Last week I read a Salon post that resonated with me.
On her WellWell2 blog, Barbara discussed book reviews: what is included and what is not. I won’t attempt to repeat what she so eloquently wrote, but I encourage you to visit the post if you have not already.
What caught my attention, however, is that Barbara no longer claims to write book reviews but rather… Reading Reactions. She distinguishes the two by audience: she now writes primarily for herself rather than avid readers in search of their next book. She writes more about how the book makes her think and feel, and writes less about literary analysis. Of course, avid readers will enjoy and benefit from such a post, but that is a secondary bonus.
When I recently returned to the book blogging community, I struggled with the concept of writing “real” book reviews versus personal opinions. I do not want to stress over writing these posts, but rather, I simply want to share my reading experience with like-minded people. I have since developed what I hope will be a manageable system for book reviews.
But I love Barbara’s idea of a Reading Reaction. I did not want to steal her concept, but I did want to personalize it. In the end, I have decided to call my entries, Book Impressions.
I have a love affair with French Impressionism, and in my spare time dabble in writing a novel about that time period. These paintings are not exact replicas but rather impressions (expressions) of the subject matter. That is the concept I would like to bring here in documenting my reading life.
So thank you, Barbara, for liberating me from the “right” way to review and helping me to find freedom in writing what I feel.
Hopefully I will begin posting these Impressions soon (I have read about sixteen books so far this year), but in the meantime, I keep track of them in my reading notebook (which, by the way, I adore all the Compendium notebooks and journals).
What I have read this week:
- Atlas Girl by Emily Wierenga
- Still Life with Bread Crumbs by Anna Quindlen
- French Women Don’t Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
- Imagine London by Anna Quindlen
- Displacement: a Travelogue by Lucy Knisley