Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Taking advice from Thumper's mom (if you can't say anything nice....)

One of my closest friends told me recently that she prefers to ask me for book recommendations instead of relying solely on my book reviews.  She was of the opinion that I will try to see the strengths of a book and gloss over its weaknesses out of sympathy for the author.  I thought about her comment and will admit that I have considerable admiration for authors, their dedication and the courage that it takes to put your work out there for others to read and criticize.   But I also realize that readers of this blog should be able to rely upon my review and my opinion without having to second guess whether I was pulling my punches.

While I do appreciate the grading scale that others use, I don't feel that a rating from 1 to 5 would work for me.  If I feel that a book is a 1, I likely won't finish it. Even if I do, I don't feel that I need to publicly share why I'd rate it so low -- unless the book offended me in some way or was factually wrong and dangerously incendiary.  I'd much prefer to write about books that I enjoyed, books that I found satisfying reads and would recommend to friends.  In which case, I'd categorize the books into books that I loved and fully intend to reread every so often -- the sort of book that I would replace if I were ever to lose my copy,  those I'd keep and share with friends and family, books that deserve a mention, those that are a good way to pass the time, recent works by authors that I enjoy or a book that sounded intriguing and another for books to recycle.

Does this seem like a reasonable way to select books for my blog? Or is it odd that I seem to have taken advice from Thumper's mom  in that if I can't say anything nice, then I don't say anything at all... What do you think?  How do you select books or materials to review on your blog?


  1. Am glad you answered that. Always wondered about that situation.

  2. If you receive a book to review, I feel your blog followers expect (I do) an honest, candid review. Despite efforts to choose books that are worth my time to read, occasionally I do end up reading a book that may garner high marks from other readers, but not from me. I don't believe in "glossing over weaknesses" to spare an author's feelings. In my opinion, it is dishonest to do so.

  3. Hey, you should choose your books the way you think works for you. If it's based on advice...go for it.