Vaginal Fantasy Book Club discussion

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message 1: by Nicole (new)

Nicole (tehninini) I know everyone has their own biases -- favorite writers, favorite styles, favorite genres -- but to what extent does the influence of your favorite author(s) or book(s) have over your judgment of another one's work? I keep on hearing people throwing around comparisons and likening this author to that author, and I understand that people use those comparisons to recommend things. Sort of like a, "Hey, you like that? Try this!" Yes, this exposes readers to similar bodies of literature that they would otherwise not. Yes, it's probably a compliment to be grouped in with the biggies of that particular genre. But I can't help but wonder if people are doing those authors an unintended disservice by overshadowing them with a decidedly great one; indiscriminately having been chosen for possessing a similar voice yet not a distinct one.

And once you start that new book does the influence set in? Do the preconceived notions of what you know you like somehow change your opinion of what you're reading right now? Is it for better or for worse? I'm only questioning this because of a comment I read on another website -- where a person, after reading a book by an author that left such strong residual emotions, could not rate another above 3 stars out of 5 since. By in large, I felt as if those expectations she held from that one put others that she read at a disadvantage right from the start.

Anyhow, I'm not sure if this an appropriate discussion relative to Vaginal Fantasy, but rather just reading in general. I'm new to this bookworm thing and my questions are probably the worst ever. Nevertheless, I'd really love to hear the thoughts of others, especially the ladies who are running this book club if they choose to humor me.


message 2: by Kate (new)

Kate (kathenwood) | 8 comments Well, maybe if you flavor your questions a bit differently--say, making it more specific to the books that will be focused on in this group--then it's totally appropriate.
Therefor, I counter with the question:
If you have particular tastes regarding vaginal genre books, does it help or harm them to compare them to other authors or series? Does it effect our preconceived opinions of either book? I, for one, don't like it when people compare things I don't know to something I do in order to get me to read it. I find that I usually don't agree with the person doing the comparison, and then my expectation of the book aren't where they need to be for me to enjoy it. So many people told me that I'd love the Hunger Games, it was so great, just like so-and-so, and yeah, it was enjoyable, but I didn't fall head-over-heels for the book. I just didn't enjoy it as much.


message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele (nerdmichele) | 74 comments Keep in mind as well, what we consider a "good" book is so subjective that our own opinions will change with our age, circumstances, emotional mindset, etc at the time of reading. Books I thought amazing only a few years ago may not resonate so strongly with me now were I to reread them.

This is one of the reasons why I dislike rereading; the other being that I can usually remember too much, making the reread boring.


message 4: by Nicole (last edited Feb 28, 2012 06:15PM) (new)

Nicole (tehninini) Lais writes: " It is true though, once you read a fantastically good book..good characters, good plot progression, good world building, tight writing..it is hard to read something that isn't as well done. It's like the difference between homemade oven fresh pastries and pop tarts."

Bravo. You've managed to actually say what I think I was trying to get at all this time. To start a new book, after finishing something that left such an impression on you... how hard is it for people keep an open mind to trying new authors?

Let's forgo the recommendation thing. Say you're in a situation that was just mentioned -- read a fantastic book and now you're looking to enjoy something a little different, but reasonably within the same vein. Using myself as an example, I am coming from such a situation where I find myself trying my damnedest to look at this author's work in an unbiased manner. They may not be the Neil Gaiman's, the Terry Pratchett's, or the James Patterson's of a given genre*.. but the way a previous story left an impression on me is incredibly hard to shake. I find myself not warming up to anything the book has to offer because of what I still feel, causing me not to give my current read a proper go through.

I suppose I can relate this back to what Felicia said in the first VF Hangout. The whole genre of books that this group is centered around aren't as celebrated or reviewed in "mainstream stuff" as novels of different tastes (i.e. mystery). With that in mind, posing a relatively lesser known author verses a celebrated one with much clout or play, may not seem to give way to newer voices being heard. I may be alluding to a more different topic of independent/unknown authors against the big dogs, which could probably be an entire thread all in itself, but it's important to know that is the sort of state of mind I am coming from. These authors depend on the reviews that their readers give them and, for instance, my being influenced by another book, doesn't give their voice a chance to be heard as a separate entity in order to be critiqued fairly.

You have no idea how relieved I was to actually get a response or two in this thread. Here I was thinking that maybe I had written my opening post in a way that didn't even invite discussion; that it was too open-ended as if it were just me transmitting my thoughts into space hoping to pick up a couple of alien radio waves here and there. So thanks to everyone so far for entertaining my thoughts!

* Sorry these are the only three I could think of since everyone mentions them, for good reason. I know it's definitely not related to VF at all, and admittedly, I have not read any of their boo--oh, what was that? The sound of my credibility flushing down the drain?

** Also, my grammar and punctuation is horrendous. Forgive me!


message 5: by Necrophidian (new)

Necrophidian | 74 comments Nicole wrote: "Say you're in a situation that was just mentioned -- read a fantastic book and now you're looking to enjoy something a little different, but reasonably within the same vein. Using myself as an example, I am coming from such a situation where I find myself trying my damnedest to look at this author's work in an unbiased manner. They may not be the Neil Gaiman's, the Terry Pratchett's, or the James Patterson's of a given genre*.. but the way a previous story left an impression on me is incredibly hard to shake. I find myself not warming up to anything the book has to offer because of what I still feel, causing me not to give my current read a proper go through."

Personally, I try to take things for what they are. This goes for any kind of media. I take whatever I can get out of it. I don't go into it expecting A to measure up to B, regardless of any prior comparisons that may have been made. Even if A and B are in the same genre, they're different works.

It's like the concept of 'Best Picture' or 'Best Album'. I've never understood that. How do you compare several fantastic but completely different works and declare one the best? It doesn't compute for me (consequently, I largely ignore award shows).

So, I guess what I'd recommend is: don't look at the similarities, look at the differences. Sure, maybe B isn't going to make the kind of impact on you that A did... but B is definitely going to have things in it that A didn't. What are those things and do you like them? If you do, you're all set. B is giving you something A didn't provide. Not everything has to rock your world to be worth your time, right?

'Course, this is all coming from someone who will seek out epically bad movies just to sit thru them with friends for a MST3K treatment, so... take it for what it's worth. ;)


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