Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Book Reviews?

I've been discovering the YA blogosphere lately. (Did you catch the YA Fantasy Showdown? Is that not the most brilliant idea ever? I stayed up until 3 in the morning reading all the battle scenes, and it made my life that the final showdown was between Eugenides and Howl--the website authors' imagining of that battle was hilarious!) Okay, so I'm a little late to the scene, but it's not for lack of interest!

I've thought about joining the ranks of YA book reviewers. But the trouble with reviewing books is that sometimes you have to read and review books you don't like. I review kids' lit for a Canadian online journal, because I think it's important to contribute to the conversation about YA lit, (especially in Canada, where the community is small and we can use all the voices we can get). But it is hard to come up with fair, yet honest appraisals of books that just aren't very good.  And, call me lazy, call me a hedonist, but I don't want to spend my blogging time doing hard, unpleasant things!

So I'm not going to be a Book Reviewer. I'm just going to tell you about the books I love! Maybe you can call me a Book Recommender. I'm the one who overhears conversations in bookstores and has to jump in: "Oh, that's a great one, and have you read this other one by the same author?" (Maybe I should have been a librarian.) I'm going to make a point of recommending books that you might not have heard of (though I may occasionally have to say "Read Megan Whalen Turner," because I won't be able to help myself). I'll consider it my duty to bring unsung brilliance to everyone's notice.

I've already added too many books to my TBR pile because of other bloggers; now it's time to return the favour!


  1. Hi! Subscribed to you since you have awesome taste in books... which means I'm certainly interested in hearing about books you like!

    Did you see this post on the subject of reviews vs recommendations and positive vs mixed already as you were thinking about this?
    It's amazing how divided some people are about what they want: some don't take you seriously if you don't post negatives, whereas others understand perfectly. I for one am with you: why waste time talking about something you don't like (or even, for that matter, are indifferent to)? I will take you plenty seriously as long as you just explain WHY you like something! (I've always liked how Liz Burns phrases it over at A Chair a Fireplace and a Tea Cozy: just "The Good:" as if she was also going to have a category called "The Bad:" but she never does. It's like she's saying, "These are the reasons why someone would want to read this. Maybe there are things not to like, but we're not going into that-- we're just going into WHY you might LIKE it.")

  2. Hi Rockinlibrarian! Welcome! (My first subscriber, how exciting!) And may I say that you have awesome taste in books too? (Loved your prediction about Gen vs Howl, and loved that they used it!)