This is a cool list but some of these books would make my anti-uplifting/hopeful list. Love the work done but next time could your voting post be a little more clear about the definition of what they are voting for. Can’t help feeling some of these books are a full book about some type of torture and then an uplifting ending after long drawn out painful book. It makes sense the more powerful the darkness during the 90% of the book the more bright the final exit out of the darkness seems. I Nice Bears Dad A Son’s First Hero A Daughter’s First Love Shirt used this/the voting thread to curate my ebook wishlist from the local library during the pandemic. Thank you! It is exactly what I was needing!
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From a less structured, purely personal POV, Wizard is probably the most uplifting of the three. But even then, my ‘emotional memory’ of reading it is a novel of – tense, if not outright horrifying – pursuit. The book is about Ged making up for one moment of catastrophic failure, and how that failure hounds him (literally) throughout his life. It is absolutely a novel of someone finding peace at the end (so, I’ll buy the uplifting!), but for the bulk of the novel, there’s no Nice Bears Dad A Son’s First Hero A Daughter’s First Love Shirt peace to be found. So, thinking through it, I suppose I categorize ‘hopeful and uplifting’ less as the lesson learned, and more of the emotional response I got from reading it. Wizard is a glorious, near-perfect book, but I’ve never found it a comfort read on a page-by-page level, unlike many of the others on the list.
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If publishers assume a sizeable portion of grimdark readers will automatically dismiss a book by a woman, then they probably won’t publish it or will under-market it if they do. Meanwhile if a decent portion of hopeful readers are specifically looking for things to contrast the way female characters can sometimes be treated in those male-authored books, they’d probably have to turn to books by women authors. Men just don’t write that many women on average. So there’s a Nice Bears Dad A Son’s First Hero A Daughter’s First Love Shirt audience there for publishers to target. I think a lot of the voters were fairly widely read, and reading widely lends itself to including books by women on your shelves. Might not fully explain the disparity, but probably explains why it’s not weighted in the other direction like most polls.
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