Ladies vs Gentlemen fight 1

A more detailed look at the books I read (finished). The fight between sexes… 😉 Or the definite proof that I’m a sexist. Or the clash between #readwomen2014 and #diversereading2014.

Out of 9 books I read in the last 2 months, I read:

  • 1 graded-reader book (fiction);
  • 2 non-fiction books;
  • 6 fiction books.

#Readwomen2014

Dividing it by gender would make a list like:

  • 1 non-fiction book by a man;
  • 1 non-fiction book by a mixed sex couple;
  • 2 fiction books by women;
  • 5 fiction books by men.

Out of those books in January and February 2014 I reviewed 4, including one of the ladies’ books – “Zaremba…” . The other one – Heartland – was reviewed already in March.

How sexist that makes me, according to #readwomen2014?  Last year I read 6 out of 25 books written solely by women. So, comparing to last year, it’s not that bad. But I didn’t read too many books last year. This year I’ll definitely beat my last year’s number as I plan to read 5 volumes long sf series written by Elizabeth Moon. 😛 Nothing to brag about, right?

But I said that there would be also a different point of view. Please remember that I’m from Poland. 😉

#DiverseReading2014

In January and February 2014 I read books by writers from:

    • Belarus (1)
    • Lithuania (1)
    • Poland (2)
    • Russia (1)
    • South Africa (1)
    • USA (2)
    • USA/UK (1)

It doesn’t look especially diverse… unless I’ll give you some background information about my reading. January 2014 was my designed month for reading Polish books (or about Poland), February 2014 was my month for reading writers from Poland’s neighbouring countries (e.g. Belarus, Lithuania, Russian).

When it comes to author’s countries:

  • I probably never have read any contemporary Belarussian author before Ihar Babkou.
  • I probably never have read any contemporary Lithuanian author before Juozas Pożera.
  • I haven’t read Russian sf in years. And the edition I read was written in Russian (tho simple).
  • Last time I read African writer it was few months ago (in 2013) and it was reread of “Things Fall Apart”. It’s probably my first time in several years when I’m reading a new African writer (I read some during my studies, but I don’t have a list). A South African lady, Jann Turner.

No Asian authors as I’ve been reading a lot of them, tho I plan to further expand the writers countries. And even read less of USA and UK writers.

What about the themes?  I (even!) read two romance books (I hate romances), tho in both cases the romance was mixed with politics of either contemporary Poland – Zaremba… –  or the end of apartheid in South Africa – Heartland. I read stories about life on Siberia and on the ship going there. I read a novel about LGBT bohema in 80s in Poland – Gorące uczynki, which is not a thing I’m usually interested in. I read two SF books – one of them was the alternate history in the future – Dzieci Nocy – which would probably be closest to my usual reading habits but the authors were still new to me. I read a strange book where reality is mixed with dreams – Adam Kłakocki… And I read non-fiction books, one about literature theory and one about the graphics in a city (Tokyo). I’m quite satisfied with the variety of themes.

Should I feel bad that I read only 2 books by female writers? No. The books were cliché and I liked the depiction of love better in Juozas Pożera’s stories. Will I stop reading female authors? No. But I know that I’m not interested in love themes, that – a jump in the future – are even in military sf written by a woman. Aaargh.

The best books I read this year (so far) was written by a man, Juozas Pożera. Sorry to say that but tho Heartland was sometimes shocking  and at some levels I could even empathise with the character (I got “similar” problems with “standards for the ladies”) it  was Pożera’s book that really touched my heart and soul.

Of course I’m presenting it as a female vs. male because that is what the whole #readwomen2014 is in my opinion. I usually don’t care about the sex of a person – and sometimes it’s hard to figure it out (names), when it’s not written . Earlier I have never put off a book on the shelf based on the sex of the writer. Now, I did. I put off some books by male writers just to read (in the end) the not so good books written by women.  Those books plots were even sounding more interesting for me than those I picked up eventually. Am I happy with my choice? Hell no. Am I happy that I decided to read books based on author’s gender? Hell no.

The fight for souls of a reader between female and male writers book in January and February 2014 is won by male writers. Sorry ladies. I got yet another favourite male writer to my list – Juozas Pożera – and I’m quite sure I’ll be looking for more of his books in the future.

What authors did you read more often in January and February 2014 – ladies or gentlemen? How about the topics of the books, or the writer’s countries? Or do you always read the same things?

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