Reviewing books: my blog’s hamartia

A selection of beautiful second hand books

Since I last published a book review on this supposed book blog I have:

  • Held my first ever dinner party
  • Watched one series of The West Wing, all three extended Lord of the Rings films, the first series of Breaking Bad and three series of Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team – the crappiest of crappy TV and therefore the best thing on TV
  • Cried because my job was coming to an end, been offered another job, cried because I didn’t know whether to take it and then been offered an extension on my current job anyway
  • Rediscovered the brilliance that is 1989 by Taylor Swift and then listened to it so much that I’ve gone off it again
  • Fallen out with one of my best friends, made up with her and then fallen out with her again
  • Eaten six massive packets of bourbon biscuits

Some pretty momentous stuff there (not so much the bourbon biscuits, that is nothing out of the usual) which makes it clear just how long it’s been. I practically can’t remember how to write them.

And I think that’s part of the problem – reviewing books just doesn’t come naturally to me. I love reading books, I love talking about books, I love recommending people books but putting all those things together and reviewing books is just a skill that I don’t have.

But this blog shouldn’t just be a walk in the park or I’d get bored with it so I’m challenging myself to keep up a rate of at least one book review a fortnight. An early New Years’ resolution for myself. And hopefully with practise I’ll start to get better at them.

This was supposed to just be the precursor to my first review but now that I’ve rambled on for 300 words I might as well make it a whole post of its own, and add in a bit of plea for help. Any book bloggers reading this, I’d love for you in the comments to give me some words of wisdom on how you go about reviewing books, any tips you’ve ever been given or things you find it helpful to focus on.  Because I want to be able to share with you the books that I’ve loved, hated and everything in between but right now I just can’t find the words.


7 thoughts on “Reviewing books: my blog’s hamartia

  1. Okay, first things first, just HOW MUCH did you love the first series of The West Wing?!?!? It’s one of my favorite shows of all time.

    Book reviewing is hard! I expected it to be way easier, and I’m with you in that sometimes I just look at the screen and just don’t know where to start. That’s why it helps me to have specific “categories” so to speak. What I liked, what I didn’t like, etc.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s about my 7th time rewatching it – one of my favourites of all time too. And I just never get bored of it!

      Book reviewing on the other hand… I’m so glad to hear that everyone else finds it tough too! It’s making me feel better already 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel your pain. I started blogging about books this year, once a month, and my process is still evolving. I never really intended to do reviews, per se, and have ended up doing something more like a book report more often than not. I am intending to focus on a particular aspect of a story (the guillotine in A Tale of Two Cities, George’s longevity in Washington: A Life) and comment on it — not on the writing. I also include my favorite lines from the books I read, which I feel are like movie trailers, just enough to pique your interest. Keep writing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do love including my favourite lines from books as I agree, it’s a great way to quickly get the flavour of the book. And your technique sounds really interesting and definitely a little different 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh no, sorry to hear this! I’m new to blogging so no big words of advice here but I really struggle with writing formal reviews too. When I look back over my old posts my favourite ones are just mad rambles where I wasn’t trying too hard to say something clever or structured. Maybe try to think about the things you like most in your old reviews and try not to put too much pressure on yourself!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Rambling is definitely my style too and I love reading other people’s post like that but I thought that was just me! Nice to know it’s not just me who really struggles 🙂 But I love your reviews so I’m sure you’re just being modest


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