Since I missed doing a Sunday Salon last week, I thought I’d include two weeks worth of reading round-up which still isn’t a whole lot since work has been incredibly busy and I haven’t found a lot of time to read the last few weeks.
The round up:
A Corpse at St. Andrews Chapel by Mel Starr
The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
I’m currently finishing up The Greatest Knight by Elizabeth Chadwick. I also gave up on Jane Smiley’s The Greenlanders. It’s not a total give up but a back on the TBR list for another time. I want to take another try at it but it’s due back at the library and I won’t get to it before it starts accumulating fines so back on the list it goes.
Last week I came across an article on Salon.com by Jeanette DeMain titled, “Amazon reviewers think this masterpiece sucks: From “The Grapes of Wrath” to “1984” — some amateur critics just can’t stand the classics.”
She goes on to talk about some of the more scathing reviews left on Amazon which had me laughing and cringing at the same time. Like the article’s author, I use Amazon to look up titles, find books, and see what some are saying about a particular tome. I’ve been amused by some of the reviews, piqued by others, and in some cases just downright flabbergasted by the cruel use of the thesaurus which was trotted out only to be used to inflict additional pain in finding words that mean hate. In general, I don’t post my reviews on Amazon but I do wonder at some of the mean-spirited reviews out there.
When reviewing a book, I never aim to be mean even when I didn’t enjoy a book. What good does that do? Just because I didn’t like a book doesn’t mean that others will not. My tastes are my own and I always try to remember that when writing a review. I’ve read books that have come highly recommended and found the books just all right and sometimes even boring. Hey, it happens. We can’t, and don’t, all love the same books. Isn’t that what makes this fun though?
Anyway, I thought the article would be of interest to a few out there and wanted to give it a brief mention since it got me thinking about my own writings and musing.
4 thoughts on “The Sunday Salon”
You certainly have had a lot of great reads lately!
I usually try to be even-handed, and to be honest, even if I don’t like a book, there’s usually some merit down in there if you dig deep enough. I absolutely hated The Historian, but I did enjoy the occasional gleam of promise it showed every once in a while. I don’t know how people can get so vicious about works sometimes- I can never find much fault in musicals, due to the sheer amount of effort needed to get one off the ground.
(Of course, this is wildly different than when I’m faced with an offensive book. 🙂 )
There are times when I avoid reading amazon reviews because I know that no matter how many good reviews there are for a book, there’s usually a few nasty ones that will haunt me as I read that book. I don’t usually post my reviews on amazon unless someone specifically requests it when they send me a review copy.
I don’t aim for being mean, either, but I do discuss the problems I have with books I don’t enjoy. That way, people can decide for themselves if they’d react similarly! 🙂