Saturday, July 08, 2006

No More Reviews

I know, some of you are going to fall down in shock that I'm posting again so soon, but I made an announcement when I started this idea, and so thought I should comment once again.

I've decided not to review every book I read. I can't keep up and still have time to read all the wonderful books I have on hand. Though reviewing the books helped me look at them in a different light, it also made me antsy when I neared the end, knowing homework awaited me. Sometimes I'd find myself composing the review as I went along, distracting me from the text in front of me. And mostly, I created this blog to air the strange, stray thoughts that cross my mind or are founded on experiences that happen to me. Book reviews don't fall into that criteria at all and had started to take it over. I may still periodically post a list of those books I've enjoyed recently, or write about one that just blew me away, but really, it's not fair to myself to keep the requirement of reviewing each one, or fair to the books to pick and choose based on my mood or whether I've got too many other tasks before me. None of the books I've read had no value and many of them were downright grand and yet some have lingered on the "to be reviewed" pile to the point that now I'd have to read them a second time to give them justice.

So there you go. Cop out? Maybe. Realistic? Definitely. I'm not saying things couldn't change, I'm just saying not right now :).

And that just increases the guilt on those that ended up abandoned.

Bitten and Smitten by Michelle Rowen was an amazing cross between a romance, vampire novel, and pure chick lit. I read quotes to my sons that had them in stitches and Jacob still mentions the high heels :). It's a worthwhile read even if you've never felt inclined to venture into the chick lit world and I'm planning to pick up her next one as soon as I get a free moment.

Midnight Rain by Holly Lisle was a novel outside of my comfort zone in romances, but at the same time, it drew me in and was very evocative. Even more so, she created a plausible situation where either answer could have been true or a red herring. Very few authors can string me along with enough valid seeds so I'm fascinated rather than annoyed. Holly did it.

Neither of these books should have been on the abandoned list. Circumstances beyond their control, and mine, put them there and even though the bright spots remain, there isn't enough to give them adequate analysis. Life isn't fair, I suppose, and I thought this would be useful and interesting for me, those readers I do have, and even the authors by giving them a slightly higher profile. It's a commitment I can't maintain and I'm going to stop kidding myself (and hiding the three to four other books I've read but not even put on the list out of fear).

I hope you've found the other reviews useful and interesting, but for now, I think that aspect is waning if not faded all together.

Oh, and any thoughts on whether I should keep writing up the list of books I do read in the sidebar? Is that of any interest without the hope of a review to back it up? Maybe I'll change the title to "Books I've Enjoyed" and then still end up with at least 95% of my reading material going up there. I'm a slow enough reader that I'm very selective in my reading and rarely end up with something that doesn't charm me.


Deirdre said...

Thank you! I love you my sister, but you have a greater ability to make pleasure activities into work than any other person I've ever known.

Read the books, enjoy them, if you do, give us a title...or if you really want to push it - give us 2 sentences that tell us whether it's chick lit or mystery or science or could even just copy-paste from Amazon or the back of the book!!

Really, we'll forgive you for just wanting to read for fun.

...hmmm...maybe moving really *was* good for you!


Margaret said...


Nah, it's not the move, it's the being unsettled and having more tasks to do before I am :).

2 sentences. I can manage that :).

Jean said...

My goodness. I never expected a full review from you on anything. I have read and enjoyed your reviews, but good grief, if they're interfering with being able to enjoy the books, stop already.

If one strikes your fancy and you want to let us know, a few sentences will do just fine -- along with the title, of course.

As for the book list on the sidebar, entirely up to you. I keep a list on a secondary page on the blog for personal tracking reasons. I don't thing anyone really looks at it, but I find it interesting to keep track of how much reading I'm able to accomplish during the year. I started in the middle of last year, and I know I missed a few books, but I've been tracking both completed books and TBRs this year, and I really enjoy it. I periodically glance at other people's lists but I don't study them regularly.

Margaret said...

Okay, you guys make it sound ridiculous, but really, I started it for educational purposes. I don't read for analysis. If I can analyze a book while reading, either I'm too distracted to read or the book isn't good enough to absorb me. The book reviews got me to take the step back and analyze afterwards. As much as I like providing content (I'm still thrilled that people actually come and read my blog :)), the true purpose was to make my reading time serve double as self-education. I guess I'm too tapped now to multitask.

Maripat said...

Mar, you're so funny. I never came here expecting anything from you. Well, except to read what goes on in that mind of yours.

And I got to admit it gets a little scary sometimes. I mean I've read your to-do lists, you're not human.


I'd love to hear what you think about some books that really impressed you. But time has to be on your side. Don't feel obligated to do it.

Margaret said...

Thanks Maripat...I think ;).

And yeah, my mind can be quite...umm...out of the ordinary, but it's a fun ride :).

Holly said...

I've enjoyed all of your entries. I have to admit that the fact that you reviewed some of my books (favorably, too) thrilled me, but book reviews weren't the reason I signed onto your update list. You say interesting, challenging things, and I like seeing where your mind goes.

Write what you want to write, and I'll keep reading.

Margaret said...

Aww, thanks Holly :D.

And I think I might do what Dee suggested and just do a rollup of the books I've enjoyed periodically. Expect to see more of yours up here anyway :D.

And now to come up with something interesting to say without trying to gas myself or otherwise endanger my existence ;).