Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Book Reviews

Once again I feel like an infant attempting to drive a flashy sports car. Okay, that's a bit dramatic but I am at a loss...which seems to be my new regular these days.

Pretending to be a writer is hard work. Aside from writing and doing "writerly" things (like research, book reviews, blogging and a great many other tasks), I first need to teach myself how to do all of those things. It makes an already complicated process that much harder.

Please don't misunderstand me here. I'm not a complete nit-wit. I can write a perfectly organized book review. But as I'm finding out, in the world of "writing" there tends to be a preferred format, method or rule of thumb. And in my effort not to offend the powers that be (i.e. an agent/editor that inadvertently stumbles across my blog), I am determined to present a reasonably organized and professional facade...while I scramble around in the background like a chicken that has recently been separated from it's head.

I confess. I looked it up. I googled Book Reviews. And for better or worse here's a bit of what I found:

- A book review focuses on the books purpose. It is not a summary.
- There is no right way to write a review. (Here's hopin'.)
- Before reading the book, study the cover and the blurbs to get an understanding of the books topic.
- Include basic information like the title, author, subject, price, number of chapters, page numbers, etc.
- Does the book contain pictures, maps, etc.
- Take notes while you read. Jot down questions you have, emotions the book provokes or when you were bored.
- Who is the intended audience?
- What is the author's writing style?
- How did the book affect you?
- Include the theme of the book.
- Include additional information about the author if available.
- Summarize your overall opinion of the book.

There you have it. What do you think? Does that sound accurate? Do you have a book review format? When reading a book review is there specific criteria you look for?

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