Parts of the Whole

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Wanted: A Book Without a Bite

Husband bought me a Kindle for Valentine's Day two years ago. I have finished maybe five books in that time, two of them were not mindless dribble. It's possible I only remember the plot to one. Considering I come from a family of avid readers and tend to read rather quickly (although Vanity Fair has taken me fooooooooooooorrrrrrrrrrreeeeeeeeeeeevvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrr and I'm still not finished), this is rather unusual for me.

If it has words and a title, I'll read it. Except poetry.  I don't do poetry. Or Shel Silverstein. Or Hemingway. That's for a later post, one written after a glass or two or five of wine (that's the only way to do Hemingway). I don't believe in censorship or book burnings or anything that limits a person's right to read whatever they want. In fact, if you tell me I shouldn't read something, it's most likely the next thing I'm downloading. Reading is also my biggest inspiration when it comes to writing. Often an article or even someone else's blog post will spark something in me. It's definitely true about the recipes I make.

The thing is, I can't find anything worth reading. Every time I turn around, there's another vampire book or werewolf book or half vampire-half werewolf book. What's wrong with people?! Totally undead, living, breathing with a normal amount of hair people?! It's pretty hard to relate to a character that heals instantaneously when I'm still sporting a chicken pox scar from twenty years ago.

Now, I get the escapism aspect of fiction, I really do. My genres of choice are fantasy and science fiction (*Nerd Alert* There may or may not be a rather extensive collection of dragon paraphanalia in our storage unit, as well as a vast knowledge of Star Trek trivia in my head). You don't get any further from reality than that, yet the best writers still manage to create a world that has something the reader can identify with.

My biggest frustration is the absolute lack of strong female characters, which is only compounded by the overabundance of aloof uninterested males. I would rather a female lead forego a relationship than have to read another conversation featuring what appears to be a cro magnum man. I also love love love when strength is portrayed as a man's inability to stop a woman from doing something incredibly stupid. Believe me, I'm as bullheaded as they come. Rarely do I give an inch when it comes to anything, but do I honestly believe Husband would just let me walk out a door to confront the coming apcolypse? Yeah, that's a big fat no.

So, I guess I'll stick with rereading the classics. Scarlett and Jo never disappoint. Or if anyone has a suggestion that doesn't include adolescent undead, I'm all ears.


  1. Please try "Blindsighted" by Karin Slaughter
    or "Room" by Emma Donoghue and let me know if you like them :)

    1. Going to find them now and will let you know.

  2. I could certainly recommend some books/series you might enjoy - these are all fantasy with decent female characters and not a vampire in sight. (I'm linking to my reviews so you can see what I thought about them!)

    1. Thanks! I'll be sure to check those out.

  3. I'm a big Star Trek fan, which means our brains must have something in common. That must mean anything I enjoyed reading you'll enjoy reading, right? C'mon, work with me.

    First thing you should read is Unwind by Neal Shusterman. Trust me. The next thing you should read is Fire by Kristin Cashore. And the last recommendation I'm going to give you is Archangel by Sharon Shinn. Those last two have strong female characters. But start with Unwind because it's just fabulous. Oh, and The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Amazing! The Book Thief is especially wonderful in audio. The narrator has a voice like liquid chocolate.

    If you're looking for more recommendations, I suggest joining and becoming my friend. (Robin Grosland)

  4. You clearly have not been reading the right vampire books. :) I like a little bit of everything, including the undead. And I second Robin's suggestion of - tailored recommendations based on what you've read and liked. Visiting from SITS today.

  5. I am SO with you on the Vampire/werewolf stuff and ESPECIALLY the lack of strong female characters! I am definitely more of a fiction girl but there hasn't been really been a plethora of choices out there in the fiction world if you aren't into blood sucking...
    Scarlett and Jo, NEVER disappoint. And there ain't nothin' wrong with re-reading a classic every once in awhile. I know that what I truly want to tackle is Mists of Avalon, but it looks scary(the size, I mean)!
    Happy SITS day!