Book Reviewers Wanted

April 9, 2010

Do you read a lot? Like to talk about, or write about, the books you read? We might be looking for you!

If you would like to contribute a book review to our blog, we would be interested in hearing from you.  We’ll slowly be building review pages for both recent releases, literary classics, science, history and biography. We are up for hearing about other categories of interest. Reviews should be 500 words or less. We will help with editing, if necessary.

To submit reviews, just drop us a line here at our blog. Who knows? It might be your name on the byline of our next book review post! We would be glad to provide publication credit to those who need it, for other writing ventures you may be pursuing.

Ian McEwan’s new book, Solar, is HOT right now. Anyone reading it?

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How to be a Book Reviewer

December 3, 2008
Who are they kidding?

Who are they kidding?

I used to dream of being a book reviewer.  In my fantasy life, I’d hang out in a hammock with sun leaking through palms, my book always in hand. There would be no lack of great reading due to the piles of books I’d be asked to review for every good literary publication on the market. Once a book was read, I’d handily whip off a few enlightened paragraphs that inevitably, once published, would cause no small amount of grinning or weeping at the author’s house. And, hey, this is my fantasy, so the checks were always princely and always on time. 

So, who are these people who wound up with my dream job? Especially when every review they write is literally glowing and full of accolades about the author’s style, panache and wit. No matter that the book stinks! Heap praise on the writer and his candid style. Why is it that almost every book review written about a book is a good review? Especially when I can attest that most books are not really all that great. Good, maybe. But great? Rarely. Who are these people?  And what are they doing with my job??

Want to be a book reviewer? Just pull out your dictionary to find alternate words designed to dress up mediocre writing efforts. Then, recommend these so-so books to the public, gleefully and wholeheartedly as  “the greatest book I’ve read all year” or “surely one of the best books of the decade” or, even worse, “I stayed up all night reading it”. After all, what does the public know about good books?

Joe Queenan wrote a great article about the absurdly optimistic reviewer here. I think he hits the nail on the head – or, uh, the reviewer on the nose – well, you know what I mean. Joe’s own memoir, “Closing Time”, is due out in April. Wonder who’s doing that review…

Pessimistically yours, Karen