This basic concept for this blog is something I’ve been kicking around for the last year.
Starting in 2013, I began keeping a list of all the books I read. This was partially to see just how many books I was reading in a year, and partially so I could do some analysis of what authors I was reading looking at gender, nationality, etc. It also game the opportunity to look at genres and themes more closely, and served as a handy reader’s advisory tool to boot, since I had a list of all the books I had read close at hand and could consult that when looking for book recommendations.
So this blog is basically a way for me to share my book reviews and recommendations. When I’ve recommended a book to someone, I’ll be including some general (anonymous) information about them and, if they gave me feedback, what they thought.
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.
A couple procedural notes:
For the most part, I’ll be reviewing these books in the order I read them, starting in 2013, with a few exceptions. If I read several books by the same author/in the same series close together, I’ll split up the posts to keep a little more variety (although some series will get a single post for the whole thing, if individual titles aren’t sufficiently distinct to warrant a separate post). The other exception is that if the “next” book in the queue is not the first book of a series that I haven’t reviewed before, I’ll be reviewing the first book instead.
I won’t be assigning numerical values to these reviews. The purpose of this blog is not just critical analysis, it’s intended as a reader’s advisory tool and thus books that I enjoyed might not be great for everyone, and books I didn’t particularly enjoy can still be great for people with different tastes than mine (and there are a number of titles like that coming up).
While the scope is mostly limited to “adult” fiction, I’ll be reviewing a few YA books and even some children’s titles.
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. Ranganathan’s 2nd and 3rd laws of library science are also applicable here.