Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Open Thread for Readers

Open Thread for Readers




Today we’re opening it up for readers. What’s on your mind as it relates to books? Is there a book that has lingered long after you read it?  How about a book that you’re hotly anticipating? Did you discover a new story that you’re super excited about?

I’ll start off. The very first review I did here at Dear Author was an angry one about a historical wherein the main male lead pretended, for most of the book, to be his twin brother. The male and female leads make love in the story and she still believes it to be his twin brother. I couldn’t get over that. I felt like she was in love with who the main male lead pretended to be rather than the actual man. Later in the story she learns the truth and declares she had always been in love with the male lead rather than the twin he pretended to be.

The author wrote a justification for this by saying that the heroine knew before the first time they’d made love that the hero was the hero and not the twin, but I didn’t see it in the text.

So frustrated was I by the justification, I had to write a review and put it out publicly. It was my only way to respond to the text, the only way to vent my dissatisfaction and staunch disagreement with the book. Okay, not the only way but I still remember the sting of anger when I read the author’s justifications and wanted to howl that the text never said what she claimed it said.

When writing the review, I felt some catharsis but I still remember that book and how angry it made me feel. In some ways, I suppose that is good. The author achieved something in that nearly a decade later, I still think of the book from time to time and, well, how mad I was about it. I’ve never re-read it and I’ve gone on to read other books by the author since then.

The trickster lead is a difficult one primarily because I just have a hard time buying into the true love. Is the heroine in love with whom the hero pretended to be or in the real man? I almost always think the former. Generally, this is a trope I’ll shy away from for exactly that reason.

Do you have any long memories of books you loved or hated? Do you remember the first book review you wrote or the one that burned up emails between you and a reader friend? Let’s remind each other what we’re here for. Today is about books and readers. Go forth and inspire each other to read awesome!


Wednesday News: Antitrust concerns for Comcast merger, China’s book banning, Publishers Weekly talks about diversity with publishers, and Walt Whitman’s advice to Oscar Wilde

Wednesday News: Antitrust concerns for Comcast merger, China’s book banning, Publishers...

According to the 16-page submission, the merger will reduce competition by providing Comcast with over 40 percent of the market for broadband internet services, and make it easier for the incumbents to hobble “over-the-top” challengers like Netflix by congesting their internet traffic.

The document, signed by antitrust experts from across the country including Columbia’s Tim Wu and Stanford’s Mark Lemley, comes as the FCC decides whether or not to approve the $45 billion merger, which was announced in February. A decision is expected in 2015. –Gigaom

China has detained a prominent scholar who helped blind dissident Chen Guangcheng flee to the United States two years ago and has banned books by eight writers in an escalating crackdown on dissent.

Guo Yushan, a founder of the Transition Institute, a think-tank that researches business regulations, reform and civil society, was detained on Thursday, his wife, Pan Haixia, said.

More than 10 police officers took him away along with his laptop, wireless router, mobile phone and iPad, she said. –Reuters

The panel drew a small but lively audience that, while more diverse than most industry gatherings, inadvertently highlighted one concern among many attendees: the people with the power to address the issue of diversity in the industry are not making it a priority. Only one senior publishing executive from a Big Five house attended the panel with the majority of the audience consisting of editorial staffers. There was only one person from marketing, cited during the program as a key department for providing support to a diverse list. –Publishers Weekly

The real subject of Whitman’s conversation wasn’t literary form; it was how to build a career in public, with all the display that self-glorifying achievement requires. We can deduce that with confidence because the first thing Whitman did when he reached his den was to give his guest a photograph of himself. Whitman had pioneered the idea that a writer in search of fame should fashion himself as a literary artifact. When Leaves of Grass was self-published in 1855 it did not have Whitman’s name on the title page; instead, it had his portrait on the preceding page, showing the author standing tall in workman’s garb, his collar open, his left hand in one pocket of his slacks, his right resting on his hip, his bearded head topped by a hat set at a cocky angle, and his eyes meeting the reader with a stare simultaneously casual and challenging. No writer had ever presented himself to the public this way, let alone so intentionally. (Or with a visible button fly.) This frontispiece is now considered, the scholars Ed Folsom and Charles M. Price write, “the most famous in literary history.” –New Republic