March 26, 2008 at 9:18 pm | Posted in Books, Disappointment, Historical Fiction, LIfe, My Life with Books, Reading | 9 Comments

Through one of the boards I participate in, I heard about a novel written by another member.  I liked the discussions I had with the author, so I purchased her book.  About a week ago I started it.  It is over 600 pages and there is something about a huge novel that I just love.  I enjoy feeling the weight of the book shift from my right to my left hand over time.  Last night I got to page 140 and had to set it aside.  I had absolutely no desire to continue.  I’m really disappointed because I wanted to enjoy this book and be supportive.  It felt like work to get through each page and I have too many other books I want to read.  Last night was hot and heavy book promiscuity fueled by an absolute lack of passion for my current book.

Not every book is for every reader.  There’s no doubt about it.  I’ve written unfavorable reviews before without hesitation.  The difference here is that I have a loose connection with this author.  Even though my opinions about this novel are not in anyway personal, I don’t want her to feel bad.  Still, I want to keep writing about my reading experiences honestly.  So, how do I handle this?

I’m torn…


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  1. I must say, I’m excited that my little phrase is being used by others!

    As for the book, do you think it is something that you could put back in the TBR pile? It may be that it is just the wrong time for you to read that book. If not, I’d list all the good things about it that you can and your review could be ‘(all these great things)…BUT I just couldn’t get into it.”

  2. If it were me, I would either write an honest review, or not write one at all.

    Writers have to learn to deal with criticism of their work in a constructive way. Reviews that are tempered by a reviewer that doesn’t want to hurt the author’s feelings are worthless.

    You are reviewing the work, not the person. Your honest opinion is valuable. Anything less than that is not.

  3. Thank you both for your input. It’s very helpful to get input from other reviewers and from a writer. I agree that not saying what I feel isn’t helpful to the author. I also have to think about those who might want to read the book. It’s best to either post nothing or to be completely candid. What I might do, since this author has asked me privately if I’ve read her book, is to let her know that it wasn’t for me. I can then post my comments and move forward.

  4. That sounds like a good way to proceed.

    It is something that I have struggled with a couple of times. My other dilemna is when the author knows that I have her book here, and just have never ever cracked open the spine and they keep on asking me how it is going.

  5. Marg,

    We’re in the same boat, because this is exactly one of those books. I think I’ll wait to tell an author I’ve bought his/her book until after I’ve read it. 🙂

  6. Ooh – this is a tough one. I probably wouldn’t write anything, for fear of hurting her feelings – even if it is constructive criticism.

    Good luck!

  7. b*babbler,

    I’m actually leaning in your direction. I’ve moved past that book and really don’t want to spend any more time and energy on it. If the author emails me again, I’ll just let her know that it didn’t work for me but that I wish her the best.

  8. Inquiring minds are curious as to which book it is…

  9. Daphne, I have finally written my review. Check out #63.

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