women are good at that type writing.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:18 PM

6. How about Robin Pilcher?

I haven't read any of his books but they say he writes like his mother and her books were considered cozy, I would think.

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Response to MaineDem (Reply #6)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:33 PM

8. I've never heard of him or his mother before. I'll have to look them up.

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Response to Little Star (Reply #4)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:28 PM

14. Craig Johnson

was cozy till he killed off my favorite character in his books. Damned fool.

I'm first on the list for his next new one and I'm giving him another chance.


Doss is cozy, as well as scary and funny.

Except for a few women, I like men writers best...

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #14)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 03:30 PM

15. I don't know why....

but I never thought of either of them as cozy writers. But what the heck do I know.

Glad your gonna give CJ another chance.

Ya know Rose, soon as things calm down around here, I think I'm going to end up with a lot more time for reading now that I'm a widow. Sounds strange to say that.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:04 PM

5. Sue Grafton

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:28 PM

7. I never thought about this

I don't read a lot of romances. Even the women authors I like write murder stories - Penney, Crombie, for example.

I don't recall ever reading a book along the lines of Clancy, Child, Baldacci that was written by a woman.

I think I disagree about the women authors' male characters always being perfect. I just finished Louise Penney's Three Pines series (waiting for the new book due in August) and her characters have several flaws.

WEB Griffin was making me angry by the way he was portraying his main character in the Presidential Agent series. He was very condescending toward women. I guess I wasn't his target demographic.


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Response to MaineDem (Reply #7)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 02:23 PM

12. Yes, Penney is one of my examples..

She can spot a bad guy as fast as she can a good guy and describes him to a T...

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:42 PM

9. Nothing much that I would consider not socially conditioned.

I've never seen a female author focus on the "technical details", of sex and violence for example, in the way that some male authors will (John Updike, Cormac McCarthy); or male authors focus on inner emotional life in the way that female authors often will. And yet when I consider authors like Margaret Atwood, Leslie Marmon Silko, V. S. Naipaul, Kazuo Ishiguro, or Proust, I am reluctant to grant even that much.

When I was younger, I preferred male authors in the modern western tradition, now I look for authors who are not that in one form or another (female, pre-modern, non-western, all or some of those).

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Response to bemildred (Reply #9)

Wed May 9, 2012, 08:39 AM

26. allison is pretty rough, but i enjoy her stories. nt

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #26)

Wed May 9, 2012, 10:04 AM

28. Not familiar, and I see a lot of allisons when i google it.

I tend to be kind of old school these days, I think.

However, I've been thinking about this since I wrote that, and I think I would say that gender stereotypes in authors are breaking down, as in other areas. Something that has been going on for a long time, but which has really accellerated since I was a kid. A good thing too. Let's you have lots more choices when you want to take your mind out for a walk.

Edit: one of the things that first started to annoy me with SF was the plastic female characters (e.g. Heinlein), the mystification of gender, and it's really only modern authors who at least attempt to be realisitic that I read now and then today.

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Response to bemildred (Reply #28)

Wed May 9, 2012, 10:11 AM

29. i am sorry. typed early before coffee, off memory, lol allison brennan.

kindle and those authors has open my eyes in many ways, from different perspectives. but that is where i am really seeing a certain man author that i have no desire to read. a lot of adolescence male fantasy. on the other hand, there is an openness in different story telling. for example. so many published authors is white main characters. thru kindle there is much more diversity. little gay publishing, from choices in library. kindle has more selection.

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Response to seabeyond (Reply #29)

Wed May 9, 2012, 11:40 AM

30. One of the things I like about E-readers and E-publishing.

They open things up, fewer gatekeepers between the writer and the reader. Of course you have to do your own weeding out too.

One of my complaints about Cormac McCarthy is that his women do not satisfy.

Otherwise as to what you say: yep.

I will take a look at Ms Brennan.

Gotta go.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:51 PM

10. I think both men and women have a place but agree the...

writing styles seem to be from different prospectives even when addressing the same subject matter. I doubt I am well spoken enough to articulate what I see.

I enjoy men's writing more on certain subjects and women's on others.


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Response to Little Star (Reply #10)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 01:58 PM

11. That's what I wanted to say!

But didn't. Well put!

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 07:29 PM

16. I read book written by both men and women

and have no preference. What I do notice from both in modern books that is annoying to me is the super-beautiful, super-intellegent, super-sexual, super-everything female characters. As a woman, I feel so inadequate when I run into these characters, and they are like the skinny, airbrushed photos of models----an ideal that no one will live up to, and it is too unbelievable. And I have noticed that female and male authors are both to blame.....or maybe it is the reader preference that they are writing for.

I like characters with flaws.

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #16)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 06:39 PM

35. just like the movies

you so rarely ever see a "real" female--always the stereotypes

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Response to marions ghost (Reply #35)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 07:35 PM

36. It isn't even stereotypes, it is freaking Wonder Woman

in both books and movies. No flaws, can run around all day and all night and still look gorgeous and kick ass. Doesn't do a thing for me!

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #36)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 09:32 PM

37. Well

I have no flaws, can run around all day and night and look gorgeous and kick asses.

Maybe you should switch to Cheerios.

Right now, I'm trying to sell the Statue of Liberty - wanna make an offer?

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #37)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:01 PM

38. LOL. Cheerios it is!

And I need to know what kind of vitamins you are taking too.

Please tell me, how to you avoid those bags under your eyes when you don't get any sleep????

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Response to Curmudgeoness (Reply #38)

Wed Jun 6, 2012, 10:31 PM

39. Too many things (none appropriate for Books: Fiction)

keeping you up cause you're thinking about them? Or are you doing a working 28-hr day in 24?

Take melatonin - it's not a drug, and it helps you to fall asleep and it's not hard to wake up when you take it. It's a food supplement. It's good if you need to get up early and can't fall asleep worrying about getting up early

I take Biotin (for hair), Pantothenic acid (for energy and it's always listed on shampoos, etcs.); psyllium (metamucil) and some stuff for cholesterol (sp) and am in the middle of an order to Puritan's Pride (online) whose B1G2F expires on the 14th...then it's back to B1G1F...

Sorry you asked?

I don't really take vitamins - I have them and every couple weeks if I miss too many good meals, will take one. "C" if I have a cold...

Sorry everyone, please ignore...

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Response to fadedrose (Reply #39)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 06:32 PM

42. You are right, I am sorry I asked. But relating to books,

when I can't sleep, I get up and grab my book to focus my mind away from the rest of that crap.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Fri Apr 27, 2012, 09:45 PM

17. More realistic and well developed female characters.

Last edited Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:08 PM - Edit history (1)

I have read some books by male authors that contained extremely realistic female characters, even when the actual protagonist was a woman. Ira Levin's The Stepford Wives, and William Gibson's Pattern Recognition are such novels. But by and large, I do not find the women in novels written by men to be either compelling or believable.

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #17)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:06 PM

19. Yes. nt

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 05:11 PM

18. The romance in the Harry Potter Books were not that way.

The romance in The Name of the Wind is that way, and that was written by a guy.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 06:59 PM

20. I don't read cozies or romances

but I don't like most American male mystery writers. They're too caught up in the impossibly rich and handsome hero with supermodel women throwing themselves at him.

I much prefer the Brits and other Europeans: Henning Menkel, Arnaldur Indridason, Peter James, Peter Robinson, Andrew Taylor, Reginald Hill, Robert Barnard, Colin Cotterill, James Church, to name a few.

The women writers I like, both American and otherwise, tend to be pretty down-to-earth: Sue Grafton, Sara Paretsky, Faye Kellerman, Ruth Rendell, Yrsa Sigurdardottir, Deborah Crombie, Susan Hill, Denise Mina, Val McDermid, Dana Stabenow.

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Response to Lydia Leftcoast (Reply #20)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 11:46 PM

22. My taste has changed so much in 5 years

since I started reading fiction....

I never wanted to leave our border, felt un-American or disloyal or something..and I don't know what a "cozie" is. I thought it was a book your were comfortable with because of familiarity with the characters....I have foreign "cozies."

Centepede Shoes turned me on to Penny, and I found out that I liked foreign books. And some of my most favorite American authors I no longer care for that much - I still read them but am let down most of the time.

I haven't tried evey author in your list, but I did try Indridason, and for me, it was too somber, bleak. But I love Cotterill, Hill, 'Church, Fowler, Beaton, Burdett and a few others.

One you might like is the one I have now, The Keeper of Lost Causes by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Denmark). Usually I keep track of where I am in the books hoping I'll finish it soon, but I want this book to last. It's about Carl Mørck, an experienced homicide detective in Department Q, and his assistant Assad, in Copenhagen, Denmark.

I'm really disappointed that his 2 books that come after this one aren't available yet. I will put myself on the list...

http://www.stopyourekillingme.com/A_Authors/Adler-Olsen_Jussi.html

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 09:46 PM

21. a little survey of my book shelves

Last edited Tue May 1, 2012, 10:44 AM - Edit history (2)

shows pretty good mix of male/ female authors. Margaret Atwood, Susan Jacoby,, Barbara Kingsolver, Naomi Klein and Toni Morrison are all represented.

I read a lot of Sci Fi, and for that I prefer male authors like Philip K Dick, Kim Stanley Robinson Issac Asimov to name a few

I read a lot of Cormac McCarthy , Kurt Vonnegut, John Steinbeck.


All told I probably read more male authors by a small margin

Rebecca Skloot did an excellent job on The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, just as Isabel Wilkerson wrote the wonderful book The Warmth of Other Suns

Another favorite is Jared Diamond and of course my favorite iconoclast, Richard Dawkins.

Of course I could never leave out Douglas Adams--that just would not be right!


Men/ women have different outlook on sex, violence and even at times a view on the role of male/female that is disturbing but if it is appropriate to the setting it doesn't bother me much

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Response to JitterbugPerfume (Reply #21)

Sat May 19, 2012, 02:16 AM

31. Its really telling what fiction a serious reader prefers....here's a few of mine.....

For the last three years I've been constantly reading and rereading Colleen McCullough's series "Masters of Rome". It's seven volumes of wonderfully detailed Roman history from the era of Julius Caesar. The attention to detail in battle tactics and strategy would stereotypically imply a male author. But there is also a considerable focus on emotional relationships between these amazing historical personalities which could be more stereotypically feminine. She did an incredible job of historical research and I'm well into my second reading of the fifth volume of the series. She also wrote the enormously popular pot-boiler "The Thorn Birds" back in the 1970's.

Other authors I've recently read include Stephen King and his son Joe Hill (who is awesome!), and Stephen Baxter (an excellent British hard sci-fi author). I've also read Doug Preston, lincoln Child and Chelsea Cain in the last few months. I want to read more Cormac McCarthy.

I guess overall I've spent about equal time with male and female writers. I really think both bring differing perspectives that I enjoy.

Good to see you, friend and happy to share my recent reading list. If you like hard sci-fi you would love Stephen Baxter's "Flood" and "Ark".

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Wed May 2, 2012, 02:24 AM

23. My favorite example is James Tiptree, Jr. Actual first name:

Alice.

She wrote as a man just as long as it pleased her, and essentially nobody guessed she wasn't.

Fascinating and tragic life arc, too.

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Response to dimbear (Reply #23)

Wed May 2, 2012, 09:35 AM

24. " She also occasionally wrote under the pseudonym Raccoona Sheldon (1974–77). "


Wikipedia said that. Whaddya know?



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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Tue May 8, 2012, 12:35 PM

25. I write more empathetically when I use my pen name "Anne Ominous"

So maybe it's more socially engineered role positioning rather than the inherent genetic qualities of each sex.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 08:44 AM

27. that may be so on a lot of female authors, but i find with a lot of male author the loser pathetic

Last edited Wed May 9, 2012, 09:31 AM - Edit history (1)

man a hero and the woman the soft hearted prostitute or stripper. i like a more in the middle. i find a consistency in male authors where i cant stomach the presentation of female in their books

then there are authors like childs and koontz that just dont have that in their books

and authors like sanford that tries to keep it out and slides only a bit.

i guess it is what world view is on what extreme bothers a person.

but i think there is balance in both gender authors and extreme

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2012, 01:51 PM

32. It doesn't matter to me whether an author is male or female

but how that author writes the characters. I prefer female protagonists--tough, independent and smart. Finding one of those in books that don't turn that female character into a vapid "girl" when she meets Mr. Perfect is a challenge. That is where my problem lay with most modern fiction. Almost everything written, either by male or female authors, has romance in it now. If I want to read romance, I'd read romance... but it is still such a strong market that it's bleeding into everything. It almost seemed that is was forced into the Hunger Games trilogy.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Wed May 23, 2012, 10:10 AM

33. My favorite authors are usually female

But I enjoy male authors, too. I don't know that I really notice a difference. Maybe I'm just not paying attention to patterns.

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Response to fadedrose (Original post)

Thu Jun 7, 2012, 12:00 PM

41. I also don't care whether the author is male or female; most books I read

are written by men though, I will admit to that.

I think part of that is simply that there are some authors I really enjoy, and they have written so much and I read at such a slow pace that I've got enough to occupy my reading time probably through the end of my life, lol.

But I like Agatha Christie.

I've got some other classics written by women, like Baghdad Sketches by Freya Stark (travel essay, non-fiction), some Margaret Mead (anthropology, not fiction), Silent Spring, Rachel Carson, but they are mostly non-fiction works.

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