Saturday, August 23, 2008

Blog Reviews; Todd Goldberg

On her blog today Patti Abbott raises some interesting questions about book reviewing on blogs.

As more and more book reviewing shifts from print to online, what are the obligations of those who talk about books on their blogs?

This is a subject that makes me uneasy. I often recommend books on this blog, but I've never panned one. Unlike panning a movie, panning a book on a blog feels too personal, especially on collective blog sites like this one. And I don't feel qualified to write a "review."

I think it's appropriate to talk about books I like. The more the better. But to talk about ones I don't like....well, I just wouldn't.


Is it possible someday soon that a site with nasty reviews of books will attract attention the way various radio shows and political blogs do? Amazon reviews, not supervised at all, are often nasty and unfair. Or so favorable that you can't believe them either.

for the complete post go here:

Ed here: I can speak only for myself. I'd never dump on another writer's book. Too many good ones to promote for one thing. And for another bar karma. But I can see a blogger, probably not a writer, make a name for him- or herself being posting nasty reviews.

On the other hand unending excessive praise for every book reviewed puts me off too. The books I recommend I have real enthusiaism for.


In the LA Times Sunday book section (available on line now) Todd Goldberg writes about his experience writing the Burn Notice tie-ins. In addition to being an entertaining look at how a literary writer approaches a commercial project it's a fine piece of writing on its own.

1 comment:

Hugh said...

Why finish a book that you don't like? I can see sitting through a bad movie -- movie watching is passive. Reading isn't. Unless you're a student or a professional critic, why bother?
Besides, most of the negative reviews I've read are either critics showing off or panning a book because it isn't the one they wanted to read.