There was a bit of a controversy going on last week wherein an author mentioned his favorite quality in reviewers. And no, it wasn’t writing good reviews for him! His name is Mark Charan Newton (Yowza he’s young! Born in 1981! And what a cutie!), and he wrote a post entitled, What Makes a Good Book Blogger (From a Writer’s Point of View). Here’s point six:
6) You can’t love every novel. Loving everything diminishes the power of what you say. There is no way of possibly knowing what is good or bad if you recommend everything. Do not feel pressured to do so by publishers – remember, by reviewing, you’re doing them a favour. And if as a writer I come across your review of my book, I’m not likely to think a lot of it if you’ve loved every single book out there. We’re egoists! We want to feel special.
Another reviewer, Mark Chitty, responded, “. . . as a blogger myself, if I’m not enjoying a book I just put it down and pick up the next. I’m doing it because I love reading – but I love reading books I enjoy and that usually means my reviews are, more often than not, positive.”
I’m the same way, except I’ll usually offer the novel to Superwench or Raven (I also have a guest reviewer coming up, just as soon as I can mail her the book.) If they don’t want it, I’ll offer it to Kat of FantasyLiterature, who lives just down the road. If they don’t want it, well, maybe the library will.
So, that’s why my reviews are mostly positive. These are the books that made the cut. Sometimes, when I’m on a real train wreck of a book, I’ll continue reading just to see if it gets any better. But most of the time, I’m just not interested enough.
Do you think I should blog on unfinished books? I have not up to this point, mostly because of Amanda Ashby‘s You Had Me At Halo. If I had set that book down in the opening chapters, I likely would have written a “what the heck is this” kind of did-not-finish review. Since I wanted to see why other reviewers thought it was so special, I kept reading. And low and behold, it ended up my favorite book of 2007. However, if you want to know about the chaff, I’ll consider blogging on those as well. Maybe I can do a monthly round-up. So let me know!