Notes from An Alien

~ Explorations In Reading, Writing, and Publishing ~

Tag Archives: Book Reviews

Something for #Readers & #Writers . . .


This blog is like me—more maverick than classifiable

I report on Reading, Writing, and Publishing on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

I Re-Blog others’ posts on those three topics the other days of the week.

I am an author and I like to give my stuff away (see the left side-bar…).

Of course, if you’re a regular visitor, you know all this; but, I get most of my traffic from unsuspecting folks putting words into search engines

There are two other kinds of bloggers who authors and readers especially like—Book-Bloggers & Bloggers-Who-Do-Book-Reviews—sometimes a person is really both but some folks want to be one or the other (and, finding clear definitions for either is difficult…)

I’ll share two sites that cater to these types of blogs.

First, The Book Blogger List:

What they say about themselves:

“We have created this site to help book bloggers find like-minded bloggers and help authors find book bloggers that might be interested in their book.”

I’m really surprised they don’t mention Readers………

Perhaps they feel it’s way too obvious that a reader would like a place to find blogs about books…?

Now, their “rules”:

“Instructions for Authors

“This database of book bloggers is organized by genre of interest. If a book blogger has expressed interest in multiple genres, they will be listed in each category. Any book blogger that is listed here has asked to be listed.  Keep in mind that when approaching a book blogger about your book, use your manners and your common sense. Don’t approach a blogger who only reads children’s lit to read your non-fiction business book. Choose bloggers that are interested in your genre.”

“Instructions for Book Bloggers

“This is a site for you to list your book blog as well as find some bloggy friends. All the entries will be checked every two months. If your blog has not been posted to during those two months, your listing will be removed. If you are taking a blogging break – or going on a really long vacation, let us know and we won’t pull your listing.”

Now, let’s take a look at The Indie View.

First, “Indie” generally means “not from the big, old, traditional publishers”

The Indie View has three main sections:

Latest Indie Book Reviews from Around the Web

A List of Folks Who Review Indie Books

A List of Authors Who’ve Rated High in Indie Reviews

If you’re a writer looking for reviews, use their main link and scroll the right side-bar for Registration Requirements.

And, partly because there are so many book-blogs and partly because I want this post to be of value, here’s one more place to visit:

http://bookblogging.net/
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52 Book Review Sites


Do you like to read book reviews?

Book Reviews

Image Courtesy of Mikhail Lavrenov ~ http://www.freeimages.com/profile/miklav

Do you think book reviews can determine what you choose to read?

Ever read a review of a book you’ve read that you totally disagree with?

Here are a few Book Review Quotes:

“In my reviews, I feel it’s good to make it clear that I’m not proposing objective truth, but subjective reactions; a review should reflect the immediate experience.”
Roger Ebert

“I’ve rarely gotten a good review in my life, yet, to paraphrase Noel Coward, I am happy to console myself with the bitter palliative of commercial success.”
Steven Weber

“A bad review is like baking a cake with all the best ingredients and having someone sit on it.”
Danielle Steel

“What I really like is an intelligent review. It doesn’t have to be positive. A review that has some kind of insight, and sometimes people say something that’s startling or is so poignant.”
Patti Smith

Not all those quotes are from book reviewers or authors but I think they still apply…

Now, courtesy of Arts and Letters Daily, here are 52 Book Review Sites ( the links aren’t purple but they do work :-) :

American Scholar Books
Atlantic Books
Australian Literary Rev
Australian Book Review
B&N Review
Book Beast
Books & Culture
Bookforum
Boston Globe Books
Chronicle Review
Claremont Review
Complete Review
CS Monitor Books
Denver Post
Dublin Review
Economist Books
Financial Times Books
Globe & Mail Books
Guardian Books
The Hindu Books
Independent Books
January Magazine
Jewish Review of Books
Literary Review
London Review
Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Review of Books
Melbourne Age
Metapsychology
The Nation Books
New Statesman Books
New Republic Books
New York Review
NY Times Books
New Yorker Books
Newsday Books
Open Letters
Public Books
Salon Books
SF Chronicle Books
Scotsman Books
Slate Book Review
Spectator Books
Spiked Books
Tablet Books
Telegraph Books
Times Higher Ed Books
The TLS
University Bookman
Washington Post
Washington Times
WSJ Books

Check Out our Latest Poll…
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“…well-written and well-argued book reviews, essays, and other articles in the realm of ideas.”


Writers are usually open to nearly anything that will feed them new ideas—seems to be one of the few traits that could be attributed to most writers

The title of this post is a quote from the Wikipedia article about Denis Dutton; it refers to a site he founded called Arts & Letters Daily.

Here’s the full quote:

“Dutton was best known for the web aggregation site Arts & Letters Daily, which he founded in 1998 and which secured him a place among ‘the most influential media personalities in the world’. The site, described as ‘the first and foremost aggregator of well-written and well-argued book reviews, essays, and other articles in the realm of ideas’, features links to articles across the web about literature, art, science, and politics, for which Dutton wrote pithy teasers. In recognition of Arts & Letters Daily, Steven Pinker called Dutton a visionary for recognizing that a website ‘could be a forum for cutting-edge ideas, not just a way to sell things or entertain the bored’.”

I discovered A&LD many years ago and promptly forgot about it; rediscovered it a number of times; re-forgot about it; and, now, will make it known to you, hoping some of you will remember and use it :-)

It truly is a long-lived and remarkable web site.

By copying it’s side-bar of links, I’ll relieve myself of writing more in this particular post; but, really, I’d be hard-pressed to do it justice by trying to describe such a wide-ranging resource. ENJOY :-)

Nota Bene Clive James: By the book Not these words! Top literary pet Slabs of bleeding cow Exhuming Neruda Have money, will publish Heart-sinking comma Proust’s handwriting Thesis hatement Hitler’s food taster “Creative” writing Word aversion The Bard, tax dodger “Ungoogleable”

Breaking News ABC / AP / BBC / CBC / CBS / CNBC / CNN / Fox / Google / MarketWatch / MSNBC / NBC / NPR / Reuters / Yahoo

Newspapers The Australian Beirut Daily Star Boston Globe CS Monitor Chicago Tribune Financial Times Globe & Mail Guardian / Observer Ha’aretz The Hindu The Independent Japan Times Jerusalem Post London Telegraph Los Angeles Times Moscow Times National Post New York Times New Zealand Herald SMH USA Today Washington Post

Magazines Aeon The American American Conservative American Heritage American Interest American Journal Rev American Prospect American Review American Scholar American Scientist American Spectator Armed Forces Journal Art News Artforum Atlantic Monthly Axess Azure Big Questions Boston Globe Ideas Boston Review Chron of Higher Ed Chron of Philanthropy Chronicle Review CIA Studies City Journal Columbia Journal Rev Commentary Common-place Common Review Commonweal Defining Ideas Democracy Discover Dissent The Economist The European Evolutionary Psych First Things Forbes Foreign Affairs Foreign Policy Fortnightly Review Harper’s History Today Hoover Digest Hudson Review The Humanist Humanities Independent Review Intelligent Life In These Times Jacobin Lambda Literary Review Lapham’s Quarterly Le Monde Diplo The Liberal Maclean’s Miller-McCune Mother Jones Ms. Magazine The Nation National Affairs National Interest National Journal National Review New Atlantis New Criterion New English Review New Left Review New Republic New Scientist New Statesman New York Magazine New York Observer New York Press NY Times Magazine New Yorker Newsweek Parameters Paris Review Philosophers’ Mag Philosophy & Literature Philosophy Now Poetry Poets & Writers Policy Policy Review The Progressive Prospect Psychology Today Quadrant Reason Salon Scientific American Seed Skeptical Inquirer Slate Smithsonian Magazine The Spectator Standpoint Der Spiegel Technology Review Threepenny Review Tikkun Time Magazine US News Utne Reader Village Voice WSJ Opinion The Walrus Washington Monthly Weekly Standard Wilson Quarterly Wired World Affairs

Book Reviews American Scholar Books Atlantic Books Australian Literary Rev Australian Book Review B&N Review Book Beast Books & Culture Bookforum Boston Globe Books Chronicle Review Claremont Review Complete Review CS Monitor Books Denver Post Dublin Review Economist Books Financial Times Books Globe & Mail Books Guardian Lit News Guardian Books The Hindu Books Independent Books January Magazine Jewish Review of Books Literary Review London Review Los Angeles Times Los Angeles Review of Books Melbourne Age Metapsychology n+1 Books The Nation Books New Haven Review New Statesman Books New Republic Books New York Review NY Times Books New Yorker Book Blog Newsday Books Open Letters Philly Inquirer Books Salon Books SF Chronicle Books Scotsman Books Slate Books Spectator Books Spiked Books Tablet Books Telegraph Books Times Higher Ed Books The TLS University Bookman Village Voice Washington Post Washington Times WSJ Books Wilson Quarterly

Columnists David Aaronovitch Janet Albrechtsen Eric Alterman Anne Applebaum Timothy Garton Ash Michael Bassett Bruce Bawer Alex Beam James Bowman Robert Boynton Samuel Brittan David Brooks Trevor Butterworth Jon Carroll Noam Chomsky Gail Collins Joe Conason Clive Crook Meghan Daum Miranda Devine E.J. Dionne Jr. Michael Dirda Maureen Dowd Ambrose Evans-Pritchard Suzanne Fields Daniel Finkelstein Robert Fisk Thomas Friedman Robert Fulford Frank Furedi Malcolm Gladwell Ellen Goodman Victor Davis Hanson Johann Hari Nat Hentoff David Horowitz Jeff Jacoby Clive James Robert Kagan Mickey Kaus Roger Kimball Martin Kramer Morton Kondracke Chas Krauthammer Paul Krugman Howard Kurtz Norman Lebrecht James Lileks Tod Lindberg Salim Mansour Mark Morford Brendan O’Neill Camille Paglia John Allen Paulos William Pfaff Melanie Phillips Daniel Pipes Katha Pollitt Virginia Postrel Dorothy Rabinowitz Jonathan Rauch Carlin Romano Milt Rosenberg Roger Sandall Sam Smith Thomas Sowell Mark Steyn Andrew Sullivan John Tierney Tunku Varadarajan Shankar Vedantam David Warren Margaret Wente George Will Keith Windschuttle Jonathan Yardley William Zinsser

Favorites Arion Baker Street Irregulars Big Think Bloggingheads Butterflies & Wheels Climate Debate Daily Cognition & Culture CounterPunch Cultural Weekly The Daily Beast Daily Caller Debka File Drudge Report Ducts Economic Principals Edge Ethics & Policy Eurozine FrontPage Gene Expression Fora TV Globalist Guernica Magazine I Want Media Ifeminists Improbable Research Jewcy Jewish Ideas Daily Killing the Buddha Lapham’s Quarterly Logos MEMRI Mr. Beller’s ‘hood Nationmaster Nthposition Obscure Store Open Culture Open Democracy Overlawyered The Page Poetry Project Syndicate Quackwatch Romenesko Rutherford Journal Science/Creationism Shakespeare Web Skeptic’s Dictionary Smart Set Snopes Social Issues Centre Spiked-Online Strange Maps Table Matters TED ThoughtCast TomPaine Top Ten Books Web del Sol Wimp.com Woodpile Report Words Without Borders

Weblogs Ira Altschiller Amygdalit Bryan Appleyard Armavirumque Larry Arnhart Atrios Adam Baer David Barash Matthew Battles Graham Beattie Becker and Posner Two Blowhards Bob’s Art Blog David Bordwell Brainstorm Britannica Copy, Shake, and Paste Crooked Timber Lawrence Solum Chicago Boyz The Corner Colby Cosh Eric Crampton Culture Wars Richard Dawkins Brad DeLong A.C.Douglas Epicurean Dealmaker Amitai Etzioni Stephen Franks Peter Ginna Instapundit Michael Kaplan Allen MacNeill Marginal Revolution Norman Geras Lester Hunt IWF Inkwell Steven Johnson Brothers Judd Satoshi Kanazawa Daily Kos Brian Leiter Little Green Footballs Derek Lowe Colin Marshall Grant McCracken Steve McIntyre Warren Meyer Middle East Strategy D.G.Myers John Naughton The New Inquiry Gloria Origgi Overcoming Bias Bibliographing Chequer-Board Page Views Michael Phillips Political Animal Matthew Price The Revealer Matt Ridley Stephen Romei Alex Ross Lib Samizdata Russell Seitz Peter Stothard David Sucher Talking Points Memo Three Quarks Daily The Valve Volokh Conspiracy Nigel Warburton Will Wilkinson James Wolcott Wonkette Woodward & Hall Toby Young

Radio News NPR Hourly News: RealAudio 24hr Stream: Windows C-SPAN Streams: RealAudio/Windows BBC World Service: Bulletins: RealAudio 24hr Stream: RealAudio CBC Radio One: Windows Australia ABC: RealAudio/Windows VOA News: RealAudio Deutsche Welle TV: Video World Radio Network: WRN Schedules Windows streaming Public Radio Fan

Radio Music ABC Classic Real/Windows AccuRadio classical Instant Bach BBC 3 Real WCPE Windows/Real Classic Archive Concertzender Bartok Radio Real KUOL Real/Windows Klassik Hamburg Windows Bayern Klassik Windows RNE Clásica KBPS Classic Real KING Windows KUSC Real/Windows Swiss Classic WFMT Windows WNYC Windows/ITunes WRCJ Detroit WGBH Boston WGUC Windows WQXR Windows WQXR’s Q2 Windows Cool Blue Windows Classical links Europe Classical links USA

Diversions Scarlatti Sonatas Bad Writing Contest Blackjack Cracked Darwin Awards Dilbert Leno, Letterman jokes The Onion Poetry Daily Smoke-Free Carmen Wine Lovers’ Page

Classics Francis Fukuyama on the End of History Robert Kagan on Power and Weakness New York Review of Books, vol. 1 no. 1 The Russian Empire, 1910, in full color Elizabeth Loftus on False Memories Kahlil Gibran, forsooth Is God an Accident? The Death of Lit Crit Keep Computers Out of Classrooms Newsweek on Threats of Global Cooling Julian Simon, Doomslayer Martha Nussbaum on Judith Butler George Orwell: English Language World’s Worst Editing Guide The Fable of the Keys The Snuff Film: an Urban Legend The Abduction of Opera

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* Google Author Page

A Review of Amazon Reviews . . .


I don’t usually respond to news in the Book-World that has the taint of controversy.

Not that controversies shouldn’t be addressed but, often, they’re full of so much radical personal opinion I can’t find clear issues—I want to provide useful information here, not spectacle

So, I’m treading a narrow path today—this issue may clear itself up rather soon.

But, large corporations can be slow to change their policies and usually make decisions based on bottom-lines rather than humane values.

What’s the big deal?

Awhile back an author was discovered putting fake reviews up on Amazon for the express purpose of damaging the reputation of other authors.

Now, Amazon has blocked all reviews from authors “in the same genre” as the book being reviewed

Here are some comments from an article in The Telegraph, Author backlash over Amazon’s new online review crackdown:

“Scores of authors in Britain and across the Atlantic have recently reported that their reviews have either mysteriously disappeared or were never published.”

“Critics suggest this system is flawed because many authors are impartial and are experts on novels.

“In recent weeks, some authors said they had more than 50 reviews deleted without notice, provoking waves of critical comments and posts on blogs and internet forums.”

“They were later told their reviews breached Amazon’s guidelines because they were left ‘on behalf of a person or company with a financial interest in the product or a directly competing product’.”

Hmmm

An author in the same genre is automatically a person with “a directly competing product”

Let’s look at an imaginary headline about two classic adventure novels:

Treasure Island Delivers More Adventure Per Dollar Than Inferior Products Like The Call of The Wild

Rather silly, eh?

A few more comments from authors in that Telegraph article:

“To be honest I would just rather Amazon delete all their reviews as it… has caused so much trouble…”

“The whole online review system is deeply flawed to me and has been for years.

“They need to tackle anonymous reviews as they cause all the trouble. They could easily ban those and all of this would go away.”

Amazon updated its FAQ with this:

“We recently improved our detection of promotional reviews which resulted in the removal of reviews, both new and old.

“While our enforcement has improved, our guidelines have not changed.”

This whole thing is very weird to me.

Such a huge bookseller institutes a policy that stops experts in their field from reviewing a piece of work they have unique insights about, based on a ridiculously flawed perception of books as nothing more than materialistic “Products”

[ EDIT: After I published this post, I read an article on Forbes that gives a great example of how bad Amazon’s mistake is—employing their ban on same genre reviews. ]

More than ever, I would Love to see your comments on this very strange adventure.
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
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* Google Author Page

Writers Want To Be Reviewed & Read ~ More on Book Promotion


I’ve said it often here—I’m a maverick.

I will  take advice but only if it sticks on My Walls :-)

A friend once defined Book Promotion as everything that helps a writer get comfortable with their Own Way of Living Their Writing Life.

This fits well with my oft stated “maxim” that Book Promotion is Relationship Building

I’m definitely finding my own way through the fast-changing jungle of Publishing/Promotion, with a novel released last year and two more books in the series to be written.

You can find my experiences and thoughts and feelings on this process by clicking the word “Promotion” in the Top Tags widget in the left side-bar (as you scroll through the listed posts, do notice the “Older Posts” link at the bottom of the list…).

One thing Indie Writers can become concerned about is how they can get their books reviewed—comparing, apparently, the work traditional publishers “provide” by getting reviews for writers (which, in reality, may or may not happen) to the frightening prospect of facing rejection from traditional arenas of review.

Let me share a few excerpts from the post, Book Blogs, The New Literary Salons, which appeared on Her Circle—a magazine of women’s creative arts and activism.

“Book bloggers are, I believe, the fairy godmothers and godfathers of the literary world. Bloggers invest their estimable talent, their tremendous energy, and their invaluable time into discovering, reviewing and promoting new books—and they keep dreams alive.

“Here are five important ways bloggers shape the literary world:

“For indie authors, bloggers replace traditional reviewers
“Provide professional reviews, tailored to their audience...
“Discover new voices...
“Introduce new authors and spread the word about books...
“Offer collaborative communities for authors and readers…”

Do check out the full article.

If you’d like to find some of these wonderful people, go to Book Blogger Directory.

So, there’s one sure way for Indie authors to get noticed.

Do you have any favorite book bloggers to recommend or other ways for Indie writers to get reviews?
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Our Comment Link Is At The Top of The Post :-)
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