January 31, 2013 by variousaltitudes
I should not review books.
If you read my reviews, you may have noticed they’re either gushing or they’re something of a literary critique. I wrote a review of Other Systems by Elizabeth Guizzetti last year – the review is close to two thousand words of rambling as I read the novel. I should have waited until I had finished the novel and crafted a review afterwards.
At the moment, I don’t feel smart enough to review. I watch and read reviews in which folk are able to discuss the cadences in language and the plot a book – hell some are able to review literary devices at the drop of a hat. That’s not me – as a writer, I am all too aware that some of the books I review are not good books. That I have given books good reviews that aren’t necessarily good books. I have not been honest because I didn’t want to go into reviewing books discussing their faults.
I got a D in English Literature at A-Level. I could write essays that got A’s, but put me in an exam and ask me to write about what a passage of text was doing – I couldn’t do it. I feel I have stopped thinking about what makes a good book a good book. I can read book series that are delightfully bad, but I’ve been unable to put down. There needs to be more time, thought and effort put into reviewing books.
If you’re reading this, you’ll notice I haven’t reviewed a book since July. I have neglected my blog – not because I didn’t want to – but because I have been faced with this incredible feeling of worthlessness. There’s no reason for me to write posts, because they’re not saying anything new. I feel the same way about my writing – if I’m not saying anything new or thought-provoking should I continue writing what I am writing or search for a different project?
I don’t believe I’m well-read enough for me to consider and review the works of others. The classics informed writing today, and we all know I’ve not read enough in that field. I feel as though I’m always the dumb one, who doesn’t understand what folk are talking about. I can’t have big philosophical discussions about writing.
In the future I aim to consider the books I am reviewing and to take it slow and allow myself to mull things over – and if you think there are any classics or novels you’ve enjoyed, or would like me to review, please comment.
Until next time, that is all.