Being a Book Reviewer with Reviews Conspicuously Absent

I am astonished at myself. I created this blog to review books, nothing more and nothing less. Yet, over the past few weeks I’m surprisingly finding it increasingly difficult to review the books I read. There are two reasons for this.

Firstly, I’ve been increasingly reading books of a genre that escapes description due to its sheer complexity. It’s like, when someone asks me what the book is about, I say, “It’s about this man, and he does things, I guess…” I feel like it isn’t what the book is about that makes it so fantastic, but the way it’s been narrated and put together. Take High Fidelity, for example;  it’s about a 35-year-old record store owner who splits up with his long-term girlfriend. I told my friend this and she asked me why I’m reading such depressing books! But the book isn’t  depressing at all, it’s funny and clever and gripping with such simple yet wonderful insights that one can’t help loving it. It’s just so…real. And the music! I want to listen to every single song mentioned in this book. And it made me feel like signing up for singing lessons despite having sub-zero musical talent. I don ‘t know why. I was just so excited about music and everything to do with it after reading it.  How would I review it, though? I don’t know! Is it about relationships? Is it about music? Does it teach any valuable life lessons? The answer is both yes and no to all these questions. It just tells a story, and does it well. The rest is up to the reader.

Also, I am against spoilers.  I can’t do a review if it gives the plot away. So I usually make up for it by simply describing how a book made me feel, and this works pretty well for me.  Except, most of the books I’ve been reading have given me the same feeling of excitement and exhilaration; a feeling of something having changed within me after reading the book and a deep desire to keep writing myself. This is great for me, of course, but it’s absurd for my reviews because people would think I’ve gone nuts if I wrote this in every review I write. It would also become a tad repetitive. I don’t know the reason for this. It might have to do with the authors I’m reading or it might have to do with the fact that I’ve begun to read again after nearly a year and I’m particularly thrilled by this. The book review part of my blog (the supposed main part) is suffering greatly as a result.

On the other hand, I’ve been itching to write and I’ve been going around confessing personal things on my blog, which is completely uncharacteristic of me. Surprisingly, people have found this interesting and I’ve gotten a lot of appreciative comments from friends, family and family of friends, as well as strangers. I’ve also gotten a number of followers which is immensely surprising to me, because I was convinced, and still am  a little, that blogging is the equivalent of setting letters in a bottle into the ocean.  I’m immensely grateful to all my followers and the little orange plus on the right of the webpage, which sends a little shiver of glee through me every time. I’m not sure but I think that’s what inspiration feels like. 🙂

Keep reading and writing everyone, it makes being alive feel like a worthy endeavour. 🙂 Cheers.

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7 thoughts on “Being a Book Reviewer with Reviews Conspicuously Absent

  1. I totally understand what you mean. Imagine describing Murakami. I mean, Kafka on the shore is about a boy in the library at the end of the day. And raining fish.

  2. My goodness, I know. Murakami falls squarely into this genre that I speak of. You should !Q84, by the way. I didn’t imagine Murakami could write a trilogy but he’s done it. It’s another book I read these holidays but couldn’t explain for the life of me.

  3. Will do. Maybe I’ll buy my own copy when I get back to college. And some books just leave me inspired. I can’t even describe the complex feeling I experience after reading one book. If I attempt to do so, the last thing that person will do is read the book.

    • Just borrow my copy for now. 🙂 Start reading it asap. Trust me.
      I know. Reviewing these books really is a special talent. Respect to good reviewers everywhere. 🙂

  4. Pingback: “Why Is It So Hard To Get A Book Review?” by Nikki Bennett | Authors Helping Authors Resource Site

  5. I always have this problem when it comes to discussing and reviewing books, especially if the person I’m speaking to hasn’t read the book — I hate giving away spoilers. Just recently my mom asked me about Seraphina, and I had no clue where to begin. (The plot is a bit complex anyhow, but I couldn’t form my love for the book into words.) I tend to communicate why I like/dislike a book more effectively through reviews, assuming I can write a review in the first place. I usually end up discussing characterization, growth, and writing strengths/weaknesses in the end. It can be difficult.

  6. Speaking of Seraphina, I’m determined to obtain a copy of it and read it, thanks to your review, so it looks like you’re doing a pretty good job. 🙂
    But yes. Writing a review is extremely hard. I need to develop a new technique because my old one is clearly not working. You have some good ideas. I’ll try them. 🙂

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