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,

Book Community In Need Of Positivity

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress… All popular social media platforms that served to entertain, educate, and give people the opportunity to escape reality, even only for five minutes. Social media has been a helpful tool for many in our book community, as well. It gives us the ability to connect with likeminded people.

Nowadays, social media has adopted an “If you´re not with us, you´re against us.” mentality. Posts are being analyzed and intentionally misunderstood. Book bloggers are being publicly shamed for not having a public political opinion. Lists for “authors to avoid” are making their rounds. It´s a special kind of toxic chaos many don´t want to be a part of.

Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and WordPress have turned into minefields. What was once an escape for many of us has turned into this game of Russian roulette. You just don´t know when someone will blow up. You don´t know if a random post about books and flowers will tick someone off. Every one of us has become potential targets and it´s time this madness finds an end.

People are purposefully avoiding social media out of fear of being “the next one”. They´re taking a step back because they can´t handle the vicious attacks, the anger and hate, and the accusations.

I´m still talking about book bloggers, authors, and anyone else in the book universe. Yes, even our little community seems to have fallen victim to the hate and it´s awful to watch how we´re virtually slaughtering each other.

It´s high time for some positivity in our humble book community. Even during an intense political movement, we´re still allowed to find some happiness on social media. And we should. Wouldn´t it be incredible to see something good on social media for a change? How about some bookish achievements? Or perhaps someone could share an awesome book related experience? How about giving someone ( a book blogger, a reader, an author, your neighbor, a random cat ) a compliment on social media? Sharing an awesome post from someone also falls under the positive category.

So, without further ado… Let´s start by remembering the basics of this community. The one thing that´s brought us together. The love for books.

Here´s a beautiful library. Let it remind you of all the books you´ve read and of all the book conversations you´ve had with fellow book lovers. How you´ve bonded over a mutual interest and continue to connect with people who share your love for books. We´re a community. Not a shit show.


Granted, this library isn´t going to feed starving children nor is it capable of solving the issues and injustices we´re all currently dealing with. But then again, we´re all not capable of doing that either when we´re full of hatred on social media.

I hope you all have a lovely day. Don´t forget to share the much needed 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

My First Official Book Blogger Meet-Up

I thought I´d never see the day come when I´d willingly go to a book blogger meet-up. Yet, here I am- having survived what I´d call `Therapy For Book Bloggers`. Ha, just kidding.

 

 

So, yeah, I went to one of those meet-ups. As in- I actually squeezed my derriére in a pair of long-forgotten & unloved jeans and left the comfort of my four walls. Because I was invited. And what do you do when someone asks you to grace their party with your presence? You go.

Usually, when people talk about book blogger get-togethers, all I hear about is how nice they were.

“I had a really nice time.” Is what I get to hear. Now, for me, that statement can mean a lot of things. `Nice` could be the little sister of shit, for all I know.  It could be a genuine response though, as well. Who knows. I was never apart of any book blogger meet-up before.

There´s one reason why I never joined any book blogger evenings. I live in Germany. This country isn´t exactly known for being a book blogger hotspot. I´m sure there are tons of book bloggers here but they´re not as widely spread or make themselves known.

Besides- Me, an older American speaking book blogger fossil who blogs in English about romance novels? Most book bloggers I know are 20-something innovative spring chickens who aren´t dying to spend time with a 37-year-old. Mainly because I´m… old.

 

 

Well, someone I know thought it was a good idea to have me at a book blogger get-together. So, I went. And what happened was far more awesome than I could´ve ever imagined.

  1. Eight book bloggers, myself included. I only knew one person and she was the one who dragged me to the party. All 7 book bloggers blogged about different genres, which was such a relief to know. As I later found out, the others were just as relieved. I was the only romance book blogger.
  2. Book bloggers usually have the reputation of being introverts. Shy, quiet, always reading. The bunch I met with were far from introverted. Jesus Christ and his twelve buddies… I was surrounded by a group of bookish extroverts and I loved every minute of it.
  3. I wasn´t the oldest or the youngest of the bunch. Normally, large age differences don´t bother me. You can always find some common ground with a person. There´s only a problem when a large age gap shows. And this time I was terrified. I mean- I´ll meet with younger book bloggers but 7 of them? What if they´re all still in school? Conversation material will most likely run out quickly since there´s only so much you can talk about ( unless someone is willing to hear about the horrors of adulthood/parenthood and gardening ). This doesn´t mean I think less of younger people. I´m just saying that at some point, an age difference can´t be ignored.  Thankfully, the group I met with was between 29-42 years old. I felt comfortable instead of feeling like a group mother.
  4.  Book talk. We spent quite a lot of time talking about genres and our favorite books. We discussed reviews and discussion posts, stats and followers. The things that mean something to book bloggers. We talked about how we could improve ourselves, our blogs and the community. This happened during dinner.

 

Well, guess what? The minute dinner was over I thought our meet-up was done. It wasn´t. I quickly found out that dinner was only preparation for what was to come- Bar hopping. I had to call the husbutt and tell him there was a good chance the night would have an open end.

To make a long story short: It was 5 a.m when I called my brother to pick me up. He wasn´t happy. But I was ( since he was the only one who picked up his phone at stupid o´clock).

 

 

Where does the book blogger therapy fit into all this? Well, as the drinks kept flowing, the mouths became looser than they already were. The 7 became chattier, myself included. All of a sudden we all complained about nasty comments and crappy books. We developed strategies during cocktail hour on how to eliminate self-proclaimed book editors who cause more damage to self-published authors than not.

Through all the hours spent partying with the book blogger gang I realized a few things:

 

  • German book bloggers are full of surprises ( bookish and non-bookish)
  • Book blogger problems seem to be universal
  • Book bloggers need to meet more often
  • Replacing cocktail names with book titles is GENIUS

 

It´s one thing to vent to your significant other/your parents/your pet. I mean, that works too if no one else is around. Venting online is also good. But to have someone in front of you who actually knows what you´re talking about is something else. I highly recommend book blogger get-togethers because they´re not only fun and informative, they´re also great for your mind´s peace.

One book blogger mentioned a wonderful idea for a blog post and I immediately asked if I could use her idea. I vowed to give credit ( since credit needs to be given ). Her answer:

“Who hurt you?! Girl, you don´t need my permission nor do you need to give credit. We´re only brainstorming. Take the idea. Tweak it, mold it, throw it in the washer and see what happens. Just text me when you upload the blog post.”

 

My reaction.

 

 

That was just one tiny tidbit from the conversations we had. I was also able to take some great advice home to use for my blog.

 

  • Your blog is a reflection of yourself. 
  • If you have an idea get it out there. Don´t waste time overthinking it.
  • You´ll only make others happy if you change your content to avoid hate.
  • Book blog like there´s no tomorrow. 

 

So, yes. I had an awesome time. And yes, I´d gladly participate in another book blogger meet-up, especially with the group I met up with.


 

What about you? Have you been to a book blogger meet-up before? Do you prefer smaller or larger groups to meet? Or would you rather skip the whole thing and stay at home? Let me know in the comments below. Would love to chat. ❤ 

 

As always- Thank you for taking the time to read. I hope you enjoyed.

Share the book love, y´all.

Many hugs,

Morgana

 

The Book Blog Changes

So it begins…

 

I´ve had a good few weeks to prepare for this moment. Many hours of brainstorming were invested into this pimp-my-book-blog project. Now, I think I´m happy with the end results.

Thanks to the harsh critique I received from close friends regarding my blog ( which can be read in my It´s Time For A Book Blog Change blog post ) I was able to see why I was not feeling my online baby. Even if I didn´t like most of the critique that was thrown at me I still understood each point and decided to sit down and think about my blog´s future.

As much as I appreciated the feedback… not everything I was advised to change truly needed a makeover. Which made this somehow a more difficult project than it would´ve been if I were to start from scratch.

Here´s a quick rundown on what the professionals thought needed improvement:

  • everything ( including my blog name ) except my blog content

What a way to kill a book blogger´s mood. So, I began thinking about my blog structure. Since I won´t be changing my blog name I figured I could rethink my setup. The features I currently have are:

Monday:  Mug Monday

Tuesday:  Book Reviews

Wednesday: Discussion Topics

Thursday: Simply Book Covers

Friday: Random

This isn´t a popular book blog schedule as many of the most used themes done by other book bloggers aren´t included ( and probably never will be, but more on that in a future post )

I think uploading five times a week is a lot so I´ve decided to remove a few days. This not only gives me more room for spontaneous posts but also allows more time for research ( should I need to do my homework on certain topics ). Without further ado, my new upload dates will be Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The goal here is not to become overwhelmed by my hobby and to not spam the hell out of everyone.

Good to know is that whatever I deem worthy of uploading on my blog- There will always be a book involved just to keep the connection with the book blog. This means there won´t ever be a post that doesn´t show or at least mention a book.

So without any delay… The new uploading days ( with their touched up features/themes ) will be:

Monday – Mug Feature with either a book-related topic and/or hot beverage & book talk, and/or mentionable stand-out line from a book.

Wednesday – Book reviews. This day will be dedicated to standalone reviews, collective reviews and DNF´d reads. Also, I´ll include a review in a foreign language once a month.

Friday – Book Discussions & Book Findings.

I know. This doesn´t seem like anything ground-breaking. But as I said… This is a touch-up. A rearrangement that fits my schedule a little better. I can preschedule posts better and spread these out more. This, in turn, also gives me more time.

Of course, there will be uploading exceptions every now and again in the future. I´m planning on doing some more Bookstagram recreations and even including book blogger interviews before each major holiday.

Another critique point was the Bitmoji images I´ve been including, with the addition of my self-made graphics. * takes deep breaths * I was told they´re shit. As in shittier than shit. If you want to see me curl up in the fetus position and watch me cry my eyes out just tell me the hours I spent creating banners have been for nothing. Okay. Critique noted. This is why I contacted a photographer friend of mine to help me out a little.

Let´s all bid the Bitmoji´s and self-made banners a farewell and welcome creative book photography ( not the Instagram kind ). I´ll admit that this is the weirdest change for me because these new images that are supposed to represent my book blog will have my face on them. Not every picture but a few for sure. I figured that not many book bloggers like to expose themselves this way so I might as well stand out. If my book blog is going to be judged for its appearance then I might as well expose the face behind it all and have that judged, too.

Now for the blog appearance. I was told that white is the way to go. Simple layouts that offer easy readability. Nothing too flashy. Nothing too dark. Personally, I don´t think I can get things to be simpler than they already are on my blog. So, my layout will remain. The white will stay. The only thing I´ll do is rearrange the menu and clean up the sidebar.

My greatest goal for my “new” book blog is to be as transparent as possible. Aside from spilling a little bookish Tea, I´d love for my book blog posts to help others.

With all this having been said- I think I´m good to go for now. I´m liking the changes I´ve made so far ( they all look fab on paper ). I´m excited to see how they´ll be received. Should all go downhill for whatever reason I can still go back to the same old, right?

Here´s to changes!

 

 

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post. I hope you enjoyed. Get in touch!

Warm book blogger hugs,

Morgana