Discussion: Male Main Characters

Yesterday, I wrote a post about my favorite male main characters. While I was looking through my “read” shelf on Goodreads, I couldn’t help but notice two things. So I thought that today, I would talk about it with you!

Discovery #1: I haven’t read many books through a male POV

I’m not saying that I haven’t read any -otherwise how would I have made a list yesterday?- but compared to the amount of books from a female point of view, it seems insignificant. I know that I would relate a bit more to a female main character because I am a woman myself, but that doesn’t mean that I am not interested in reading from a guy’s view.

I have been trying to read a bit more diverse in the past few months and have read some great books with diverse characters, like None of the Above which has an intersex main character, or books about an LGBT character, or a character with a different ethnicity. It’s definitely important to not only write more books like this, but it is essential as well for us to read them. Would a male point of view be considered as diverse as well? From what I’ve seen on my read shelf, to me it should… Because apparently, most of the books I read are about white females.

Do you have the same problem on your read shelf? How do you feel about this? And do you have any recommendations of books with male main characters? 

Discovery #2: the relationship between fantasy and a male POV

When I do look at all the books I have read with a male main character, almost all of them are fantasy! Now, I am not saying that there aren’t any kick-ass women in fantasy. I mean, look at Throne of Glass, Mistborn and so on. There are definitely some great fantasy books about women. What I am trying to say, is that fantasy is the most prominent genre in which I have found male POVs. So my question is: why have I read barely anything with a male MC that isn’t fantasy? I can think of Winger and I Hunt Killers at the moment, but most of the others are fantasy. 

Maybe I just haven’t read those other books in the different genres? I don’t know. Have you noticed this? And/or could you recommend me a book with a male main character that isn’t fantasy?

Discussion: On Guilt

Today, I thought I’d make a little discussion post about guilt. I only started my blog in September of 2014 so I’m a fairly recent blogger. Lately, I’ve been feeling guilty for various reasons, all related to either reading or my blog. I don’t know whether it’s a thing every blogger feels or if it is just me but I thought I’d talk about it here anyway. I’ve  been feeling guilty for several different reasons.

  1. Loving a book that others/other bloggers disliked.
    I know that reading tastes are very different and as we are all unique, we all tend to like different things. Yet somehow, I feel guilty when I give a book a good rating/review and see that others disliked it. What if someone bought this book based on my recommendation and then hated it? So yes, I feel guilty about this. It leads to me feeling guilty for liking something which I shouldn’t be! If I loved it, then I should definitely be able to say so. This community is so kind, and everyone accepts that we have different reading tastes which is why they’d never judge you for loving that book. It’s definitely not the other bloggers that make me feel guilty, it’s all me.
  2. Disliking a universally loved book.
    The complete opposite of #1, but no less true. For example, The Great Gatsby. I HATE THAT BOOK. Yet everyone seems to love it for some reason. It makes me think I missed something about it. Did I not read it thoroughly enough? It’s a classic, so maybe it’s because I wasn’t raised speaking English? It makes me doubt myself but most of all, it makes me feel guilty for disliking it. The same goes for hyped up books. I’m always afraid to read them because it raises my expectations so high I often end up disappointed -looking at you, The Maze Runner.
  3. Having periods where I’m extremely busy.
    As some of you may know, I do go to university. It’s my final bachelor year which basically means they dump a whole load of work and projects on your lap. That combined with my social/student life and keeping up the blog can lead to periods where I don’t really have much time to read. Which also means there won’t be a lot of reviews going up. And I feel so guilty about that! I know that it is normal to have busy periods, but I want my content to be consistent and good!
  4. Not being able to read review books immediately.
    Aaaah, how bad this makes me feel. Currently, I have about 13 unread books from Netgalley, 1 from Edelweiss and 2 from authors. And since I have to study most of the day -every day- up until the end of January, I don’t have much time. And since I’m a mood-reader I really need to feel like reading that book before I pick it up. If I pick it up just out of obligation, I’ll end up hating it. And even though I warn the authors beforehand, that it probably will take me a few months before I end up reading their book, I feel guilty about it.
  5. DNFing a book.
    The guilt I feel when I DNF a book -especially a review book- is indescribable. I mean, the publisher/author expects a review from me in return for me receiving it. But sometimes, there’s just no other choice for me. I did this last year with Whole in the Clouds, because I could not carry on reading that one. And while I made a review explaining my reasons for not finishing it, it didn’t lessen my feelings of guilt.
  6. Not having read a hyped up book.
    This happens to me so often! I don’t know why, but I have trouble picking up books that the blogging community universally loves, because I’m afraid to be disappointed. But then, you end up being the only one that hasn’t read that book! Examples: I haven’t read The Winner’s Curse, Splintered, Heir of Fire, etc. GUILT(Y).
  7. Barely having read any classics.
    As I was born and raised in Belgium, I’ve never been obliged to read the classics like in American/English high schools. So I never really did. I think the only classic I’ve read is The Great Gatsby, which I read in 2013 and loathed. This year, I made it my resolution to read 2 classics so I can catch up a bit and stop feeling so guilty/ashamed. Recommendations are always welcome!

I’m pretty sure I could come up with other topics I feel guilty about, but for now I’ll leave it at this. Do any of you experience the same thing? I’d love to hear about it!

On reading slumps and finding time

Today, I am talking about something a little different than my previous posts, namely reading slumps. If you don’t know what a reading slump is, it’s a period where you suddenly don’t feel like reading anymore. You don’t feel motivated to pick up a book, and if you have the story doesn’t seem to grip you. You can’t seem to get into the story and don’t feel like finishing it. For a book blogger/booktuber, reading slumps are the worst. It makes me feel guilty, because I want to be reading and reviewing books for my blog. But I shouldn’t feel guilty about it because there is nothing I can do to change it.

Right now, my reading slump is created by two things:
The first one is that I started university again this week. I haven’t seen most of my friends in 3 months so right now we are catching up and spending time together, which to me trumps reading. Finding time to read in between meeting my friends and going to classes is hard and I need to get back in the rhythm again. Once I’m back in it, I’ll find the time again, don’t worry! The second reason is probably that I’m reading several books at once. Or is that a consequence of a reading slump and not a cause? I don’t know. Anyway, I’m having trouble sticking to a story and getting involved in it so I’m reading more than one book at a time which I normally never do.

While I hate being in a reading slump, there’s really not much I can do about it. And I refuse to feel guilty about it, it happens to everyone. So I apologize if the reviews in the next week will slow down, I just haven’t been reading as much. I’m hoping this slump only lasts a week or so until I get back in the rhythm of class and can combine my social life with a blogging life. I will still be posting blog posts, I’m not taking a break from that.

Do you have any tips for getting out of a reading slump? Let me know in the comments!