Tuesday, December 8, 2009
What is a Good Book Review?
Pete Hautman, one of my favourite authors, has a quick blog post about a review of his book How To Steal a Car, and he talks briefly about what makes a good review...and a bad review. He says these two things in particular about the review that caught my attention:
"Even “good” reviews can be maddening when the writer fails to “get” the book. Or rather, when my book has failed to have the desired impact"
and it is: "more of a commentary and analysis, really"
What is interesting about the review at Daughter Number Three, is that she approaches How To Steal a Car through her own experience. She pulls in books she's read, and she sounds like she is either a mother or educator of teens. Her review is more analytical than "feeling-tone". And it is unique. I got a sense of this woman and also the book. Which I also like to see in a review.
When I started this blog my reviews were brief and clipped; I was just getting to know my own reviewer voice. Now I love sitting down to talk about a book I've read. It always comes from a breaking-down-the-parts wish of mine to showcase a book rather than dismiss it as either good or bad. I want to share my experience of reading a book. For that reason I eschew the rating-star system, because when I see a rating on other blogs and the book has 2 stars, I dismiss it. And I hate that I dismiss it.
I guess I just want to know exactly what you love and hate about a book review on a blog. Do you want to hear more of an analysis of its parts? Do you just want to know if the reviewer liked the book or not? What do you look for in a book review? What do reviews DO for you?
Tell me EVERYTHING!