Dewey's weekly geeks

Weekly Geeks: Reviews

This week’s Weekly Geeks assignment is on reviews and is hosted by Care.

1. Explain your review format-if you have one. Or maybe your rating system?

My review format always includes:

  • a picture of the cover of the book I read
  • the title, author’s name, number of pages, and the year the book was published
  • a summary of the book
  • my thoughts
  • a few of my favorite passages

I used to have a rating system but I dropped it. Having a rating system can be a tricky thing. I want readers to know what I liked about a book, what I didn’t like, and why. Sometimes a reviewer gushes about a book but only give the book three stars without saying why or giving enough detail. When a reviewer gives the reason for the rating, I can better tell whether or not I would like the book myself.

2. Highlight another book-blogger’s review format by linking to a favorite example- don’t forget to tell us why they’re a fave.

There are so many bloggers I look up to as blogging role models. These are bloggers who have been blogging longer than me and usually add new reads to my bookshelves. Their reviews make you want to go out and buy every book they loved or don’t give another glance to a book they didn’t care for. Their reviews are detailed, their tone is light, and I always end up wishing  I could write like them.

  1. Nymeth’s review of The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop by Lewis Buzbee.
  2. Nymeth’s review of Tender Morsels by Margo Lanagan. When Nymeth loves a book you can tell in her reviews. She makes you want to go out and buy the book while you’re still reading the review. Both Tender Morsels and The Yellow-Lighted Bookshop are on my shelves now because of her.
  3. Carl’s review of Exlibris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman. I love Carl’s reviews. Carl has a passion for the sci-fi and fantasy books that have made me explore both genres. He’s also the host of two of my favorite reading challenges: Once Upon a Time and R.I.P.
  4. Dewey’s review of East of Eden by John Steinbeck. This is one of my favorite reviews because a) I pressured asked Dewey to read it. It’s one of my favorite books. b) It’s a great book. c) Dewey had bloggers ask her questions about the book and she answered them. It wasn’t until Dewey that I had thought to have bloggers to ask questions about the books I read. Go to Dewey’s blog and check out any random review. You’ll leave her site with a long list of new books to read.
  5. Emily’s review of Locomotion and Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. Emily writes her reviews in haiku format. She uses just a few words to make you want to read a book. My hero.

3. Do a review in another book-blogger’s format of your latest read.

Will do later.

4. Highlight a past review that you’re particularly fond of and why the format and structure may have something to do with it.

The latest review that I’m really fond of is the one I wrote for The Hunger Games. I had a hard time writing this review because so many bloggers have read this book and reviewed it. I was trying to figure out if I had anything to add to the conversation. It turned out I did have something to add. I ended up really loving the way the review came out.

9 thoughts on “Weekly Geeks: Reviews”

  1. I have the same thoughts you do about the rating system. I really don’t get an accurate sense of why certain ratings are what they are and I myself have a hard time rating books when I cross post to good reads, etc.

  2. As I think about ratings – seems to be a hot topic, huh? I’m thinking that I really do it for me. I was really glad at the end of last year to have my list and see the number of stars I had assigned. Overall, I agreed with myself (talk about a tricky thing) and it really helped me group my best of the year list. I’m so glad you “Geek”-ed this week. 🙂

  3. I don’t like ratings because I’m never sure if the reviewer uses the same criteria across the board.

    Really enjoyed your post and looking forward to checking out your links.

    Why do I always feel my posts pale in comparison?

  4. Vasilly, thank you so much for the kind words!! For the record, I love your reviews too. You made me want to run out and buy The Hunger Games, and that’s just an example.

  5. I’ve often wanted to add a rating system but I have second thoughts about it just because I wonder how I would rate, let’s say a classic, a five star book and then turn around and rate some fluffy read a five star book as well. I guess you could argue that good writing is good writing no matter what but I think I’d feel a bit odd about that.

    Anyway for me I think I’m just more comfortable saying what worked or what didn’t.

  6. I would love to do a rating system but with a lot of books I can’t really decide. It’s tough to do.

  7. Serena: With a rating system you have to think about what each rating measure stand for.

    Maree: Happy Weekly Geeks.

    Care: Thanks! You picked a great subject.

    Susan: Don’t feel that way though it is hard not to compare. It just makes you feel worse instead of better. Thanks for the compliment.

    Nymeth: Ah, thanks!

    Iliana: I feel the same way.

    Claire: It really is hard to decide.

  8. This week’s theme has actually caused me to ‘think’ too much! This week’s theme seems to have only been embraced by a few but we’ve been VERY enthusiastic!

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