Female or Male Author? What was the first book you've read in 2015?

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Female or Male Author? What was the first book you've read in 2015?

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Dec 27, 2014, 2:10am

Not a question I can recall I've ever given thought of. But a quick look shows, that reality is incredibly skewed to male authors.

A conscious thought, or not?

What are your thought on the matter?

And more importantly, what did you finish reading as the first book in the New Year?

Dec 28, 2014, 9:07pm

Well, now you made me self-conscious about this, I better make it a giiiiiirl! :)

Actually, it's quite likely to be, as I just picked up and got unexpectedly hooked (I only meant to give it a glance) on The widowmaker (La fabbricante di vedove) by Maria Fagyas--based on a true story no less, about a spate of suspicious male deaths in a village in postwar (the WWI) Hungary. There's an (old) movie made about the story I was trying to track and didn't plan to read the whole book, but the style and tone surprised me--very direct and frank-speaking (for 1965, and 1920s of the plot--but I guess peasants or Hungarian peasants weren't given to verbal niceties and frills), amusingly biting, knowing and ironic.

So far so great.

Dec 29, 2014, 10:32am

I have The Bees by Laline Paull, but have started in on The Martian by Andy Weir.

Dec 29, 2014, 10:44am

As 2015 hasn't arrived yet, I can't answer the question!

Edited: Jan 1, 2015, 4:56am

As I only have a few pages left of A Cook's Life I can fairly surely say that it will be by a woman.

ETA Finished. I enjoyed this one.

Jan 1, 2015, 10:42am

Okay, it'll be by a woman.

Last night, I was thinking about the New Year's Day scene in Louisa May Alcott's Rose in Bloom, so decided to re-read it today. But I can't unless I read Eight Cousins first. Fortunately, I have nothing else to do today, so I can whip them both out.

Jan 1, 2015, 11:04am

My first finished book of the year will be Pandemonium by Daryl Gregory, which I began reading on December 30th and am likely to finish today.

But my first book read entirely in 2015 is going to be Mrs. Dalloway. I've actually never read any Virginia Woolf before and I need to get started!

Jan 1, 2015, 12:03pm

Well, I finally read the last story in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes this morning, so I guess my answer is male. However, if going by the logic of my first book read entirely in 2015, it will probably be one by a female author. My aim is to get Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich out of the library on Monday. Otherwise, my other current reads were all begun before 2015 and have a 2:1 female-to-male author breakdown.

>7 sparemethecensor: By the way, over in the Monthly Author Reads group, we chose Virginia Woolf as an author for February. The discussion thread is already up if you want to chime in with any comments. Mrs. Dalloway is the only Woolf I've read before -- I thoroughly enjoyed it the first time for being something so new and different to me. The second time I still liked it, but it lost some of its edge. That's just my two cents. :)

Jan 1, 2015, 12:23pm

>8 sweetiegherkin: Thanks for letting me know! I'll definitely want to go over and join the discussion.

Jan 1, 2015, 1:06pm

my first of the year will be the price of salt by patricia highsmith. just started it. it's my first highsmith and i'm looking forward to it.

Jan 1, 2015, 4:42pm

>10 overlycriticalelisa: Really enjoyed that book as well as Highsmith's Ripley novels.

Edited: Jan 1, 2015, 4:45pm

I am almost done with Bride of the Rat God by Barbara Hambly, so my first read will be by a woman. This book was slower going than I anticipated. I thought it would be my last read of 2014! I just am not that into it, I guess. I think I expected it to be campier and funnier than it actually is.

>10 overlycriticalelisa: I've only read one book by Highsmith, The Talented Mr. Ripley, which I really loved. I'll have to read more.

Edited: Jan 1, 2015, 6:17pm

>11 nohrt4me2:, >12 sturlington:

i think i'll be reading more patricia highsmith, too...

Jan 1, 2015, 10:42pm

The first book I finished reading this year was written by a man, nl. Saul Bellow's Heart. A Son's Memoir.

Jan 4, 2015, 8:52am

The first book I finished reading in 2015 is Daughters of Earth: Feminist Science Fiction in the Twentieth Century, which I got for Christmas. It's a collection of 11 short stories written by female science fiction authors between 1927 and 2002. Each one is coupled with an essay written by an academic (2 male, 9 female). The editor is a woman. So that makes my first read of the year a book written mostly by women, and with a female subject matter.

Jan 4, 2015, 2:13pm

>15 Dilara86:, that sounds like a great present! I'm gonna check that out to see if it's in Kindle format.

Jan 5, 2015, 4:39am

>16 nohrt4me2: It is! The short stories ranged from interesting to excellent (IMO) and the essays were thought-provoking. I learnt stuff, and I discovered new (to me) authors. It's a gentler, less dry, introduction to feminist SF than The Battle of the Sexes in Science Fiction or The Secret Feminist Cabal: A Cultural History of Science Fiction Feminisms. Some of the stories are not "conventional" SF of the spaceship, alien and Martian colony variety. They might count as science fiction because they have a sciency subject matter, for example. I get the impression from the essays that some people in the SF community have been very busy gate-keeping. There clearly has been a lot of discussion around the question of what counts as science fiction, and as feminist science fiction. The book's contributors were on the more inclusive side.

Jan 5, 2015, 10:55am

The first book I finished this year was The Gilly salt sisters, female authored and mainly concerned with female characters. I've since started Blood and iron, A stranger in Olondria and The book of Small, so this year is starting well on the Books by Women front.

Jan 5, 2015, 1:49pm

Just finished my first book of the year, The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport. Nonfiction about girls by a woman. Good start!

Jan 5, 2015, 1:58pm

First book finished (but not started) in 2015 was Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. My first book started in 2015 was Swann by Carol Sheilds. So both women.

Jan 16, 2015, 11:06am

First book finished ... New Year's Day, but it would have been a carry-over from a day or two earlier: Emily St. John Mandel's Station Eleven. In the subsequent few days I did some finishing up on a big Tennessee Williams read of the plays, the stories, and the new biography by John Lahr.

First full book read (started and finished) in the New Year ... The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins. Bleah. Followed up by Miles Franklin's My Career Goes Bung, which I didn't like as much as My Brilliant Career.

Edited: Feb 15, 2015, 12:09am

First book finished this year - I Love You More by Jennifer Murphy.

mystery set in North Carolina

Feb 16, 2015, 3:31pm

I had to think back, but the first book I read was a Christmas present from my mom, Kimono: A Modern History which is by a woman, but it was pretty much chance - I always ask for something extravagant (also known as expensive, long and usually non-fiction) in the book department for Christmas and am always still reading it when the year turns.

Edited: Feb 19, 2015, 12:26pm

My first in 2015 was by a woman, featuring female detective Phryne Fisher: Ruddy Gore by Kerry Greenwood.