I’m a librarian who wasn’t very good at deciding what they wanted to specialize in during library school. As a result, I’ve worked all across the board: in public, academic, and special libraries, in youth service’s, reference, circulation, technical services, etc.
This blog is where I share my book reviews, recommendations, and reader’s advisory experiences. The general format is a brief description of the book, a plot summary, a review, and finally my recommendations, both who I would theoretically recommend the book for and (when I have the information available) what patrons and others who I have recommended actually thought about the book. I’ve included some general demographic information about the individuals but I’ve tried to keep it as anonymous as possible.
I’m mostly reviewing books in the order I read them, starting in 2013 when I first began tracking my reading. I’ll be switching up the order when I read a bunch of one author or genre in a row. When it comes to series, I will review some of them collectively but some series will get individual reviews for each volume.
I don’t give books numerical grades because, as Ranganathan’s 2nd and 3rd laws of library science state, every book its reader and every reader their book.
I’ll be primarily reviewing “adult” fiction, but will include some nonfiction, graphic novels, YA books, and children’s from time to time.
I’ll occasionally be reviewing foreign language materials. I’ll try to make it clear whether or not I read the original text or a translation. If I read the original, I’ll state that clearly, but I won’t dwell on the quality of translated versions if I haven’t read any.
I’m not concerning myself with the so-called “literary” value of the works in question. I’m a librarian, and have the perhaps stereotypical attitude that people can read whatever they want, for whatever reason they want. I might discuss some of the philosophical attributes of a book, but I’m not going to pass judgment on books for being insufficiently highfalutin. I do my best not to judge others for their genre/author/title preferences, Daniel Pennac’s Rights of the reader basically sums up my attitude about this.
As for my tastes, here’s where they tend to drift:
I have a strong preference for fiction over nonfiction. While I do read lots of nonfiction, I generally read it in periodicals or online, and I don’t track this information. I still do read nonfiction books form time to time, and I’ll probably post some reviews there as well, but it’s not a major focus, especially since my current day job is exclusively nonfiction oriented.
When it comes to fiction, I generally prefer genre fiction. Most frequently I read science fiction/fantasy, but I also read lots of historical fiction and some mysteries and thrillers. When I read literary fiction, I tend towards the weirder stuff.
In contrast with my taste for genre fiction, I don’t generally enjoy alternate history novels. I’ve tried to be as objective as possible in my “recommendations” sections so don’t be surprised when I give a book a negative review but still recommend it.
I have a passion for moral philosophy, so books with related themes are favorites of mine regardless of genre.