Thursday, January 17, 2013

Books Reviews- Why This Blog Exists

Why do I write book reviews?

(For the record, I'm really writing this post for me.  But you are welcome to listen in.)

1.  To share good books with others.  Yes, I 'm the person who says, "Oh, I know a good book about that."  When a book is good, I want to get the word out.  I always read reviews before I buy a book and I'm sure others do also.  By writing reviews I can help others find great books.

2.  To stay accountable.  If I know I'm going to write a review on a book, I am much more thoughtful and diligent in my reading.

3.  To get free books.  For as much as I read, I buy very few books.  I either get them from the library, borrow them from friends or get them free as review books.  So, truly, that is the reason that this blog exists.

What do I try to accomplish in my reviews?

This is something that I have thought a lot about.  My primary goal is answer the question, "Do I recommend this book?" 
I don't like to give a bad review. Someone invested a lot of time in writing the book. They've done something that I've never done. And yet, my standards are pretty high and I won't recommend a book that is not good. My goal is promote the good books. However, when I order review books, I don't know if it is good or bad. And so, I am sometimes left in the position of writing uncomplimentary reviews.

What I try to accomplish in writing my review is to answer some or all of the following questions:
  • What is the gist of the book?  Most book summaries are pretty thorough so my goal is not to invent the wheel but to provide other information that the summary did not.
  • What did I like/not like about the book? This is extremely subjective. What I don't like, you might. But if I'm clear, it should be helpful to you either way.
  • Is there objectionable content that a potential reader would want to know about?  I'm especially diligent about this with children's books.  
  • In my opinion, is reading this book worth your time?


  1. I appreciate your honesty in your review Jenny. I often buy books because of good reviews, whether I have time to read them is another question. :) Unfortunately there have been several times where I or the girls have started reading a book partially because of a good review, sometimes by very conservative friends, only to find that it has some pretty disturbing stuff in it and we end up tossing it. I really like your style of reviews, giving both the good and the bad and why.

  2. Hi, Jane, I'm glad my reviews are helpful to you. I've also had the experience of reading a recommended book and being surprised by the content. I will often go back and discuss it with my friend. It is an opportunity for iron sharpening iron. My goal in this blog is to simply present what is in the book so that you can make a more informed decision. Thanks for stopping by!