This will be a shorter post than usual, guys. I had emergency eye surgery the day after I wrote my last post, and I am still essentially working with one and a half functioning eyes.
We've been talking about what the blogosphere holds for the writer. You already know the answer to that....a lot. You can spend all time trolling the Internet just reading writer's blogs, advice columns or sites that will help you do this, that or the other better. Unless I have a specific problem, I don't spend a lot of time cruising the virtual highway. I just don't have time.
If I am online, it is to find out what is being published and what is worth reading. There was a time when I read everything that came out, good, bad or indifferent...but again...I don't have the time any more. (I should also add that as a librarian, reading everything that came in was part of my job.) Another part of the job was reading the review sources....Publishers Weekly, Kirkus Reviews, Horn Book, etc. All of these are available online for free, in condensed forms.
However, I have been relying on these sources since my library school days, and I have learned that not every book makes it to the "the Bigs" of the review world. That's when I discovered bloggers-who-review. Some bloggers drop a review or two into their posts from time to time. I like lots of reviews, all in one place. (Again...that time-saving thing.)
Once a month I check my two favorite sources, Richie's Picks and Goodreads. Goodreads has recently become affiliated with Amazon in some fashion which seems to annoy my fellow readers. I am not going to get into a political debate over book reviewing. I scan through Goodreads not so much for the quality of the reviews, but mainly to see what people are reading. If there are a thousand plus reviews or likes of a book I've never even heard of, I check Amazon for the review. That is, I check Amazon if it is an adult book. If it is a children's book, I click on over to Richie's Picks.
Richie Partington doesn't so much review books as to write short essays about them. He includes lengthy passages from the book (so you can get a taste of the writer's style) , compares them to other books (not necessarily books of the same genre or author...just books that ring a bell in Richie's head.) He keeps a year's worth of "recent" reviews online, but has an archive of his "Richie's Best of the Year" going all the way back to 2005. Richie's selections are eclectic. He reviews whatever floats his boat (I am still waiting to have one of my books in Richie's Picks). What I like about this blog is that Richie gives you more than enough information for you to decide whether this book is worth your time or not. Like I say, so many books, so little time. That's why Richie is my reading guru.
Don't forget to enter our latest book giveaway for our own Jill Esbaum's book. See Jill's post for information. This is one of your last chances, since the deadline is June 19th.
Posted by Mary Ann Rodman