Book Reviews

So many books. So little time.

A Picture Book

A picture is worth a thousand words

Where art meets words

Other Books

Words can create pictures too.

The power of imagination.

Words, words, words

Where Conversations Begin

A good conversation is a good life

Where conversations begin

All About Writing

Random thoughts on the how and why of writing

Why write

Writing A Book Review

Begin with love. Love that you are writing a book review. And love the book that you are reviewing. My friend is an amazing painter. You know what she does with her finished paintings? Stores them in the garage. Quite a big stack she has there.

"You don't understand," she says. "Each painting is a baby I created. I'm afraid to send it out in the world." That is true of all work: painting, music, sculpture, writing. Everything created is something the creator poured her heart and soul into. Treat it with love.

Remember that a book review is not a book report. Different breeds of cat here! A review is your opinion of the work. A report is a retelling, with maybe some little information about the author and his life and times. The review is a report plus. You can summarize the book, but what gives it value is your opinion on it. One is a retelling, the other is an analysis. One is objective, the other is subjective.

A teacher was known for always writing encouraging comments on her student's work. The first assignment after the summer break was a composition — four paragraphs long — on the summer holidays. Billy turned in a one-paragraph essay, untidily written, sprawled all across the page. What would the teacher say?

"Nice spaces, Billy," she wrote in big red letters across the top of the page. "Nice spaces."

Be like that teacher. Find the nice spaces. Snide is easy. Critical is super-easy. Unless the work under review is a matter of life-and-death, be kind. Be smart elsewhere. The creator poured her heart in creating it. Love it back. In this fractured, divisive world a little love will go a long way.

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