15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 8 “Quick! Write 15 Bullet Points of Things That Appeal to You on Book Blogs!”

  1. 15-day-challengeBoobs.
  2. Just kidding about #1
  3. My favorite bloggers explain why they praise or pan a book. I always find “I just didn’t like it” to be a sort of cop-out. Take the extra sixty seconds to add another clause or two there, babe, like “I didn’t like it, because the main character was a racist jackass.” See? That wasn’t so hard, now was it?
  4. My book-blogging maven, Kelly, deals with characters on their own level. If she’s reading a YA book, she’ll say things like, “I totally would have wanted her to be my best friend in high school.” She has an enthusiasm for the people who inhabit books, looking at them as real people and not just tools to advance a plot.
  5. Come to think of it, enthusiasm in general is a big plus for me. I’m not saying you have to love every book as if it were made of peppermint ice cream or anything, but don’t just say, “Meh. Two stars.” I’ll lend you an Adderall if a paragraph or two proves too much for you.
  6. Don’t just tell me what the book is about–give me your opinion. I can get the summary from Goodreads or a dust jacket. I’m subscribing to your book-blog or Goodreads page, because I’m interested in your opinion. It may not affect my decision to read or ignore a book, any more than Roger Ebert panning a movie meant I wouldn’t go see it, but I want to hear why you do or don’t like a book. Also, requiescat in pace Roger Ebert.
  7. For the love of everything holy, do NOT use little .gif files, YouTube videos, orchestration, playlists, dancing monkeys, fireworks, lasers, original edgy folksongs, topless dancers, or any other visual or aural gimmick during your review. I assume you’re reviewing a book–you know, the things with typed words?–and not a multimedia extravaganza. Those things I listed are the bloggerly equivalent of speed-bumps, and I avoid speed-bumps.
  8. Give proofreading a chance. Earth thanks you.
  9. Don’t overreach. In other words, if you’re not Dorothy Parker–and I’m reasonably certain you’re not–please don’t try to write like Dorothy Parker. By all means, bring the snark if you so desire–snark outlived the Algonquin Round Table, after all–but write snark like YOU. Find your own written voice. Then, 20 years from now, we’ll be doing this damn meme again, and I’ll tell Kelly, “Hey, Kel. Remember Juggggs4Evah from Goodreads? Ever since I suggested everyone try to find his or her own writing style, he’s outsold Stephen King. Can I borrow ten bucks? I’m on fumes, and I need to get to the Public Library/Methadone Clinic before they run out of orange juice and the new Reacher novel.”
  10. In reviews, “sucks” and “blows” mean the same thing. Use neither.
  11. If you’re going to review a book, please read the book. Don’t just give it a cursory skim.
  12. EXCEPTION to #11: I have read some great reviews from people who have just skimmed a book, wherein they explained why they just skimmed it, or stopped altogether. “I started this book, but the author threw in so many French phrases and sentences–even paragraphs–that I just gave up. If there’d been footnotes, I could’ve done it, but having to use Google Translate to understand 25% of an English-language novel is a giant steaming pile of bullmerde.” You’ve proclaimed that you didn’t read the whole book, and you’ve explained why you stopped. Your review will help other readers–ME, e.g.–who also loathe overly foreign sentence-heavy books. Thanks for the warning!
  13. Avoid non sequiturs. If you have a logical disagreement with the author, cool! Let’s have it! However, I’ve read a number of blogs from people taking umbrage at the new book, “Zealot,” for example. The author spent 20  years researching his book about Jesus. He provides a bibliography of cited works that’s nearly as long as the book itself. He has a PhD. I swear, I read on some offended person’s blog the phrase, “The author says ____, but he’s a Muslim, so how would he know?” (nb: I read “Zealot.” I didn’t agree with everything the guy said, nor did it change my beliefs, but it’s a book, ffs) It’d be like me saying, “Hey. Your car’s on fire,” and you responding with, “What do you know? You have a beard!” Non sequitur is Latin for “logical reasoning skills of a douchebag.”
  14. (W)ear the gold hat, if that will move her;
    If you can bounce high, bounce for her too,
    Till she cry “Lover, gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover,
    I must have you!” (If you’re running out of crap to write, and you need to fill a space, just quote F. Scott Fitzgerald apropos of nothing. You’ll sound smart, and hopefully people will embrace your genius, and blame themselves for not knowing what the hell a gold-hatted, high-bouncing lover has to do with book-blogging.)
    15. Never write 800 words for 15 simple bullet points. You’ll bore the merde out of everyone. Oh. Shit. Sorry about that.
    These are just my observations, and I’ve violated most of them, probably today.
    The basic bullet points are these three:
    1. Read books
    2. Review books
    3. Have fun
    4. Do it your way.

    Besos, t

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About tom

B.A. in Literature, Minor in Film Theory and Criticism, thus meaning all I’m trained is to write blog posts here. Neptune is my favorite planet–it vents methane into the solar system like my brother does. I think Chicken McNuggets look like Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. There are times when I’m medicated, which is why I wrote about McNuggets. Buy some today and tell me I’m wrong! Anyway, Beyond that: mammal, Floridian, biped.Good Night, and Good Luck. Besos, tom
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4 Responses to 15 Day Book Blogger Challenge: Day 8 “Quick! Write 15 Bullet Points of Things That Appeal to You on Book Blogs!”

  1. stevebetz says:

    I’m amazed by the number of people that will just cut/paste the Amazon or Goodreads summary and then assign a rating, with maybe a sentence or two. That’s not blogging, that’s listing.

    I’m always game for boobs.

    Like

    • tom says:

      I concur. When I started on Goodreads, honestly I wasn’t worried about writing reviews as much as I just wanted a way to keep track of what I read. That lasted about one book, then I started writing actual reviews. Part of that, I think, is my college years. All I was trained to do is read books or watch movies, then write reviews on them. It’s sort of a reflexive thing at this point: read a book, come up with a review, and write pretty. It’s the same as you and your doctorate: no doubt, you can attach lasers and missiles to a shark while being totally asleep. 😉

      There were two films I had to write huge-ass term papers on, and I get a little hostile if people write dumb incorrect stuff about them (2001: A Space Odyssey, and The Exorcist).

      And Linda Blair was freed from Pazuzu, then possessed by a giant-boob spirit of some kind. I mean, good Lord: the difference between The Exorcist and completely awful Exorcist 2? Those had to be supernatural.

      Like

  2. Lurkertype says:

    I dunno — some books, do, in fact, suck, and I appreciate it if I’m warned about it. “This sucks” isn’t enough, but “This sucks because…” is acceptable. Sometimes, it’s the only word that will do.

    Like

  3. Lurkertype says:

    This kinda tangentially reminded me of here. (previous sentence an actual experience of living in LT’s brain)

    http://kriswrites.com/2013/07/31/the-business-rusch-dreams-and-bestsellers/

    Like

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