Review Philosophy

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. 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 even to just inform you of 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 things I hope my reviews will accomplish:

  • Summarize the contents of the book with no significant spoilers, including an idea of what publishing category or categories it falls within.
  • Discuss and analyze the themes of the book a bit, as I interpret them.
  • 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.
  • 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 mega-site, I’m happy to help you find a good read.

I review both nonfiction and fiction, of near any genre, as well as short fiction (bimonthly roundup). There are only a few things I can think of that you won’t find me reviewing, or find in my reviews:

  • Poetry (as much as I try, I just can’t find much of appreciation or insight)
  • Works written from the second-person point-of-view (short stories with this that I encounter get skipped over)
  • GIFs in my reviews (They are annoying anywhere, but especially in reviews)

My to-read pile is huge list, including titles requested or to consider for review that I receive. When I receive an advanced reading copy I put it onto a planned schedule for publication here, or with contribution elsewhere in mind. I greatly prefer physical copies to eBooks as I find them a better reading experience and easier to handle for writing reviews.

I try to schedule reviews 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. Even if gotten to late as a backlist review here, I will always strive to put up something of quality after reflection.

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