From One Lapel-grabber To Another

This week I’ve read a few strong opinions about what makes a “good” book review. How do you find the diamonds amongst so much rough?

I disagree that a book review, particularly on a blog which is, by its nature a deeply personal publication, ought to be restricted to facts, figures, plot summaries and page counts. I can find these details on amazon, in store catalogues and blurbs. What I want is to listen to what a book means to a reader and to follow their enthusiasm down the next rabbit hole, whilst hopefully avoiding transgressions into frightening territory eg. Fifty Shades of Grey.

Today I’d like to offer you this link to an article from The New Yorker:

What George Orwell, Henry Miller, and John Waters taught me about what to read next written by Maria Bustillos, The New Yorker

Then, I’d like you to come back and tell me what you want in a book review – I’m still finding my stride around here. Or, tell me where your most reliable recommendations come from. Or, grab my lapels and tell me about your favourite book!

3 responses to “From One Lapel-grabber To Another

  1. Interesting article – thank you so much for sharing.

    I read Ulysses, just so I could say I read it! I actually found myself enjoying parts of it (others were completely lost on me) and I found classic lines of humour that were spot on.

    I really like honesty in a book review – if someone doesn’t like it they say so – the weird thing about this is it doesn’t stop the book from selling (going back to your fifty shades example). If I go to Amazon to buy a book and it has ten reviews and all have five stars, I don’t buy it. No one is that good and there’s a lot of back scratching going on with self-publishing.
    Favourite book? Midnight’s Children. Salmon Rushdie

  2. Dianne! I’m glad you liked it – I too have fallen for the “so I could say I have” book from time to time. I like to think of them as character building…though perhaps not always in the way they are intended to be. One day. One day, I will get to Ulysses.

    I hadn’t thought about the implications for self-publishing back scratching on amazon book reviews… do you think they have managed to crack the “you may also like…” code yet? If they have, I am in so much trouble. I listen to that little box far too often.

    Midnight’s Children. Consider it added to the list.
    Thanks for the follow 🙂 Am looking forward to spending a bit of time reading through your blog.

  3. Pingback: A Fiery Debate. The Trends Twitter Forgot. | Old, new or true·

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