We are in the middle of our third week of our 95th annual Summer Reading Program where I work, and things have been going non-stop. Movies, points, prizes, orders, decorations, programs, animals, crafts, displays, registrations, reference, inventory, you name it. It’s happening. Some kids and adults spend entire days at the library if they can, while the rest of the people flow in and out all day long. On top of the normal day-to-day stuff there are also service plans to write and submit, training sessions to write up and prepare for, and a brand spanking new teen advisory board to plan for. It’s a lot to take in on a daily basis, especially with no mind-numbing Warcraft to come home to. I’ve been reading a lot, lately. Like, A LOT a lot. Like, a book every 2 days a lot, which is okay with me. By the time I get home I’m pretty wiped out mentally. You wouldn’t think work would be so mentally taxing but some days it is. There is constant noise and chaos and interruptions and questions, sometimes it takes 45 minutes to send one short e-mail because you can only type 2-3 words at a time before being interrupted. I wouldn’t trade it for the world though, because there is nothing worse than being bored and having nothing to do. There is ALWAYS something I can do at work, or create to do, which I love. Anyway, that’s my big SRP update. Only 5 and a half weeks left!
I’ll be the first to say that I do not write “professional reviews” even though I am a professional. I have tried and I just don’t like to do it. It’s too formulaic and too stiff. I get no enjoyment from reading those reviews and I refuse to write them. Okay, let me take that back. I SUPPOSE if I was asked to write one for work, I would. But that is the ONLY exception. That said, when you read my reviews, you are mostly reading random thoughts that I have attempted to put together to make some sort of sense. I try to be aware of spoilers and mark them, but since I write them at GoodReads and then it auto-posts to my blog here, the spoiler tag and jump gets lost and readers here are forced into reading the spoiler. Sorry. So, follow me on GoodReads and skip past the book reviews on this blog if you prefer not having things spoiled.
So, one of the things I have found that I enjoy doing is reading book reviews on GoodReads. I follow quite a few book bloggers and read their reviews, I follow other librarians and read their reviews. It’s a great way to connect with people who have similar tastes and discover new books, and it’s a great way to connect people with a little different tastes and discover new material. However, sometimes I wonder about how true some of the reviews are when they say things like “was laughing, near-crying, sometimes swooning, and often times smiling while reading.” That’s a lot of emotion for one chick-lit book.
Maybe I have read too much over the years, but I rarely laugh out loud when reading a book. Honest to God, if a book can make me laugh out loud, I am in shock. Janet Evanovich is one author that has made me laugh out out, on multiple occasions, simply because I cannot believe some of the stuff she has put in print! And, yes, I will admit it, Harry Potter made me cry. I couldn’t help with it when it was revealed that Snape wasn’t really the villain that we were led to believe he was. Other than those two, my mind comes up blank with books that have elicited a true emotional reaction from me, aside from horror or disgust over a book having such graphic content, or being written/edited so poorly. That isn’t to say that books do not entertain me or remain with me for years to come, just that I rarely exhibit such strong physical emotions from a single book.
One of my favorite reviewers on GoodReads is Angie, and I also follow her book blog, Pinkindle.net.Her reviews are probably the closest to what I write, myself, and what I want to read. Short (very SHORT) synopsis and then some additional information about the story, along with her personal opinion on it. I have yet to find another reviewer who reviews the way she does, but I wish more did. Heck, I wish I did! :)
Another thing I’ll add is that ratings don’t mean much to me. In fact, sometimes I will read a book just because it got such poor reviews that I have to see for myself why it is so bad, or if it is, in fact, that bad. I’ve read some books that some people have raved about and given 5 stars to that I have given up on, too. I take everything I read from an unknown source with a grain of salt. I am by no means an expert reviewer, and I don’t try to be. I review for fun and to put my voice and opinion out there. That’s it. I really enjoy the social aspect, getting to know fellow book-lovers, and connecting with people who read interesting things.
Reviewers all have their own spin on how they review, which makes it more interesting for everyone involved. I’m curious, who are some of your favorite reviewers, and why? Do you like more synopsis, or more personal opinion? Do you get turned off and find a reviewer less credible for any particular reason?
I listened to the audiobook of Changeling and after having read several of Gregory’s adult novels, this felt very juvenile and predictable. The first part of the story centers around Isolde who has been sent to a nunnery after the death of her father. After she arrives at the nunnery, strange things begin to happen and Luca, the Changeling, is sent to investigate.
Let me just stop right here and say that when I got this book, I expected it to be about the Changeling and focus on his Changeling status and what it entailed, but very little is actually mentioned or said about it. It’s almost a non-story, in my opinion.
Luca was previous cast out of his religious order for pointing out that certain religious relics could not be authentic, and finds himself working for The Order of the Dragon. He is sent out on inquiries to discover witches, werewolves, etc. His first inquiry is the mysterious events surrounding Isolde.
Without spoiling the story, the first half of the book is rather interesting, especially as I learned the truth behind what was happening. The second half of the book Luca is sent on a different inquiry, this one is a supposed werewolf. Although the second half was good, it was VERY predictable.
I think this book could be enjoyable to pre-teens who are interested in this time period and these topics. However, I think I will personally stick to Gregory’s adult novels from now on.