Let’s Talk Bookish – Writers of Diverse Books

Good morning and welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Who do you think is qualified to write a book with diverse characters?

At first, I thought it would be best if only people who are a part of that diverse group should write about such characters, but I’ve realized that that is unrealistic, and maybe unfair.

There’s one thing that I hate more than a bad book: a bad one with misrepresentation.

I’m part of a minority group, and I know how frustrating it can be to find books, specifically YA books, with people like me. The few books that do have, for instance, Muslim representation, are not always correct, and they don’t always handle the Muslim aspect of the book very well, which leaves me frustrated and dissatisfied.

I would love to see more diversity and more representation, but I want it to be done right, not halfway, or completely overboard. I want to learn about other minority groups and what life is like for them through books, but I don’t want to be learning/reading the wrong thing.

That’s why I believed that it would be best if only people who are from a minority group should write about characters with that representation. But that’s not possible. It’s unrealistic. It’s maybe a little unfair.

You have no idea if an author grew up in a diverse community or has friends from a variety of backgrounds. You have no idea if they based their book off of said friends, and did extensive research, and were just trying to do something good and help spread awareness. You can’t tell a person like that not to write diverse books, because they are trying, they know people from that diverse group, and they are helping spread awareness by publishing that book. And I’m so happy and grateful for those kind of authors.

But I also don’t want a Caucasian person who isn’t Muslim, and doesn’t know any Muslims or, for example, Hispanics, besides what he or she sees on TV writing a book about Muslims/Hispanics, or with a Muslim/Hispanic MC.

Some people may know a lot about what it’s like to be from a minority group, maybe because they grew up and lived with them, or have friends from such groups, and they take the time to learn about them.

But others have no ties to any minority groups, and their only information and contact with them is through a newspaper or TV, then for sure, I don’t believe someone like that should be writing a diverse book.

Honestly, we can’t choose who writes what, because everyone’s entitled to do whatever they want, but I just hope that in our bid to increase diversity, we get the good kind, the accurate kind more often than the disappointing misrepresented one.

This Week’s Participants:

Heran @ Be Frisky | Jane @ Blogger Books | Dani @ Literary Lion

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What do you think? Should people be allowed to publish books with diverse characters when they aren’t from the that group? If you are from a specific group, have you struggled to find accurate representation of what it is truly like for you? Chat with me in the comments below!

Let’s Talk Bookish – Spoilers

Good morning! Welcome back to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: Is there a time limit on spoilers? (suggested by Megan @ Megabunny Reads)

Many thanks to Megan for suggesting this topic! In a nutshell, I don’t think that there is a time limit on spoilers.

A spoiler is something which ruins a major (or minor) twist before the person has gotten to that part. Basically, if I told you the ending of a book, that’s a spoiler, because you didn’t know that, and it ruins the suspense if you were to read the book.

Should there be a time limit on them? No, I don’t think so.

There are many books out there in the world, and people are still reading them. Sure, it’s been a few hundred years since they were published, but people still read and enjoy them. That experience of not knowing what will happen in a book shouldn’t be ruined for them, no matter how long ago the book was published.

I haven’t read any Harry Potter books the shock! the horror!! I honestly don’t really plan on ever reading them so I, personally, don’t mind reading spoilers. However, if I did want to read it, I’d be super annoyed that wherever there was something related to the HP books, people were leaving unmarked spoilers everywhere.

You enjoyed reading the book. And I’m sure you enjoyed it more because you didn’t know how it ended/or because you weren’t expecting some of the twists. It doesn’t matter how old or popular the book is, I don’t think it’s fair for other readers to stop marking spoilers, just because it’s been a while since it was published.

There’s always going to be someone who hasn’t read that book, be it now or in another 100 years, and so there shouldn’t be a time limit on spoilers because that reader should be able to enjoy the book, as much as everyone else has.

And this should apply to movies, TV shows, etc… as well.

This Week’s Participants:

Megan @ Megabunny Reads | Heran @ Be Frisky | Jane @ Blogger Books | Dani @ Literary Lion | Vicki @ Diverse Fantasy Reads

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That’s it for this Friday! How are you doing? Are you excited for the break, if you’re having one? What do you think about spoilers? Should there be a time limit? Have you had a book that you were looking forward to spoiled by an unmarked spoiler? Chat with me in the comments below!

Let’s Talk Bookish – How Do You Deal With Problematic Books?

Hello, and welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: How do you deal with problematic books?

This post is already late, and I apologize for that. I’m going to make this brief, because I’m not really sure how I feel about problematic books, but I’d still love to hear your thoughts!

I feel like problematic books are kind of tricky. A good number of books probably have something that makes them slightly problematic, so it’s a little unavoidable. We can’t just not read any books, because one small portion is problematic.

I also don’t think that we should rate or review books based on that problematic part alone unless it happens virtually through-out the entire book. Sure, you can reduce your rating because of it, but if the rest of the book is good or well written, I think that you should mention that while also talking about what made it problematic.

I like Vicky’s idea to do it in pluses and minuses, reading a good book for every bad one, and keeping a balance between the two, but I feel like that’s not going to work for some people, like me. I probably wouldn’t notice if something was wrong in a book, unless it’s something I’m very aware of or have experienced (and I haven’t experienced much either so…).

Basically, I don’t know how to deal with problematic books, because I feel like I won’t recognize if something is problematic, until I read someone else’s review mentioning that it is. I also don’t think that we should absolutely condemn those kind of books, unless the whole book is harmful. If we only focus on the bad part, we’ll forget or not notice the good part which is not really fair for the author or the book. It all really depends on what happens, and how it is handled.

This Week’s Participants:

Jane @ Blogger Books | Literary Lion | Megan @ Megabunny Reads | Line @ First Line Reader | Aria @ Book Nook Bits

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What do you think? Have you read any books that are considered problematic? Did you notice it while you were reading or afterwards? How do you decide if something is problematic or not? Chat with me in the comments below!

Let’s Talk Bookish – Content Warnings

Welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: How do you feel about content warnings? (suggested by Lydia @ Lydia Schoch)

Many thanks to Lydia for suggesting! I think that content warnings are necessary for certain triggers, and that they can be helpful for readers, reviewers, and in some cases, publishers.

First of all, what are content warnings?

Content warnings are things in any form of media (but specifically in this case for books) that can potentially result in the reader having a strong emotional response. They are more general, while trigger warnings are more specific, and could have severe responses from certain readers. For this post, I’m going to be talking about both content and trigger warnings together.

Should they be included in books?

Yes. I think that they should. Not only would this be helpful for readers who are sensitive to certain topics, but it could also help reviewers who want to include trigger/content warnings when they are writing reviews.

I didn’t know much about content warnings and when I learned about them, I wanted to include them in my reviews, but I wasn’t sure what exactly would be considered a sensitive topic for a reader. If authors or publishers included content or trigger warnings in books, I could just copy what they mentioned in my review as well.

And most importantly, adding content/trigger warnings in books can help sensitive readers stay away from books that could potentially harm them. Sure, it might result in a book getting less sales, but isn’t it more important that the health of the reader is also taken into account?

Someone who doesn’t want to read a gory mystery might pick up a book thinking that it is clean, and then get shocked by excess description. That would probably lead to an upset and negative review, which doesn’t help the book. If the publisher added the warning so that the right kind of people would read it, it would save time on both sides, and possibly help reduce the amount of negative reviews written by people who had been hurt by the trigger.

Adding a content or trigger warning for every little thing in a book is not ideal, so I think that specific ones, such as abuse, death, gore, rape, and other serious triggers should be included at all times. The rest depends on how frequently it happens in the book, but then for some people, the trigger happening once is enough to hurt them. But, I know for sure that serious triggers need to be included in books, especially the books that don’t sound like they would have something like that.

It also depends on what kind of book it is. It’s ridiculous to put a content warning for murder/death in a murder mystery or an assassin thriller. Obviously there will be death and murder, even maybe a little abuse and gore, in those kind of books. But if the book sounds innocent, perhaps a heist or a contemporary novel, then I think it is necessary to include those kind of trigger warnings.

This Week’s Participants:

Sumedha @ The Wordy Habitat | Literary Lion | Jane @ Blogger Books | Megan @ Megabunny Reads

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That’s it for this Friday! What do you think about content warnings? Should they be added in all books regardless of their severity or of the genre of the book? Have you ever been shocked by a book that you didn’t expect to have that kind of trigger? Do you prefer when reviewers include content or trigger warnings in their reviews? Chat with me in the comments below!

Let’s Talk Bookish – What makes a great book?

Hi guys and welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: What, in your opinion, makes a great book?

This is a topic that I’m pretty excited about, because I think that the most important aspect of a book differs from reader to reader, so I’m excited to see all of your opinions about this! For me, plot is the most important aspect that makes a great book.

P.S. I just realized that I didn’t properly answer the question, because there are a lot of other things besides plot that makes a great book (the question doesn’t ask what’s the most important aspect, but what makes a great book), but I’m going to go with what I’ve already written for now because this post is already late. Sorry!

Plot

I flip flop a lot between my preference for character driven books, and plot driven books, but about 90% of the time, I prefer plot driven books.

The plot has to be thrilling, exciting, with good and believable twists and surprises. You can’t just have random things going on that have nothing to do with each other, or use magic to brush off something as “oh, magic fixed that, let’s move on”, and you can not have twists that are so far-fetched and so unbelievable, and so out of nowhere that I end up hating the book.

It has to be carefully and perfectly done. A few major twists, a few minor ones, an exciting build up to a stunning (preferably explosive) reveal, and a nice epilogue or wrap-up. If it’s a cliffhanger, it better be a very good one that leaves me shocked and crying for the next book. Those, in my opinion, are the ingredients for a perfect plot.

Why is plot what I think makes a book?

Well, I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, so the plot is everything. Even with fantasy books, or contemporaries or whatever, the plot still matters immensely, because it keeps the story moving. It can be a character-driven book, but there has to be something going on, something at stake for the characters to help make it a character-driven book.

If the book had no plot, and it’s supposed to be character-driven, what’s the point in reading it? There’s nothing going on, it’s just characters moving through life and recounting thoughts and stuff. Without a good plot (it can even be a weak one, there just has to be some sort of a plot that makes sense), there really is nothing to help them have a character arc, and it makes it tedious to read about their lives. Unless of course it’s a book about their lives, and even then, there will be some sort of a plot.

In mysteries or thrillers, the plot is the book. Without the plot, there is no book, so a good exciting plot is very important and non-negotiable in those kind of books. And it also has to be plausible and believable-no superhuman strengths or a person defying death too many times to count, when there is nothing in the book about a character with superhuman strength or the ability to defy death.

In conclusion, I think plot is the most important aspect in any book because it gives the reader something to look forward to, or something that motivates them to find out what happens at the end. You can have horrible characters, but a great plot, and that can still save the story for some readers.

This Week’s Participants:

Ashlee @ Books Are 42 | Jane @ Blogger Books


What do you think? Is plot the most important part in a book for you? Do you prefer character-driven or plot-driven books? Do you think that the most important aspect of a book differs from genre to genre, or reader to reader? What do you think makes a great book? Chat with me in the comments below!