Sunday Spotlight

Here are some of the book reviews, articles and blog posts I’ve been enjoying this week. Want me to feature one of your posts here? Send me a link and I’ll check it out!

  1. Faking Nice in the Blogosphere: Women and Book Reviews by Sarah McCarry for the Huffington Post.
    Do women have a tendency to “make nice” with their book reviews – especially those for YA novels (which are apparently written and consumed largely by women) or books written by female authors? Not that I’ve noticed, personally, but McCarry does have an interesting point. I always feel guilty when I dislike a book. Part of why I review is so that I have the space to explain myself, and I’m always careful to point out something good, even if I really found the experience utterly distasteful. Why? Because, as a writer, I understand how difficult it is to put your work out there and have it criticised. Having something good in with the bad gives you something to hold onto, even when you feel like you’ve just been crushed into bitty bits. I do this to all authors, as far as I know (equal opportunity sympathiser here) but to an extent I can understand what McCarry is saying. That need to apologize for ones tastes is something that can cripple a person, and an author in particular. It is necessary at some point to challenge the boundaries of social acceptability in order to say what needs to be said.
  2. Interview with the author of Emotional Geography at Life is a Patchwork Quilt.
    A fascinating interview with Linda Gillard, whose book sounds absolutely amazing and definitely worth checking out.
  3. Book Covers Matter: a survey from The Book Smugglers.
    As I found out recently to my surprise, the cover of a book matters. Oh, I’ve always known I get turned off pretty easily by an ugly cover. Even if the synopsis sounds interesting, if the cover is ugly my interest can wane pretty quickly (I guess I’m just that shallow…how sad). I was intrigued to find that other book-lovers had shared my experiences. Now, I don’t buy books very often (starving student here!) so I can’t say having a bad cover would make me not want to purchase them exactly. However, I have definitely been known to pay extra for a copy that looks pretty, and I recently was very disappointed that the only version of The Angel’s Cut they have at our library looks, well, like a fat, chunky kids book with the font to match, which makes the experience of reading it nowhere near as enthralling as it quite possibly could have been. So, yeah. Check out the results of The Book Smugglers’ survey – it’s really intriguing!
  4. An enthusiastic review of The Help at Tales of a Capricious Reader.
    No, you’re not the last one to read it – looks like that would be me! Sounds like a great book – I will definitely have to track a copy down.
  5. Hunger Among the Indians over at Frances Hunter’s blog.
    An unusual post for the Social Justice Challenge exploring the hunger problems faced by Native Americans in the United States.


    • Frances Hunter
    • May 4th, 2010

    Thank you for the link to my blog post on Hunger Among the Indians!

      • Black Sheep
      • May 4th, 2010

      You’re welcome! It’s a great post 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  1. Thank you for linking to my review of “Emotional Geology”! I hope you enjoy this book when you get to read it.

    As for book covers, I admit I do often judge a book by its’ cover! Part of that is because you can often tell what type of genre it is by the cover’s design. I don’t like horror, for example, so if it looks scary, I stay away!

      • Black Sheep
      • May 12th, 2010

      You’re welcome – it looks like a great book 🙂 That’s a good point about covers showing the genre; I know I steer clear of books with overtly romantic covers like Mills & Boon. It’s kind of like a visual code, in a way!

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