The Art Of Pronouncing Book Character Names

Book character names– You just gotta love them. Even the ones you´re not sure how to pronounce.

As avid readers we´re often confronted with characters who have standard names. Whether they´re gender-specific names or gender-neutral… a reader has a good chance at pronouncing a book character´s name correctly. I mean, it´s hard to verbally butcher Dylan, Michael, Daniel, Gabriel, Cole or Samantha, Jessica, and Mathilda.

But then we discover a book that has characters who don´t have standard names. That´s when things can become tricky for a reader.

I´ll admit that I belong to those people who have problems pronouncing unique names, especially when reading fantasy. Usually, I just go along with whatever pronunciation I come up with and continue reading. My mental pronunciation of a character´s name is final no matter how often others try to correct me. I can´t help it. It´s like I´ve set my version of a name in stone.

 

Let the mental name pronunciation games begin ( and end )!

Fantasy authors love to give their characters that extra something. That particular sprinkle of special to make him/her/it stand out from all the others. They could be bold and fierce, beautiful, and deadly… They could kill demons and stare into Medusa´s eyes without turning to stone. That someone can´t be named Jimmy or Candy ( apologies to all the Jimmys and Candys IRL. Y´all are awesome in your own right ). The deadly warrior has to have a name that lives up to their reputation. They need a name that´s unique. So, what some authors will do is either take an existing name and tinker with that or they´ll play around with the alphabet- Creating names 50% of the reading population can´t pronounce.

From what I´ve seen, many of these difficult names often have the letters Y and H in them. Not to forget the hyphens, tildes, a slashed O, and sometimes an umlaut. For anyone who isn´t familiar with these letters or special characters ( for lack of a better term ), any name would be hard to pronounce correctly. It´s a challenge.

But do not fear! Not all authors leave their readers clueless. Some authors have pity with their readers. Some books have a pronunciation guide. Personally, I find this semi helpful. Most books include this little addition in the last few pages. Meaning: when the story has already been read. This means a reader who was unsure about a name spent 2-7 days mentally pronouncing a name wrong. The books that have a pronunciation guide in the first few pages are more helpful.

Unique Names Aren´t Tied To One Genre Only

Unfortunately, the fantasy genre isn´t the only genre that has difficult to pronounce names. We see this happen in romance, YA, historical, etc. Names can sometimes match the setting of a story. If a story takes place in Norway then I do kind of expect to see typical Norwegian or Norse names. For me, there´s no greater challenge than trying to pronounce a Gaelic or Norse name, especially when authors pick the most difficult name known in the history of names. The tongue twisters. The names even the natives can´t pronounce correctly. These names often leave me with no other choice than to come up with another name for the character.

Yes, I´ve occasionally given characters that had difficult to pronounce names other names. I´ve done this mostly because I was fed up with the guessing game.

Feyre, the main character from Sarah J. Maas´s A Court Of Thorns And Roses quickly became Fey. Just Fey. Feyre could be pronounced Fire-re or Fairie, right? The correct pronunciation, though, is Fay-ruh.

Laoghaire, a character from Diana Gabaldon´s Outlander, became Longhair. How was I supposed to know the correct pronunciation is Leery? Laoghaire looks more like Longhair than anything else. I´ve been calling that character Longhair ever since ( and funnily enough, no one has corrected me ).

It´s understandable why many authors decide on odd/unique/special/ancient/made-up names for their characters. These names aren´t easy to forget. They leave a lasting impression. Of course, this leaves me with a whole lot of questions for authors. Questions that´ll most likely stay unanswered. But that´s okay. I don´t really need to know why some names exist. I also don´t need to know if authors expect their readers to come up with the correct pronunciation from the get-go. Still, I wonder….

So, what´s the best way to go about this issue? I have no clue. I´ll stick with doing what I´ve always done.


What about you? Can you relate? Do you occasionally have problems pronouncing book character names? Which name has been the most difficult to pronounce? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤


Thank you for reading my blog post. I totally appreciate it.

Feel hugged,

Thank The Books It´s Friday

Hello and welcome back 

to

Thank The Books It´s Friday!

 

Boy, what a week it´s been, huh? Makes me really want to sit back and drink a whole bottle of wine alone and just think about how peaceful life is… offline. Let´s bring out the Friday squirrel to celebrate the weekend, shall we?

 

 

And while we´re at it, let´s hope no author on Twitter decides to make ungrateful statements for the next… I don´t know… 5 – 20 years? Possibly never again?

I´m sure you´ve seen the recent book Twitter shit-show created by the ( to me very unknown ) author Elizabeth Bear.

 

 

A kind reminder to people who tag authors in book reviews. How thoughtful. How ballsy. How generally rude.

Of course, I disagree on so many levels with this statement. The whole tweet is just a load of bullshit. It´s generalized and targets everyone in the book community. It´s also not specific enough. Are we talking all review posts or just the negative ones? I haven´t learned the art of sniffing out the specifics yet so it would´ve been slightly helpful if the author had been more clear instead of presenting a limited and highly unprofessional tweet.

This tweet caused quite a bit of a stir in the book-Twitter community. Book bloggers, authors, and even readers stepped forward to voice their disapproval. I can´t blame them. The tweet was a virtual slap in the face. Oh, speaking of face slaps… After having followed the thread for some time I spotted something even more disappointing.

 

 

Neil Gaiman, too?! Bitch, that burned.

 

This is, without a doubt, a touchy subject. It shouldn´t be, though. For all I know, the majority of the book blog community isn´t fishing for praises, compliments or even acknowledgment when tagging authors in positive review posts. Tags aren´t meant to cripple authors emotionally or piss them off.

I mean- sure. Authors have the right to voice their opinions. Go ahead and do your worst. But if that means pissing off a huge chunk of the book community then I´d say that´s not the way to win new readers or keep the ones that´ve been loyal ( indirectly waving at you, Neil Gaiman ).

A piece of advice for Elizabeth Bear: Try not to speak for all authors next time. Also-socializing is wonderful but not mandatory. A simple mention in your bio would´ve prevented a whole lot of backlash.

 

 

Uugh. See? A royal shit-show. People, we´re not even halfway through February and there´s already drama. I recently made a bet with a fellow book blogger on when the next literary shit will hit the fan… My bets were on late Spring, early Summer. * sigh *

 

So what else is new?

 

Oh! I´d like to give a loud Fuck you, very much to my daughter´s friend and their mom for giving me and the kids Scarlet fever. I´m on day 4 with a temp of 39°. I feel like I can fry eggs on my skin at this point. To be honest- I never thought adults could catch the Scarlet fever. I was wrong. I was also wrong to think this would pass quickly. As of now, I´m sofa bound with nothing to do but snooze off a few times during the day from being so exhausted and suffering during the night. Yes, dear friend´s mom… I hate you with a passion.

I decided to go online book shopping tomorrow. Deep down I know it´s just frustration shopping but at this point- I don´t give a rats ass.  * purposefully ignoring the stack of unread books next to me *

 

That´s about it for this week, my dear bookish Padawans. I hope you didn´t suffer too much through this minor aggressive post. My apologies. I´m not feeling so hot. I´m actually burning!

 

Before I go: Did you watch the Twitter show? What are your thoughts on the author´s tweet? Should authors make such demands? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat ❤

 

Sending out lots of health and great positive vibes!

Enjoy your weekend.

Much bookish love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Shaming A Reader

 

“She read books as one would breathe air, to fill up and live.” –

Annie Dillard in The Living

A beautiful quote fitting for most book lovers. There´s just something magical about reading. Whether it´s a romance, horror, Young Adult or a fantasy novel… There´s always magic waiting to reach our hearts and minds.

The other day I had a lovely chat with a fellow book blogger about books. We covered everything book related. At some point, I asked about her current read. She refused to tell me.

 

“I´d rather not say.”

 

What?! I mean, come on. We´re not sharing intimate secrets with each other. I don´t want to know how many people you´ve buried in your backyard. It´s just a book. When I asked why she answered with this:

 

“Because you´ll just make fun of me.”

 

My actual response

 

If the book blogger knew me better she´d have known I don´t judge people´s reading tastes. Never have and never will. I would never want to make any reader feel guilty for the books they read or the genres they enjoy.

It was clear someone must have done this or else the book blogger would´ve been more forthcoming with the book title.

The book blogger, a grown woman, was shamed after mentioning her favorite books-The Twilight Saga – in an online book group. Book lovers book shamed a book lover?

 

 

I´ll admit, I don´t have the hots for the Twilight books. I read them. I saw the appeal. I never belonged to the fan brigade, though. I even watched the movies ( which weren´t my cup of tea, either ). But does that give me the right to shit on someone´s favorite books? Absolutely not. Anyone who comes to my house and takes a good look at my bookshelf will see the Twilight Saga– all four books. So?

I read 50 Shades of Grey because I was told the sex in the books was out of this world ( I´m a HUGE fan of book sex ). I ended up actually liking the story. Shit on my reading tastes, for all I care- It doesn´t change the fact that the story wasn´t the worst that´s ever been published.

90% of the books I read are considered worthless by all sorts of self-proclaimed book experts because they´re not ” proper literature “.

 

 

When someone mentions a book or a genre I´m not a fan of then I won´t shame them. Instead, I´ll just think  “Oh, so she/he likes vampire romances/smut/whatever. That´s interesting“. Because that´s just what it is- Interesting. Different people, different tastes.

 

It´s the fact that you´re reading that´s important. Not the book or genre.

 

 

From what I´ve gathered, many book people like to hold the “You´re not a true bookworm if you haven´t read…” card in people´s faces. I´m sorry, but YOU DO NOT have to read Jane Austen´s books or Kafka´s works in order to call yourself a proper bookworm. You´re still one if you stick with modern novels only. YOU READ an old ham when and if you feel like it.

This really ticks me off because the emotional damage these people cause is unbelievable.

There are popular and less popular books and book genres. Romance is the least popular book genre ( yet it´s the most profitable ). Knowing that will not keep me from reading romances. I do not read certain books for the sake of wanting to belong.

 

“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part, I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

– Voltaire

 

If your passion is YA fiction then I´m more than happy to share the excitement with you, even if I´m not as passionate about the genre as you are. The same applies to every other genre or book.

Book shaming is such a shameful act. How highly these book people must think of themselves when they attack someone´s reading tastes. And how little they know about the effects their words have on others.

To people who book shame…

 

 

My hope for the future is that the book community finds a way to respect one another and their reading choices. This book-universe can be such a beautiful place if we all allow it to be.

After a while, the book blogger FINALLY revealed the book title she didn´t want to share.

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig. A YA, fantasy retelling.


 

Dear book people,

Book shaming is toxic. It doesn´t need to happen. Instead of judging someone´s reading taste we should be celebrating the fact that we share the same passion- Reading books.

 


What about you? Have you been book shamed before? Do you know someone who´s been book shamed? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤

 


Thank for reading my blog post. I truly appreciate it.

Much book love,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Penelope Bloom Replied To My Blog Post

It´s a rare moment when authors read your blog posts.

As a book blogger, you don´t really expect it to happen. Because it doesn´t happen to the insignificant micro bloggers ( Yupp, I just called myself a micro blogger ). Not every author goes out of their way to read what´s been written about them ( or their books ) online.

Lucky for me, though, Penelope Bloom googled herself for * cough cough * purely professional reasons ( which is awesome, if you ask me ) and spotted my blog post regarding the book covers for her Objects Of Attraction series.

Without having read the books I took it upon myself to write about them and break down why I believe the covers are actually great ( feel free to read that blog post here )

So, you can imagine how floored I was when I received a comment from Penelope Bloom.

I´m grateful for every comment left on my blog. Having a direct response from an author I talked about…

And because of this, I went out to buy `His Banana ( Objects Of Attraction #1 ).

Yes, this is me and my newly purchased `His Banana` copy. Yes, I bought the book because the author left me a wonderful and in-depth comment. It was great. It was sweet. I appreciated the reach out. I already had this beauty on my “books to read in 2020” list so I´m happy the author took some time off to respond, involuntarily helping me ignore my TBR pile so I can read her rom-com.

Penelope Bloom,
If you read this I would like to say THANK YOU. Please, keep commenting under posts written about you and your books. It´s a small act that makes a book blogger´s day/week/month. ❤
Much bookish love and many virtual hugs,
May the bananas be blessed * cough cough *

And this, my dear book – loving – friends, is another reason why I book blog.

I guess that´s all for today. I hope you enjoyed. Feel free to stalk Penelope Bloom online and leave her some much needed author love on social media ( links below ).

Until next time,

Mucho book love,

`His Banana` Book #1

`Her Cherry` Book #2

`His Treat` Book #3

`His Package ` Book #4

`Her Secret ` Book #5

`Her Bush ` Book #6

Anyone But Rich ( Anyone But… #1 )

Anyone But Cade ( Anyone But… #2 )

Anyone But Nick to be released soon!

The Golden Pecker

Ruthless Love

Go ahead and stalk Penelope Bloom!

Website º Facebook º Goodreads º Amazon

Becoming A Bilingual Book Blogger

English. French. German. Spanish.

 

The languages I speak fluently. I guess this can be blamed on the fact that I live here, in Germany. How I would love to blame this on ( what I lovingly nicknamed to be ) the “European curse”. Everything´s so multicultural here that it´s impossible to speak just one language. It´s not the curse, though. I´m a cultural mutt who happens to have a knack for speaking languages.

“You should become a translator!”, they said when I first started applying for jobs. Back then, I couldn´t have thought of anything more boring than translating. Now, I kind of regret not having gone that route. To be able to speak four languages does have its perks. It comes in handy when going on vacation, watching TV shows in OT, etc. But with perks also come downfalls: Out of the four languages, I´ve only mastered the art of writing in two. English ( which is my native language ) and Spanish. German and French? Not so much, if at all. So, that´s my personal burden. This explains why I only blog in English – Why I only read English written books.

Just recently, I started to dabble into German romances. Never, not even in my wildest dreams, did I believe I´d pick up a romance written by a German romance author. I mean, why would I? The language is hard enough as it is to speak. Reading a German romance novel would take me months, or so I thought.

Since I´ve been spending lots of time in bookstores lately ( gotta support your local bookstore ) I´ve been noticing lots of new romance releases by German authors squished in between translated novels by American writers. Which is great for German readers. It´s nice to see the niche branching out over here and not just in the U.S and U.K.

 

German romance writers are stepping up their game.

 

It was only a matter of time before I´d stop before one of the German romance titles. One thing I´ve noticed was:  German romance novels definitely know how to grab someone´s attention with their covers. Bright colors and great contrasts with fun elements ( glitter, metallics, prints ). Personally, I feel like the Germans have visual book marketing down to a T. You can´t walk past a beautiful book cover (s).

I began to think. What if I started to read a German romance novel? But then a little voice inside my head reminded me that I´d only be reading a German book, not reading & reviewing it. Because I´m a total disaster when it comes to writing anything in German. The book blogger in me wants to review everything I read, though. It´s become a second nature for me to give feedback. How weird would it feel to only read and not review, especially for a new release?

So, I asked my husband. He´s German. He´d be able to help me with my feedback, right? “I think I want to write reviews in German.”, I started. The look on his face said more than he did. “Please, don´t.”, was his reply. I couldn´t help but laugh at his horrified expression. “I´m serious. I think it wouldn´t hurt to try. Maybe you can spell-check my reviews before I upload them.” 

After a short, panicked discussion ( hubby was panicking, not me ) he agreed to help me out. We agreed on one German book review per month. That´s more than acceptable for me. If I´m honest, I don´t think I´d be capable of doing more.

So, that´s it. The start of a new chapter in my book blogging career. A new challenge. I can officially call myself a bilingual book blogger now. Even if the majority of my book reviews will be in English, I´ll have one German review each month to offer.

Do I have any doubts about my new blog feature? Kind of, yes. I´m normally a confident person. I´m nowhere near confident when I even think about writing in a different language, though. Maybe what I´m feeling isn´t self-doubt. Maybe it´s just a weird sense of excitement for the unknown. Something like being nervous in a positive way. Who knows what´ll happen. I might end up filing for a divorce after the first review. Perhaps I´ll slay the German review thing. Whatever will happen, I´ll be prepared.

 


 

What about you? Do you speak more than one language? If so, which ones do you speak? Do you blog in a different language? Let´s chat. ❤


 

Thank you so much for reading this blog post. I hope you enjoyed.

Share the book love,

Morgana