Monday, May 23, 2005

First, Some Catching Up

I've been away for threedays so you all will reap the benefit of what I cull while I catch up on my blog reading.

First, carried a piece on book reviews. The author, Scott Pack, said, "Book reviews should inspire reading. They should excite, stimulate, agitate and empower readers to discover new books and avoid bad ones. They should turn you on to undiscovered authors, prompt you into finally reading the writer you have never quite got round to, and make you wonder at the world of delights that remain unread.

"But let's be honest. They don't, do they

I've read reviews for years and years. I've learned a lot about writing from reading book reviews. But I have to say that I've always been selective about my review reading. Reviews of historical nonfiction I read primarily for what I could learn about the subject from the review. And a lot of reviews of mainstream fiction are just plain tedious. They seem written to impress me with the intelligence and education of the reviewer rather than to say much of anything about the book. Plus, as Pack says in his Bookseller piece, a lot of reviews are of the same old, same old. They're reviews of books that are already getting a lot of buzz and the content is pretty much what we've already heard elsewhere. What's more, a lot of reviews of, say, debut novels or chicklit or books by middle-aged male authors all sound alike.

So I definitely appreciated the above piece, which I found thanks to

I noticed some talk today at Child_Lit about a new series of books that simplify classic novels for kids with reading difficulties. Is this a good thing or a bad thing?

How about asking if this is a new thing? My nephew read lots of Great Illustrated Classics in his younger days. They were cheap and available everywhere. Don't know if they were any good, but they certainly are a precedent for doing this sort of thing. (Thanks to Blog of a B.S. for link.)

The House of Blogsdoesn't have much to do with children's literature, but it does have links to masses and masses and masses of blogs.

Didn't I mention lately that there are supposed to be 8 million blogs? How many million do you suppose are about books or writing?

The thought of reading all these things has exhausted me. I've got to go.

But I've got lots of good stuff to talk about this week.

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