Who are you and why do you have a book blog?
I’m a 30-ish Canadian science geek who now writes, edits, blogs and installs WordPress for a living.
I book blog for a number of reasons:
- It keeps me writing.
- It keeps my web skills up-to-date.
- It makes me a more attentive reader.
- It helps me meet great people.
- It helps me find books I wouldn’t normally try.
- It keeps my book buying budget in check (this one is not working as planned).
What kinds of books do you read?
I put my reviews here (obviously) and on LibraryThing (and any service that happens to get reviews from LibraryThing). I read and review fiction and non-fiction.
In terms of non-fiction I read memoirs, self-help, science (particularly biotechnology, definitely not physics, and some things in between), and current events (international and Canadian). I have a particular interest in the philosophy of the environment, science, and bioethics but those books are harder to come by.
My fiction tastes are varied. I read thrillers (particularly technological, espionage, political and medical), urban fantasy, science fiction, romance, short stories, and (rarely) literary fiction. I read anything that interests me, which often falls outside the genres I’ve already mentioned.
How do you review books that you didn’t like?
I post both positive and negative reviews. I don’t trust a reviewer who gives exclusively positive or exclusively negative reviews because it’s very difficult to get a feel for the reviewer’s taste in books without seeing both sides. I am suspicious of books that get exclusively rave reviews.
I try to be specific about what I like or don’t like about a book so that readers can decide for themselves whether the elements I talk about are relevant to them (everyone looks for something different in a book and a bad book to me may still be a good read for someone else). Most of the reviews on my site are positive simply because I choose books to read carefully (life is too short to read bad books). If I’m not willing to go out and buy the book (or get it from the library), I’m not going to ask for a review copy (or accept one that is offered).
How do you get your books?
Nowadays, I mostly get my books from the library or buy them myself. I do occasionally get books through publisher programs that target book bloggers (HarperCollins FirstLook, LibraryThing Early Reviewer, MiniBookExpo) as well as by cold request (mine or an author’s/publicist’s), but as I’ve noted above I’m not taking books specifically for review at the moment.
Do you only review new releases?
No, although I often review new releases because those are the ones that publishers are willing to send out for review and the books most likely to catch my attention at the library. Older books that I review are those in my own library or that have caught my interest in some other way. I do not review self-published books or any books published by a Christian publisher/imprint.
Will you hold a book giveaway for me?
Sure, as long as you pay for the shipping costs and it’s a book I think my readership will be interested in (it’s of no advantage to you or me if the book doesn’t fall into that category). Book giveaways are actually work for me, so I don’t do a lot of them when I’m busy with other things.
How can I contact you?
You can e-mail me, Ann, at email@example.com. If your e-mail is to request a book review, please read the note at the very top of the page first. I try to answer my e-mail, but I don’t always have time to do it right away. If your e-mail is a mass e-mail and not of interest to me, you probably won’t get a response.