After reading a book, I like writing down my thoughts about the story, organizing and re-organizing those thoughts, figuring out what I liked or didn’t like, analyzing which parts “worked” for me and which ones didn’t. A personal reading journal, so to speak, and I organize them into a short review that I share online. Sometimes people respond and share their views; other times they read my reviews and it helps them make a decision to read (or not to read!) a specific story.
These two elements together — writing the notes, sharing the reviews — mean that I take them seriously. I’m not a “paid professional” reviewer, but I try to do my reviews as professionally as I can. Which leads me to what I think of as my first and only duty as a public reviewer:
Write a personal, honest, attributable review of the book within its genre and assign an overall rating.
From this duty, I have derived my approach to writing book reviews.
- My reviews will never be anonymous…If I write the review, my name goes with it.
- Reviews will be honest and unbiased but respectful…My duty includes honesty to the author and to other readers and I will always publish my reviews here on my website. I also share those reviews on other sites too — GoodReads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Chapters, Google, my local library, Library Thing, and Savvy Reader. However, if my review is only a 1 or 2 (which is considered “bad” on most sites) and the book doesn’t already have 10+ reviews on a site, I likely won’t publish mine there. I don’t like the idea of sharing my reviews at the expense of a budding author. Of course, if they’re a well-established author, with lots of books and reviews, then they’re fair game. Other than a complimentary or advanced reader copy of a book, I will not accept any compensation for writing a review. I acknowledge that I rarely give only a 1 or 2, not because a book might not deserve it, but because if I am not enjoying it, I will likely not finish it. And I only review those I finish.
- I will review the book, not the author. While reviews may take into account other books in the genre, or even other books by the author particularly if it’s part of a series, the reviews should not be biased by information about the author or the publisher. The book must stand or fall on its own merit.
- My opinions will be my own, not consensus…Each review will be the opinion I have come to after reading the book and may include its readability; character development; plot and pacing; point of view; genre; dialogue; and setting. I might even focus on my own satisfaction with the ending.
- Books will be reviewed in context…I will review action books against other action books; mystery stories against other mystery stories. I will not review the latest mystery against the great works of fiction of the past in other genres — so, this means that a supposed great work of classic fiction might end up with a lower rating (against other great works of fiction) than the latest mystery (against other mystery books). Context matters, as most books are not aiming to be the latest and greatest literary masterpiece.
- Reviews will include my rating…I would be far more comfortable providing a rating out of ten or even twenty, rather than five. But all the major sites use five-point scales, and sub-points are not allowed. With that in mind, I will use the following scale:
- Rating of 0 — Did not finish (only for my own tracking, no review is done for zero!);
- Rating of 1 — Finished, but not recommended;
- Rating of 2 — Not bad, readable;
- Rating of 3 — Good, worth reading but some issues;
- Rating of 4 — Enjoyable, solid outing with minor issues;
- Rating of 5 — Excellent.
That’s it, that’s my approach to reviews. I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them, or at least that the review helps you figure out if a book is one that you might enjoy. The lists include a link to each book review that I have completed and posted, along with the title, author, number of the review, year that the book was published, any series information and the order in the series, the date of writing my online review, and my rating.
|Fire on High||Peter David||PWBR00001||1998||Star Trek, The New Frontier||6||2001/01/20||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Red Sector||Diane Carey||PWBR00002||1999||Star Trek, The Next Generation||53, 3||2001/01/20||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Vectors||Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch||PWBR00003||1999||Star Trek, Deep Space Nine, The Next Generation||53, 2||2001/01/20||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Infection||John Gregory Betancourt||PWBR00004||1999||Star Trek, The Next Generation||51, 1||2001/01/20||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Perchance to Dream||Robert B. Parker||PWBR00005||1991||Marlowe||2001/01/20||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Where The Bodies Are Buried||Janet Dawson||PWBR00007||1998||Howard||8||2001/01/21||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|End Game||Dev Stryker||PWBR00008||1994||2001/01/21||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRXP|
|Motion to Suppress||Perri O'Shaugnessy||PWBR00009||1995||Reilly||1||2001/01/21||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Ruined by Reading: A life in books||Lynne Sharon Schwartz||PWBR00010||1996||2001/02/18||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|The Black Shore||Greg Cox||PWBR00011||1997||Star Trek, Voyager||13||2001/02/18||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|The House on Mulberry Street||Maan Meyers||PWBR00012||1996||Tonneman||6||2001/02/18||🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸||RRE|
|Biblioholism: The Literary Addiction||Tom Raabe||PWBR00013||1996||2001/02/18||🐸🐸⚪⚪⚪||RRD|
|By the Rivers of Babylon||Nelson DeMille||PWBR00014||1978||2001/02/18||🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸||RRE|
|Hit Man||Lawrence Block||PWBR00015||1998||Keller||1||2001/02/18||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Devil in a Blue Dress||Walter Mosley||PWBR00016||1990||Rawlins||1||2001/02/18||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Dying To Get Even||Judy Fitzwater||PWBR00017||1999||Marsh||2||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸||RRE|
|Field of Thirteen||Dick Francis||PWBR00018||1998||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Perilous Relations||Carole Epstein||PWBR00019||1997||Simons||2||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRD|
|The Conquered||Daffyd ab Hugh||PWBR00020||1999||Star Trek||24, 1||2001/03/04||🐸🐸⚪⚪⚪||RRE|
|Perish Twice||Robert B. Parker||PWBR00021||2000||Randall||2||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Hearts and Bones||Margaret Lawrence||PWBR00022||1997||Hannah Trevor||1||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRD|
|The First Virtue||Michael Jan Friedman and Christie Golden||PWBR00023||1999||Star Trek||56, 6||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Deadly Decisions||Kathy Reichs||PWBR00024||2000||Brennan||3||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|The Mist||Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch||PWBR00025||1998||Star Trek, Captain's Table||3||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Double or Nothing||Peter David||PWBR00026||1999||Star Trek||55, 3||2001/03/04||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|The Collected Short Stories||Jeffrey Archer||PWBR00027||1998||2003/07/27||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Coffee Break Mysteries||William S. Shepherd||PWBR00028||2011||2011/04/26||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|When Is Enough, Enough||Laurie Ashner and Mitch Meyerson||PWBR00029||1996||2004/10/27||🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸||RRD|
|Darkest Hour||Meg Cabot||BR00031||2001||Mediator||4||2004/03/28||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Keziah Dane||Sue Grafton||BR00032||1967||2007/03/17||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRD|
|Equal to the Challenge||Department of National Defence (Canada)||BR00034||2001||2007/04/14||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRD|
|An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland||Michael Dirda||BR00035||2003||2007/05/03||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRD|
|Killing Floor||Lee Child||BR00036||1997||Reacher||1||2004/10/05||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|The Staked Goat||Jeremiah Healy||BR00037||1986||Cuddy||2||1998/06/21||🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸||RRE|
|So Like Sleep||Jeremiah Healy||BR00038||1987||Cuddy||3||2003/10/09||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Blunt Darts||Jeremiah Healy||BR00039||1984||Cuddy||1||2003/10/09||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|The Punisher||D.A. Stern||BR00040||2004||Punisher||1||2004/10/28||🐸⚪⚪⚪⚪||RRE|
|Fresh Blood 3||Mike Ripley and Maxim Jakubowski (Editors) with Lee Child||BR00041||1999||Reacher||2004/10/28||🐸🐸⚪⚪⚪||RRD|
|Under the Dragon's Tail||Maureen Jennings||BR00042||1998||Murdoch||2||2004/10/28||🐸🐸🐸⚪⚪||RRE|
|Poor Tom is Cold||Maureen Jennings||BR00043||2001||Murdoch||3||2004/10/28||🐸🐸⚪⚪⚪||RRE|
|Let Loose the Dogs||Maureen Jennings||BR00044||2003||Murdoch||4||2004/10/28||🐸🐸🐸🐸🐸||RRE|
|Blood Money||Thomas Perry||BR00045||1999||Whitefield||5||2005/05/25||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Until Proven Guilty||J.A. Jance||BR00046||1985||Beaumont||1||2005/05/25||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Payment in Kind||J.A. Jance||BR00047||1991||Beaumont||9||2005/05/25||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|
|Grave Secrets||Kathy Reichs||BR00048||2002||Brennan||5||2005/05/25||🐸🐸⚪⚪⚪||RRE|
|Snap Shot||Meg Chittenden||BR00049||2003||Gordon||1||2005/05/25||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRD|
|Beyond the Great Snow Mountains||Louis L'Amour||BR00050||1999||1999/08/11||🐸🐸🐸🐸⚪||RRE|