Writing Book Reviews
Writing book reviews can be tricky. If it’s just a review you feel inspired to write upon reading the book, you can take any tact you want and give the pros and cons. But, what if you’ve been asked to review a book? This happened to me when a blogging friend asked me to help promote her friend’s book. I agreed, contacted the author and she sent me a copy of her book to read.
I started the book and immediately had an ‘uh-oh’ moment. Why was I, a single woman, reading a book on fixing up one’s marriage? The book Project: Happily Ever After by Alisa Bowman, talks about her quest to save her marriage-though her first thoughts were of divorce. Luckily Alisa has a cooperative husband and a lot of determination.
It took me a good while to find the personal connection in the story and to use that angle to write the review. It’s not that the book isn’t valid, or timely, or well-received…it just wasn’t the book for this time in my life. In the end I think the review I wrote was good. It was not about style or the writer’s craft, but rather on how we approach relationships, at any age and stage of the game. The author was young and a new mom; my audience was boomer women who have moved far beyond those issues. The book holds great value for both sets of individuals and my challenge as the writer was to find the place for ‘my audience’ to connect.
For those of us who are writers, our job is to connect with our readers and to offer them something of value. If I were on here posting regularly about facial creams you would quickly wander off. That’s not what my readers are seeking . Of course if I were clever enough to take my favorite facial cream and write an essay on marketing or why it enhanced my ability to write more regularly, then I might be offering value.
It’s often in how we tell our story, or write the article that matters. My style tends to be more personal, and I like to interject that note into articles, where appropriate. I think giving a face to the reader and the commonalities we share makes for more interesting reading. It comes easily to me so I prefer to write that way. A more technical, scholarly article is within my skill set, it’s just not as much fun.
As a reader and a writer, I love to talk about and share the books I’ve read. It’s just plain fun. And, icing on the cake when I can share a tidbit or idea that will benefit others. That’s the part I love as a writer.
Do you write book reviews? And, if so what kind of ideas would you like to share about that? Or maybe you want to share a link to your favorite review?
Disclosure: I received Project: Happily Ever After for free. The book review was for a blog site where I am a paid writer/blogger. If you want to buy the book and click on the link, you’ll be taken to Amazon.com and my affiliate link.