Friday, January 21, 2011

Book Reviewer's Rant

I'm on a mission to read and review at least 100 books in 2011 (see my reading challenges, right column). Already I've hit some pretty deep potholes - badly written books - on this mental vacation. For your pleasure, imagine I'm driving a Lamburgini and those dreadful books put scratches on my new car. (If I was Batman, in Dark Knight, my vehicle would be a dark silver-gray, but I'm more curvy, not too unlike Catwoman, so for the duration of this article, my car's bright golden-yellow.)

Trust me when I say, while I drive down this winding road, seeking reading bliss, that I am not LOOKING for car wrecks. I am driving to escape reality. I set off on this high-speed adventure yearning for excitement and fun. I honestly don't mind ignoring an occasional typo, because cars do backfire and some of us talk on cell phones while we drive. It's also very likely that you will find a typo written here. (I may pretend I'm a super-hero, demi-god, or vampire, but, sadly, I'm only human.) I don't even mind tripping over a misused word in a book every now and again. I just don't want my brain to explode because a writer completely slammed the brakes on grammar and stopped right in front of my reading pleasure, causing a huge fiery death scene with too much brazen ignorance.

Understand that not all the poorly written books I've seen were self-published or sold exclusively on the Internet. If you haven't read my review of this "New York Times Best Selling Author" then click here. (Direct quotes from her soft cover book, which is pure discombobulation, are shown.) 

#1 - Writers who don't know anything about grammar, spelling, capitalization or proper sentence structure, who also don't acknowledge their ignorance, refuse to hire an editor or publishing company who/that might have improved their work. If you are wanting to become an author, then please make sure all vandalized tail lights and huge dents in your book have been removed BEFORE you publish. The editorial process works something like car insurance. If you pay for it, then reviewers will rub car wax on your vehicle until your book gains wonderful publicity and really shines.

#2 - Books that are marketed in one genre when they really belong in the other are just shocking to the reader. Trust me. A Christian doesn't want to buy "The Holy Bible" and receive a copy of "The Satanist's Bible" in reply. Learn the genres before you offer your book for sale. See my review: "Disappointment: The Worst Kind Of Horror." Hint: Do not EVER send me erotica. I personally loathe reading about genitalia.

As someone whose worked in the writing and marketing business (most often as a public relations editor, when not freelancing for trade magazines) I'm feeling rather shaken by two crinkled bloody messes for books that I attempted to read, and gave up on, last night. Because I don't want this blog to start looking like it was cursed with negative reviews (this is Catwoman, not some nasty old hag's page, after all) I'm not going to review either one of them. I returned one book to the author, who had asked me for a review, with a polite cough and a "no thank you." The other book I had purchased, and will delete it from my iPad, since I couldn't read past the third chapter without being rushed to the hospital.

I promise, the next few postings here will be about really good, or worthwhile books. I will not write another review until I've found those awesome reads. Smell the smoke of my exhaust? I'm speeding away to find that adventure! Hear my engine roar as I step on the flabbergast.


  1. Great post, Tami! I actually posted in my rating scale that I won't review a book that isn't worth 3/5 moons. I will not force myself to read and review any book that I don't like within the first 75-100 pages. :)

  2. Theresa ~ That's a great standard to have. Really. I'm feeling as though I should adopt that policy as well.

    What I don't understand ... is after my own book, R&R, went through its rigorous editorial process, I still felt timid about releasing my infant into the world. For that reason I'm sort of grateful to read these other books that are so dreadful. Makes me feel MUCH more confident about my book's future success. LOL.

  3. Great posts - I admire your commitment to your reading and your readings! good luck in finding those great reads.

  4. Thank you Alex. I'm on my way over to your blog now.

  5. Wowsers I think you deserve an award or a medal for reading bravery for some of these books you've read lately.

  6. Heather ~
    I'm sure I don't deserve any kind of medal. I've just been shocked to realize that other people don't seem to be noticing what I notice when I read. I'm also learning more about myself (as I blog about books). Clearly I hate hard core erotica. (I actually never exposed myself to such books before so I didn't know it before now - when I found such books by accident). Bleh.

    I'm very happy to report my reading experiences have gotten much better here lately.

    ~ Tami


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