More Than 80 Percent of the Most Popular Novels Are Written by Men

iStock.com/rihard_wolfram
iStock.com/rihard_wolfram

What do The Great Gatsby, Nineteen Eighty-Four, Of Mice and Men, and The Lord of the Rings all have in common? Sure, they’re among America’s most popular fiction books, but they also happen to be written by men. Over 80 percent of the 100 most popular novels were written by male authors, according to an interactive infographic created by Wordery.

Using data from Ranker on the best books (as voted on by users), Wordery broke the picks down by male and female authors, as well as the books preferred by male and female readers. The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien was the second most-popular book overall, followed by George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four, then Tolkien’s The Hobbit.

If there’s any silver lining, it’s the fact that Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird is the most popular book overall. Among women voters, it was the top choice. Among men, it came in second after Nineteen Eighty-Four. Lee’s classic tale was also named America’s Favorite Novel following a nationwide survey last October.

Other female-authored books to make Wordery’s list include Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, and several of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter novels. However, this contingent is still in the minority. A study from 2018 found that three of the leading literary publications devoted less than 40 percent of their coverage to women authors the previous year. Another analysis from last year found that female authors and female characters in literature both steadily declined from the Victorian era to the mid-20th century.

On the bright side, progress has been made in recent years, and female authors dominated the bestseller lists in 2017—at least in the UK. If you’re looking to make your reading list a little more gender-balanced, check out our list of 25 amazing books by women authors.

George R.R. Martin Doesn't Think Game of Thrones Was 'Very Good' For His Writing Process

Kevin Winter, Getty Images
Kevin Winter, Getty Images

No one seems to have escaped the fan fury over the finals season of Game of Thrones. While likely no one got it quite as bad as showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, even author George R.R. Martin—who wrote A Song of Ice and Fire, the book series upon which the show is based, faced backlash surrounding the HBO hit. The volatile reaction from fans has apparently taken a toll on both Martin's writing and personal life.

In an interview with The Guardian, the acclaimed author said he's sticking with his original plan for the last two books, explaining that the show will not impact them. “You can’t please everybody, so you’ve got to please yourself,” he stated.

He went on to explain how even his personal life has taken a negative turn because of the show. “I can’t go into a bookstore any more, and that used to be my favorite thing to do in the world,” Martin said. “To go in and wander from stack to stack, take down some books, read a little, leave with a big stack of things I’d never heard of when I came in. Now when I go to a bookstore, I get recognized within 10 minutes and there’s a crowd around me. So you gain a lot but you also lose things.”

While fans of the book series are fully aware of the author's struggle to finish the final two installments, The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring, Martin admitted that part of the delay has been a result of the HBO series, and fans' reaction to it.

“I don’t think [the series] was very good for me,” Martin said. “The very thing that should have speeded me up actually slowed me down. Every day I sat down to write and even if I had a good day … I’d feel terrible because I’d be thinking: ‘My God, I have to finish the book. I’ve only written four pages when I should have written 40.'"

Still, Martin has sworn that the books will get finished ... he just won't promise when.

[h/t The Guardian]

Harry Potter Fans Don’t Want to See the Movies Rebooted, Surprising No One

© 2011 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights (c) J.K. Rowling
© 2011 Warner Bros. Harry Potter Publishing Rights (c) J.K. Rowling

Although the Harry Potter franchise has one of the most dedicated fan bases in the world, that doesn’t mean fans are ready to see the series rebooted just yet. Yes, that would mean more movies to feed one’s obsession, but the general consensus is that it would be entirely too soon. Don’t believe us? A new poll might just prove it.

ComingSoon.net asked more than 2000 Potterheads if Warner Bros. should reboot the Harry Potter movie series, and a whopping 72 percent said they’re against it. The website also asked fans if reboots were made, how they should be done. Of those polled, 41 percent voted for it to be a direct sequel about Harry’s son, 35 percent voted for a spinoff TV series, 13 percent wanted another Fantastic Beasts spinoff, and a measly 11 percent showed support for a remake of all eight original films.

While it doesn’t look like a reboot will be in the works anytime soon (J.K. Rowling’s representatives just debunked a report about a TV series), that doesn’t mean it’s impossible for the future. Even star Daniel Radcliffe has entertained the idea, saying he believes he won’t be the last Potter portrayal he’ll see in his lifetime. But as long as Rowling and fans are against it, we probably won’t have to worry about it for a while.

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