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to review or not to review

Currently Reading: Stones Into Schools: Promoting Peace with Books, not Bombs in Afghanistan and Pakistan by Greg Mortenson

My grandmother has this wonderful saying: “If one man’s meat is another man’s poison, one man’s book is another man’s boredom.”

I love this quote (I don’t know where she originally heard it). It’s so true. Reading is a very individual, personal thing–what one person might love, another might not like at all.

So my personal policy, on this blog and elsewhere, is that I don’t review books. I might recommend books, but no concrete reviews. And here is another reason why: I am not a critic. I am a reader and a writer. What I might love, another might hate. And I like to feel safe when I give my opinions. Because I have them. I really do.

But I do try to spread the word about books. I link to other authors in my sidebar. I like to put books that I am reading at the top of my posts. And, beginning next Monday and continuing periodically throughout the next few months, I will be promoting (but not reviewing!) other books in the Penguin Five (five books coming out this summer/fall from Penguin Young Readers). We are taking turns spotlighting one another’s books on our blogs. It should be fun. And Penguin is providing copies of books for giveaways, so be sure to check back. Because free books? Always five stars.

P.S. Remember last week when I said someday I would like to be part of the Writing For Charity event when I grew up? Well, apparently I am now grown up. Because I get to be on the evening panel with Brandon Mull, Bree Despain, James Dashner, and Jessica Day George. I’m so excited. This is a really wonderful event in which you get your work critiqued and the proceeds to go charity.

+ comments (7)
  • Samantha
    August 3, 2010

    You AND Brandon Mull AND James Dashner? (I don’t know the others, but need to find out now) I would TOTALLY go…if only…. 🙂

    Have fun!

  • Enna Isilee
    August 3, 2010

    GRAH! I want to go to the evening event SO BADLY! But we have a family party that night that I just can’t skip out on. I’m so sad.

    I heard Greg Mortenson speak last year. He’s a very interesting guy.

  • becca
    August 4, 2010

    Recommendations always beat reviews. So let it be done.

  • An Ordinary Mom
    August 4, 2010

    I can’t wait to read all your recommendations 🙂 !!

  • charlotte
    August 5, 2010

    I’m so excited/jealous about your Writing for Charity event!

  • ally
    August 9, 2010

    Samantha, I think it will be really great. Brandon and James and I all published with Shadow Mountain together and they are great guys.

    Enna Isilee, I love Greg Mortenson. He’s so amazing.

    Becca, I miss you. I won’t really be “recommending” a lot of books–just putting them out there.

    An Ordinary Mom, thanks! See above. 🙂

    Charlotte, thanks! Wish you could be there!

  • Isela Munoz
    August 10, 2010

    I’ve read Brandon Mull AND James Dashner and enjoyed them too. What a great event this will be. I wish I could go.


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