Review Philosophy

I do get a fair number of advanced reading copies, and thankfully I’m able to review most all that I do receive. I maintain a massive reading list, including titles requested and to consider. When I receive an advanced reading copy I put it next onto the schedule for publication here, or for my scheduled contributions elsewhere. I try to put that as close to the release date of the book as possible, but this doesn’t work perfectly as different sources give out copies at variable distances in time from release date. Reviews that are set for contribution to another site also have to be worked into their publication schedule. Every effort will be made to timely review all books, but sometimes I get delayed due to professional and family life. Regardless when the review gets posted, I always strive to put up something of quality after reflection.

Reviewing things can be a tricky business. It isn’t particularly hard to decide what I like and what I don’t like, but sometimes it takes awhile to figure out why, the reasons that underlie a reaction. Sometimes my opinions change, and sometimes I may react completely differently to something depending on the time and environment in which I read it.

Ultimately, I don’t think that my reviews serve to tell you what you should like, or just to tell you what I liked. They are here to give you a better sense of what new titles may fit with your reading interests and preferences. Thus, even if  I write a review for a book that I personally did not enjoy at all, I hope the review will have enough useful information in it so that the right audience for the book who will appreciate it can recognize that and still choose to give the book a try.

Here are the five things I hope my reviews will accomplish:

1) Summarize the contents of the book with no significant spoilers, including an idea of what publishing category or categories it falls within.

2) Give a sense of my response to the book with consideration of its themes and insights and my interpretations.

3) Cover my perceived strengths and limitations of the book, with due consideration of the book’s intended audience, and the category it strives to fall within.

4) Include relevant publication information and source of the advanced reading copy.

5) Inspire you to check out and discover an author, title, or even genre that you normally wouldn’t. Whether you get the book from a local library, borrow from a friend, download as an ebook, purchase from a local bookseller, or buy from a large chain/online megasite, I’m happy to help you find a good read.

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