Why I’ll never give a bad review

Photo by Margaret Ornsby, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60857146@N06/5546331816/
Photo by Margaret Ornsby, Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/60857146@N06/5546331816/

It probably won’t surprise you to know that I enjoy reading books. I usually have several going at the same time: a research book for my next book project, a historical fiction book, a business/book marketing book, and a writing craft book. When I’m done reading, I like to write reviews, especially the historical fiction since I’m basically “studying” those for my own projects.

It occurred to me not too long ago that I’ll never give a bad review. Not because I want to spare any feelings or because I’m trying to put forth a positive vibe. (I do those things, but that’s not the reason.)

The reason is because I believe I can only give a fair review if I read the entire book and give every word a chance. But I never finish reading “bad” books. If I’m not pulled in by the first few chapters or if something suddenly turns me off (like a recent book that seemed to be getting too soap-operish on me), I close it and put it away.

Life’s too short and there are too many “good” books out there to read to waste time on a “bad” one.

How do you read books? Will you never leave a bad review because you’ll never finish reading a “bad” book? Do you leave bad reviews without reading the entire book? Or are you one of those people who feels compelled to read a book all the way through once you start, no matter how bad it is?

I’d love to know. Just make a comment below.

KICKING OFF SUMMER

Front CoverMost of this past spring, I have been working on publishing and planning my marketing for Taming the Twisted, my book about the fictional Abigail Sinkey, a 17-year old girl who finds herself entangled in abandonment, her parents death, a murder, scandal, and romance after a tornado destroys her town of Camanche, Iowa, on June 3, 1860. I have been working with one of the organizers of Camanche Days, the town’s celebration taking place in mid-August. To give back to the community and get to the book’s roots, I’m officially launching there on August 15th from 2 to 5 p.m. and I’m donating $1 from each book sale (Taming or others) to the cause of the Camanche Days Boards’ choice.

So…I’ve been deep in revising, editing, formatting, and cover designing as well as researching options to figure out the best way to market Taming according to the book itself, its likely readers, my personality, and my goals for the book and my career. It’s a huge undertaking. And the temptation to not work on my next book is great. But I’m excited about starting it so I have been dabbling in research.

Photo from Muscatine History & Industry Center

So far, I’ve collected several books covering local history from the 1890 to 1910 time period and found several articles about Mississippi River life at the turn of the 20th century, clamming, and insanity, all of which I plan to need for the story with the working title of Shattered Pearl.

I know I still have a ton of research ahead of me, though. I will need to re-read the items I used for Taming the Twisted with a focus on the later time period as well as view microfilm newspapers. I’m also considering a trip to the state historical society library in Iowa City.

I’m excited about it because I do love to research. I’m hoping my schedule works so that I can take a Heuristic Fictional Character Research workshop offered by Midwest Writing Center and Robin Throne of 918studio; I think it will help me greatly in developing Pearl Sinkey. I already found a great resource about the button industry in Muscatine’s History and Industry Center, which has a large history on the button trade on its website.

So until next month, happy summer! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or put them in the comments section below.