Recently, Jessa Crispin shocked the literary world by announcing she would be closing Bookslut, the literary blog she started fourteen years ago. Since then she has stirred some controversy, calling the Paris Review “boring as fuck” (the Paris Review took the critique in stride, offering a 10% discount with the code BORINGASFUCK) and attacking online literary culture for being overly positive....more
Posts Tagged: book reviews
Though Chloe Caldwell’s books, including her 2015 novella Women, have been praised by the likes of Lena Dunham and Cheryl Strayed, there are some critics who were not quite so enthralled. How did Caldwell handle the bad press? And how bad was it?...more
At the New York Times, Katherine Rosman discusses Bill Gates’s blog, Gates Notes. Particularly, she considers Gates’s book reviews and recommendations:
He rarely posts negative reviews of books, explaining that he sees no need to waste anyone’s time telling them why they shouldn’t bother reading something.
Over at the Huffington Post, Christina Larmer makes the case for all readers to leave reviews if they want to support the authors they love:
If you can find a minute—and that’s all it takes, I promise you—please jot a quick review on whatever eRetailer you happen to have used, each and every time you finish a book.
Language is a shape-shifting thing. For some, it is purely the written word, and for others, it is movement, color, texture, light. In its art-themed Sunday Book Review, the New York Times explores how five artists react to five different books through visual compositions....more
Fiction written under an authoritarian or totalitarian government often dares readers to view the work as a critique of that society.
In a review of two science fiction works by Cuban authors, Electric Literature takes a look at the surprising connection between oppressive political ideologies and fantastical worlds in fiction....more
Book reviews have grown nicer in recent years, with some publications eschewing negativity altogether. That wasn’t always the case. The earliest literary reviews were outright cruel, with publications trying to outdo their rivals. The Literary Review takes a look at the back-and-forth of the nasty book review culture of the nineteenth century....more
Wired is launching a book review section—of absurd self-published titles. Jason Kehe will in fact be judging books by their cover, selecting the books he reviews for the regular column by browsing the blog Kindle Cover Disasters. The first title in the series is Moira, The Zorzen War, The Divided Worlds Book 3:
If you’re confused, Moira probably is too.
Book reviewing is still a heavily debated topic within the literary world. This week, the New York Times’s Bookends column has James Parker and Anna Holmes answering the question, “Is book reviewing a public service or an art?”. Head to the Sunday Book Review page to find out what they both agreed on....more
The digital age threatens works of serious literary merit, warns British novelist Will Self:
Back when I began publishing novels, not only did the reviews in the quality press mean something – in terms of sales, yes, but also as a genuine assay of literary worth – but as a writer, you knew that there was a community of readers who paid attention to them.
Many authors’ stories blend together across a collection; they struggle to convey a unique voice in each piece. Not so with Jen Michalski’s From Here. Though her characters share common experiences—dashed hopes, disappointments, misunderstanding by loved ones—the voice in each story of From Here is fresh and specific....more
Good literature demands strong criticism, but today’s culture of niceness has limited critics. Lee Klein, writing in 3:AM Magazine, points out that writers’ interest in receiving positive feedback often leads them to forgo standards and slant reviews positively:
Literary citizenship is about buying books, subscribing to lit mags, going to readings.
Crown Publishing Group has been rolling out a marketing program hoping to leverage the power of social media. The program, Blogging for Books, offers free books to bloggers in exchange for book reviews. Ideal participants generate buzz by posting comments to social media and online bookstores, and including marketing materials like book trailers alongside their reviews....more
If you’re an author on Amazon, your days of posting book reviews may have come to an end.
Amazon’s new book review policy classifies Amazon authors as competitors, and competitors cannot review each others “products.” At Jacket Copy, Carolyn Kellogg asks, “Why is Amazon deleting writers’ reviews of other authors’ books?”
“That is hardly a rarity; most authors know other people who write books....more