Sunday, May 02, 2010

Sunday Salon: Reading, Read, To Read #18

Happy Sunday! Have you heard about the Huffington Post article, "Faking Nice in the Blogosphere: Women and Book Reviews"? I enjoyed Liz B's take on it. I have a few issues with it (the original article), of course. Mainly because by choosing to talk about two unrelated topics as if they *have* to be related, everything becomes a sloppy mess. This is just one more article that addresses everyone and no one. It makes blanket statements about bloggers as if we're all the same. (There should so be a Bloggers Against Blanket Statements club). What issues are being addressed this time? That bloggers are too nice. That bloggers lack the integrity to be critical in their reviews. That bloggers are so concerned about their reviews being read by authors that they forget that they have a responsibility to readers as well. I think that is a subject that could be addressed on its own. But. The author just couldn't leave it at that. No, the fault it is that *most* bloggers are women. And these women "reviewers" are too "nice" to properly review anything. (As if there is just one way to do this reviewing, this blogging thing.) So if you are interested in learning more, read Liz B's response.

What I've Reviewed This Week:

Countdown by Deborah Wiles. 2010. May 2010. Scholastic. 400 pages.
Any Which Wall. Laurel Snyder. 2009. May 2009. Random House. 256 pages.
Paisley Hanover Acts Out by Cameron Tuttle. 2009. Penguin. 432 pages.
Airhead. Meg Cabot. 2008. Scholastic. 340 pages.
Being Nikki. Meg Cabot. 2009. Scholastic. 352 pages.
Warriors in the Crossfire. Nancy Bo Flood. 2010. March 2010. Boyds Mill Press. 142 pages.
Enclave by Kit Reed. 2009. Tor. 368 pages.
Within the Hollow Crown. Margaret Campbell Barnes. 1948/2010. SourceBooks. 368 pages.
Scandalous: The Cross and Resurrection of Jesus. D.A. Carson. 2010. February 2010. Crossway Publishers. 173 pages.
Lily Brown's Paintings. By Angela Johnson. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. 2007. Scholastic. 32 pages.
Not All Princesses Dress in Pink. By Jane Yolen and Heidi E.Y. Stemple. Illustrated by Anne-Sophie Lanquetin. 2010. June 2010. Simon & Schuster. 32 pages.
Princesses Are Not Perfect. Kate Lum. Illustrated by Sue Hellard. 2010. March 2010. Bloomsbury. 32 pages.
Dinothesaurus: Prehistoric Poems and Paintings by Douglas Florian. 2009. March 2009. Simon & Schuster. 56 pages.
Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa. Jeanette Winter. 2008. Harcourt. 32 pages.

Currently Reading:

A Conspiracy of Kings by Megan Whalen Turner. 2010. March 2010. HarperCollins. 316 pages.

Crossing Oceans by Gina Holmes. 2010. April 2010. Tyndale. 384 pages.

Paisley Hanover Kisses and Tells by Cameron Tuttle. 2010. July 2010. 352 pages.

Fever Crumb. Philip Reeve. 2010. April 2010. Scholastic. 336 pages.

Swoon at Your Own Risk. Sydney Salter. 2010. April 2010. 356 pages.

Scarlet Letter. Nathaniel Hawthorne. 1850. 237 pages.

What I Hope To Begin/Finish Soon:

The White Queen by Philippa Gregory. 2009. Simon & Schuster. 432 pages.

The Everafter War by Michael Buckley. 2009. Harry N. Abrams. 320 pages.

Crispin: The End of Time. Avi. 2010. June 2010. HarperCollins. 240 pages.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Deb Nance at Readerbuzz said...

I read a lot, but I cannot come close to your book stats. Tell me, what is your secret?!

Whitney said...

That was a very interesting article on bloggers "faking it". I guess everything is subjective.
I have an award for you!

Annette Laing said...

The HuffPost piece set out to be provocative, and it succeeded in being so. As an author, I disagree that bloggers are insufficiently critical, and it worries me that some bloggers may take this nonsense to heart, and start trashing books to prove their "toughness." The bigger question is whether a review is thoughtful and analytical. Does the reviewer do her best to give each book a fair shake, or does (s)he either (a) Merely summarize the book, concluding with a bland laudatory or negative statement or (b) Dismiss the book because it hasn't been introduced to him/her via a slick PR campaign from a major publishing house? As a reviewer myself, primarily in academic journals, I have always been wary of the trap of assuming that a book is lousy because the author is untested, of assuming a book is good because the author is famous, or (perhaps most egregious of all), succumbing to jealousy, and assuming that a book sucks because I wish I'd written it myself. :-)
Becky, let me be clear here that I thought you did a great job with your review of Don't Know Where, and that most bloggers' reviews of my work have been thoughtful. But occasionally I've had both good and less good reviews by bloggers that have left me thinking, "Well, that's useless..." As I used to say to my college students, blanket statements like "I really liked this," or "This was boring" really don't cut the mustard. :-)

writer girl said...

Becky, thanks so much for including an answer to that post about 'nice reviews', you are always straight to the point. I have included a link on my discussion of the same topic, I hope it's ok. btw, what a lot of books!! you always amaze me. God bless.