As far as things go, I'm pretty new to reviewing books. I've long enjoyed them, always had personal critiques for my favorites and ranting laments for the disliked. But, yeah, I'm still a padawan trying to tread in the path of greater jedi.
Immersing myself further in the process has brought about some interesting events. I started down this path initially, because I wanted to start blogging; as a beginning writer, I was either going to focus on sharing my developing work or talk about the writing process.
Let's be honest, after all, a learning writer sharing their work is rife with danger for anyone's good sense of fiction, and talking about the writing process seemed...well...ridiculous. (Yes, I still do it, but hey, it's not the focus...or at least it wasn't.)
I'd like to say I gave this all a lot of conscious thought, and through a well-formed plan took on book reviews as the main focus of my blog posts, but I didn't.
Perhaps I'll save face a little, by noting that I wanted to take the time to analyze books and see why they worked for me and why they didn't, to help further my own writing process and because talking about books is just a lot of good nerdy fun...or perhaps I've already lost you. *sigh*
Through my involvement with SF Signal, I like to think that I've started to reach that next level of book reviewing expertise, and recently had the pleasure of being sought out for a review by Daniel Polansky, for his debut book: Low Town. In my talks with him, I ended up getting a free book and the chance to see more of the publishing process.
I've gotten some free books before through SF Signal's Books Received, but this time it was all solo, just me, and that was pretty freakin' cool.
I was expecting a "galley" copy, of which, I
can still only guess the actual appearance of, because Doubleday sent a first edition hardcover. (I'll try not to complain.) Anyone not
used to the process, this does not encourage you (me) to write a
positive review, but it does encourage me to read the book. I see room for improvement in Polansky's debut, but it is a debut and for
anyone that has read enough, you start to see that a first book always
has room to improve. (Perhaps that sounds horrible, but there it is.)
I also got a chance to do my first book interview with Polansky, now on SF Signal.
I'm certainly eager to cram more book reviews in amongst the writing, the day job and the family life. A few more free books would be welcome too. Should I just post my address here?