International women’s day.

Today marks the annual celebration of International Women’s Day. A day when we celebrate women, and how stereotypes are slowly changing. More and more we are seeing advertising for women to enter trades that previously were considered inappropriate for a female. The well publicised Women in Engineering campaign seems to be reaching far and wide, although interestingly statistically only 5% of qualified pilots are female.

As a lover of crime and thriller books this statistic made me wonder, considering most books I read have a lead female enforcement officer, how this compares to the police fore. Here in the U.K. It appears nearly 30% of the police force is female, with 21% in senior positions, making the fictional characters feel more realistic.

In support of that, The guardian published the success of female authors in January:

“Female writers dominated 2017’s literary bestsellers, figures show
Topped by Margaret Atwood, the UK’s Top 10 bestselling authors of literary fiction last year features only one male writer, Haruki Murakami”

Im sure shock value and hype are pertially to credit for this, along eith some amazing acting in the Hulu remake of A Handmaids Tale. the story has long been a point of contention for alot of people as it forms part of a reading list which always helps with interest, however coming in fourth on the list is The Power, by Naomi Alderman a book released in 2016 was also a big hit, potentially due to some amazing marketing – if red clocks follows the same trend we’ll realise that sometimes whilst we preach dont choose a book by its cover, we potentially are because social media is the new shop window for books. Im a cause as much as a victim. I choose a book because the cover catches my eye, or because everyones talking about it. (the Six of Crows duology is the perfect example of this) sometimes it pays off, sometimes I wish I’d just stuck to my own TBR pile. But I take photos of books that I enjoy, I share them on social media sites, I tell people about them I help build that hype based on my personal opinions.

While theres plent of male authors that I enjoy reading (Chris Brookmyre is probably top of that list for me) I wanted to credit the female authors whos books take me to different worlds(Holly Black & Cassandra clare), those who teach me something while i read (Kathy Reichs and Patricia Cornwell), those who make me think continually while I read ( CL Taylor, BA Paris, Gillian Mcallister) and ghe people whos books just give me a warm hug (Sophie Kinsella and Paige Toon). whilst there are plently of others who I could nominate I dont want this post to become a list of authors. (but lets not forget Jennifer L Armentrout, with her annoucement about the expected degredation of her eye sight the positivity that comes from her both as a person and a writer is amazing.)

Theres one other author I cant not mention. For anyone that knows me this wont be a shock, but I guess from the above theres such a mixture of authors it may be less obvious for people who dont.  Sarah J Maas.

Now, Im going to try and not waffle on, but right now Ms Maas sits in my top spot. Im a little out of the age bracket for her books ( although I did read this week that statistically the YA genre is growing and this is due to people like me, a little older, picking up the books) but I just cant resist.

I am a Proud Maasasin.

I get engrossed in the storylines, the strong female characters and the world created is both desirable and not. I enjoy the ‘novellas’ that are longer than most normal books, and the hints and characters that subtly appear and disappear only to have a big and potentially lasting impact later on. I love Aelin and Feyre. whilst being completely different the strength in the characters is similar, in both how they lead the story and in their own growth. *sigh*

With two books scheduled for release this year, one being part of the DC Legends for YA, Catwoman, and the hugely anticipated A Court of Frost and Starlight, part of the ACoTAR series the summer is going to be a brilliant time to be a bookworm.

Thank you to all the female authors out there for giving us somewhere to escape to, and thank you to the male authors for all the strong female lead characters they create.

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