This week’s question:
What is the purpose of a book review?
Is it to make an audience aware of a book they might have overlooked? Is it to steer an audience away from a book that may waste their time? Is it bad to only write one kind of review: positive or negative? Is it good to think about who might like a book, even if the reviewer finds it unsatisfying?
I’ve been pondering all of these sub-questions myself. I haven’t weighed in on the great blog review debate, because I feel like I’m so new to the whole litosphere that I can’t make a well-educated statement. For my book reviews, I will say this: I won’t review a book I didn’t finish, and I won’t finish a book I don’t like. It follows, then, that I will only review books I like. There is a great range, however, in my depth of appreciation for a book. Some books (Millicent Min, anyone?) I adore. Others I like but don’t love (The Last Dragon). I don’t write traditional reviews. When I write a review, I start with a quick summary. I then try and get to the larger themes of the book, what the book means on a universal level. Lastly, I recommend the book for certain reader groups. I am not looking to be unbiased or provide critical analysis; that’s just not what I do here. This is a personal reading journal, and so my reviews are personal reviews. If you are looking for objective reviews, you should probably go someplace else.
Last week’s question:
How much can we know about the author herself based on the content of the book?
This question provoked a lot of discussion. You can find answers at the original post, Tea Cozy, Cats and Jammers Studio, And if I come to ledges… , Andrew Karre’s Flux Blog, Finding Wonderland, and Bri Meets Books.