This Is Me--2024 A to Z Theme

My A to Z Themes in the past have covered a range of topics and for 2024 the theme is a personal retrospective that I call "I Coulda Been" which is in reference to my job and career arc over my lifetime. I'll be looking at all sorts of occupations that I have done or could have done. Maybe you've done some of these too!

Wednesday, December 6, 2023

Book Reviews--Opinions and Observations or Vendettas? ( #IWSG )


I have a real close competition in my current Battle of the Bands.  If you have a moment, please stop over and cast a vote for your favorite of the two songs I've presented.  Votes needed now!  Your vote would be nice...

The Insecure Writer's Support Group

Join us on the first Wednesday of each month in Alex J. Cavanaugh's Insecure Writer's Support Group--a forum of writers who gather to talk about writing and the writer's life. For a complete list of participants visit Alex's Blog
     The co-hosts for the December 6 posting of the IWSG are C. Lee McKenzie, JQ Rose, Jennifer Lane, and Jacqui Murray.

December 6 question: Book reviews are for the readers. When you leave a book review do you review for the Reader or the Author? Is it about what you liked and enjoyed about your reading experience, or do you critique the author?

     I haven't been doing much in the way of book reviews in recent years, though I did go on a reading binge a few months back and kept intending on posting some reviews.  Well, that didn't happen and that's pretty much par for my course these days.  A few years back I was somewhat diligent about posting reviews on my blog as well as Amazon and Goodreads so I'll answer the question reflecting those reviews.

     Whenever I've posted a review I've done so for any potential readers.  My mission was either to recommend a decent book to read or advise readers on my opinion as to why they might want to avoid a book.  And from another perspective, I do it for myself--my own expression and entertainment.

      Critiquing an author is part of the review approach in most cases I would think. Some observations about the way a work reads and the editing or other such details might be important.  However, it seems ludicrous to write a review specifically to address the author.  I've seen such vendettas in print and they have usually turned me off except when they were actually entertaining.

       No, for me, a review is my thoughts on what I have read and whether I think it's worth reading.  If an author reads my review and gains insight or gets pissed, either way I'd be somewhat flattered that they read my review and were emotionally moved by it. Just please don't get too mad at me if you don't like what I said.



  1. Just attacking an author in a review is not going to end well for anybody.

  2. I agree, Reviews should be for potential readers, not an assault on the author.

  3. They'll at least appreciate you took the time to read it.

  4. Totally agree with you.

  5. I've been fortunate in choosing 35 excellent books this year. I now wish I'd have taken time to review them for the benefit of other readers. I almost always rate the books I read - good or very good ;-) Or not at all.
    Merry Christmas, Lee!

  6. I didn't get serious about reviewing until I was serious about writing. Then I realized their importance to authors.

  7. I used to write a lot of book reviews prior to Amazon tightening up their policies to combat trolling (e.g. minimum amount spent per year with a particular payment method) , mostly for library books with a couple of indies thrown in, and I only got trolled once by someone who took exception to a 2 star review that I left for a particular book about a lawyer's memoir about his civil rights work.

    Now I mostly try to leave a review/recommendation on my blog or FB page.

  8. I know I should write more reviews. But I can't even accomplish my own goals.

  9. It's hard to accomplish everything we set out to do. But it's a great way to boost an author, especially if you like the book.
    What book did you most enjoy this year?
    May joy, peace, and goodwill be with you this season and always.

    J Lenni Dorner (he/him 👨🏽 or 🧑🏽 they/them) ~ Speculative Fiction & Reference Author and Co-host of the April Blogging #AtoZchallenge

  10. That's the problem with being part of such a large community of authors. It's one thing to write a review for someone you don't know, but we have a lot of friends here and I'd rather be placed in the position of expressing negative comments. Coming from a stranger is easier. Then again that might be a cop-out.


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