Two Non-Reviews

 
When I first started doing my own book “reviews” on My Porch the intention was simply to put something down in writing so I would remember what I read. I got tired of coming across titles on my list of books read that left me scratching my head trying to remember what in the world they were about. So over the last couple of years I have reviewed pretty much every book that I have finished. I have no set formula for the reviews and many don’t even include plot summaries. Some are insightful, but most are fairly superficial descriptions of my experience with a particular book. Hopefully enough to jog my memory years down the road when I am trying to remember a particular book, but beyond that I don’t really have any aspirations for these musings.

You would think with such a loose review format that I wouldn’t care too much about what I reviewed and what I didn’t review. But my obsessive tendencies make it difficult for me to not review every book I finish. However, sometimes I just can’t pull my brain together enough to come close to anything that would pass for a review.

And so it is this week. I have two books to review that I really enjoyed: Lafcadio’s Adventures by Andre Gide and Isabel’s Bed by Elinor Lipman, but I just don’t feel like writing about them.

10 thoughts on “Two Non-Reviews

  1. (Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea January 13, 2011 / 8:09 am

    I have the same problem. I feel I MUST review all that I read, but sometimes it just feels like the end result of my review was hardly worth the effort.

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  2. Stacy January 13, 2011 / 9:31 am

    When I first started blogging, I felt the need to review each and every book. I don't feel the need anymore but I do feel a little guilty about not reviewing the books that I loved. I recently read and loved David Copperfield and it bugs me every time I blog that I haven't given it its own post:(

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  3. Susan in TX January 13, 2011 / 10:07 am

    This is exactly why I started my own blog — to remember what I've read. I put far less thought into my own – mainly what did I think of it and who would I recommend it to (or not) and then I typically copy and paste a summary from one of the booksellers, giving credit where it is due to save myself typing time and aid my memory further. Now you know why my blog is private — there's nothing on it anyone would want to read! :)

    That said, I still found your “non-reviews” below on the two books helpful and interesting. And the end of the Lipman review made me lol!

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  4. Thomas at My Porch January 13, 2011 / 12:12 pm

    Diane: I know what you mean. That is why I try to keep mine folksy and uncomplicated. When it starts feeling like a term paper, I know I headed down the wrong path.

    Stacy: I will probably keep trying to write womething about each book.

    Susan: I didn't know you kept that kind of record. I can't help but think, however, that you could create a public blog that many of us would like.

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  5. Steph January 13, 2011 / 12:45 pm

    Thomas, my motivations for starting my blog was the exact same. It started off as random notes jotted in an excel spreadsheet for each book, but I wanted something a little more polished.

    Coincidentally, I've been having the same issue as you of late. I've been reading books that I think others should read, but I find myself at a loss for words when it comes to actually writing something about them!

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  6. Nadia January 13, 2011 / 1:16 pm

    Thomas, I know what you mean. I've been reading some great books lately, but have not been in the mood to review them for my blog. It feels almost like a chore lately – or maybe its just the fact that I'm not sure I know what I want to write about them. Yikes!

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  7. Mystica January 13, 2011 / 9:26 pm

    I thought your two reviews of both books were more than adequate. Looking at the blogs, you feel that some books have been reviewed so many times over that it seems superfluous to add more accolades or criticisms to what is already there. A few explicit sentences seems enough.

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  8. Thomas at My Porch January 14, 2011 / 12:53 pm

    Steph: I am just glad I don't do ARCs and have an obligation to write a review.

    Nadia: And it definitely shouldn't feel like a chore.

    Mystica: Some books are reviewd a lot online so I always try and put a personal spin on my reviews.

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  9. AnswerGirl January 14, 2011 / 9:23 pm

    I liked Isabel's Bed a lot when I read it, which was probably close to the time it came out.

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