the Little Red Reviewer

if only this were a post about cheesecake.

Posted on: March 9, 2017

It’s the best,  to read  a book and love it, and seek out more by the same author, and love those books too.

 

It’s the best, to meet an author at a convention or a book signing, or some other event, and find out they are just the nicest person in the world.

 

Thanks to the internet, us fans can find out everything about the authors we read – what their early non-writing jobs were, if they did any special writing workshops, if they teach at a university anywhere, what bookstores they might be doing book signings at, what their pets look like, if they have a cool new hairstyle,  their favorite sports teams,  if they like to play videogames, if they like to garden, their family cheesecake recipe.  You get the idea. Yay internet!

 

Thanks to the internet, us fans can find out everything about the authors we read – their political views, if they really really like something or really really dislike it, their lifestyle, how they raise their kids, and many very personal details about their private life.   Yay internet?

 

Here’s where I’m going with all of this.

 

you read a book.  You love the book. you seek out titles by that same author that you also enjoy.

 

You then find out the author’s political views are the complete opposite of yours. Or they live a type of lifestyle that you don’t agree with. Or they do something regrettable at a public event and they aren’t embarrassed by what happened (or maybe are quite embarrassed, but can’t turn back the clock), or they were involved with a project that ended up being controversial, or even worse, that they don’t like cheesecake.

 

So, what do you do?   Do you continue to enjoy their fiction (because you liked it just find before you found out they didn’t like cheesecake, right?)?  Do you stop reading their stuff?  I guess the same could be said for artists of any kind – musicians, composers, painters, fashion designers, architects, etc.

 

I am not going to name names, and if you comment to this post, I do not want you to name names either.  This isn’t about any particular author, or any particular anything.   I’m just curious to know if us as readers, fans, reviewers, and critics, give a shit about the personal lives of the authors whose works we enjoy.  Or to be more specific, how much of shit do we give. Should we give a shit?   If yes, how much?

 

 

by they way? Cheesecake is awesome, and if you like cheesecake you should totally go eat some. If you don’t like cheesecake, you should go eat something that you do like.  Maybe, apple pie? or cherry pie? or pumpkin pie? or lemon meringue pie? or key lime pie? If you don’t like any of those things, umm…..  i guess that means more for me!

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22 Responses to "if only this were a post about cheesecake."

There are countless good writers. Why put money into the pockets of one whose personal habits or beliefs violate your own moral code or run sharply counter to your own?

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If I KNOW of something about an author that directly runs against Christianity, I will take that into account when deciding to read their stuff.

Other stuff, absolutely. If some author is on the other political side of the fence and lets it all hang out in their books, I’m not going to bother. I’ll read books by authors whose politics I agree with.

But I don’t seek out authors to find things out. I prefer my authors to be mysterious figures above the common cut. Screw reality…

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Mmmm. Key lime pie….
This is a hard one. I used to have a shelf of “problematic” authors. Books I loved by authors I hated. Like, somehow, I thought if I kept them on a separate shelf, they wouldn’t infect my other books? It made no sense. When I moved to a small house, I got rid of those books, along with many other books, so… problem solved? I guess?
I might have to have some more pie while I think about it.

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I have several authors I won’t read due to political ramblings. A few I shouldn’t for their actions on the internet. And a few old favorites that I now won’t touch due to misrepresentations.

there are so many books I want to read I just don’t feel I am missing out so I don’t put money in their pockets.

Damn it, I want to name names =) But will respect the spirit of the post.

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I find that your opinion here (and probably the writers in question) almost 100% mirrors my own. I have decided that anyone I feel is actively trying to make the world a worse place shouldn’t be read, no matter how good the fiction. Fortunately, most of the people that offend me the most interest me the least.
Of course, my lines get scrambled once we’re talking old stuff. Plenty of white dudes there with some reprehensible views that I keep ignoring.

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Great discussion. For me, it’s hard to separate the two and would depend entirely on the particular topic and how hardcore their stance in shoving their mantra to the public.

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It has to be pretty bad for me to refuse to read a book based on an author’s beliefs/actions. Hurting children and glorifying rape will do it, but not a whole lot else. I also tend to read a lot of dead authors whose attitudes would never be accepted today.

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For me, it can be that the author is personally an @sshole who treats fans (who are his or her “customers” after all) like sh!t at conventions or other personal appearances, as much as their personal or political views, that can turn me off reading an author.

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A living author who uses their platform, celebrity, or money to support causes I find abhorrent will not be getting any of my money if I can help it. If they just seem like a jerk or say something somewhat problematic… that’s something I handle on a case-by-case basis. I’ve known enough public figures to understand how stressful it can be to be gracious and friendly all the time.

I don’t have as hard a line with deceased authors, although if I know something specific about them that might color someone’s experience with a book (or affects something I notice about a book), I’ll probably mention it in a review.

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I don’t ordinarily avoid authors due to their personal political views. Of course, if we have sharply differing political views, it’s unlikely I will enjoy their books in the first place (they probably tend to imagine worlds that are of no interest to me).

On the other hand, if it is not just internet rambling but actions, then I don’t feel like I can support an author. By this I mean stuff like actively attempting to make society dangerous for a subset of people, or actively committing crimes against people (especially children). One can never really know, though, because a lot of times these kinds of crimes can be hidden for many years. I try to avoid funding these sorts of people with my reading habits, when I do know.

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I don’t care about the politics of the person selling me sandwiches, why would I care about the politics of the person selling me stories?

I have unfollowed some authors on Twitter whose politics I find annoying (more because they’re banal or jerks about them than because we disagree), but I will still buy their books. But with a basically unlimited supply of books to potentially read, I’m naturally less likely to pick up a book by an author who goes out of their way to be a jerk.

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That’s a reason I don’t much like social media and internet coverage of people. Too much, all over, much unsubstantiated.

There’s a difference between talent and personality. If you tell me a good story, why should I care if you color your hair blue, or likes dogs over cats (or vice-versa), worship at a different church, have skin of a different color, support a cause I don’t support? To do that would be narrow minded, if the discussion is about books / writing. [or painting, composing, performing, etc.]

I judge on the product, not the producer.

Now I answered. Gimme my slice of cheesecake, please.

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you want cherry topping or strawberry topping on your cheesecake? 🙂

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Rasberry or lemon, please, or straight may be the best of all.

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That’s a real tough question, and I guess it depends on a lot of stuff. If their views colour their work then yes, it really does put me off buying their work.

And if I know that they are pushing an agenda and being nasty about it then I’m less likely to look for their work. But if they just disagree with me about things (unless they disagree about human rights for women, poc, glbtq etc.) then it won’t affect my buying habits.

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I believe it was (admittedly non-genre) author D.H. Lawrence who said something to the effect of, “Trust the book, not the writer.” I generally only have problems with SF authors who use their work to overtly push a socio-political point of view. They’re generally poor writers, anyway.

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I read authors I disagree with all the time. If my political and social ideas can’t withstand a challenge from an author’s words, my ideas are pretty weak.

We live in a varied world. Expose me to your ideas, your thoughts, your perspective and heart. That’s *why* I read books.

I have stopped reading an author’s work when the author’s views are blatantly abhorrent. We can disagree on the size of the federal government, the role of religion in public life, and many other subjects. If you say people with my political beliefs or skin tone are “literal traitors to the human race,” though, I’ll never buy your books again. If you say that a group of people don’t deserve to exist, ditto.

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*eyeballs responses for food references*

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If I find out that an author I enjoy has views which I abhor, I will stop reading their output. There are plenty of other books being published. On the other hand, people are only human and I’ll forgive someone’s past slip-ups. No names here!

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This might be a situation where, in fact, ignorance IS bliss.

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I like to try and separate the book from the author, but it doesn’t always happen. There’s one particular author this happened to me with where I still love the books I read before learning some things about the author I didn’t like, but haven’t picked up a new one since. Not out of an active choice to avoid them, but more out of knowing that there are so many great books to read so I prioritize those other books higher on my TBR pile.

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I try not to let it bother me if I find out an author’s views are different than mine. But if they are very vocal or very extreme about it, that will put me off. One formerly favorite author, and I mean I read every new book in every series and still love the old stuff I’ve read, is sadly now one I avoid. I can’t pick up a new book and not think about his views. I tried, it didn’t work, so I haven’t tried again.

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some of the books reviewed here were free ARCs supplied by publishers/authors/other groups. Some of the books here I got from the library. the rest I *gasp!* actually paid for. I'll do my best to let you know what's what.
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