I began reviewing for BookBrowse at almost the exact moment that I began writing my book, The Mark Inside. There's no question that growing my own book affected how I read others' finished ones. I found myself immediately, instantly, irrevocably generous. I don't mean that I liked everything I read. Far from it. I mean that I found myself unwilling to dismiss anything without at least trying to understand why the author had designed it that way. In other words, everything suddenly seemed deeply intentional and well-meant, if not always well-executed.
Most book trailers are, frankly, dull but occasionally one comes along that breaks the mold such as this one for Machine Man by Australian author Max Barry:
The New York Times reviewed Rebecca Hunt's novel, Mr. Chartwell, in the Sunday Book Review on March 13. Since I reviewed the book for BookBrowse not long ago, I was interested to see what the Times thought of it. (My review is only available to BookBrowse members at this time. Here's a PDF of it for those who are not members.)
Tadzio Koelb's review took a snarky tone from the start, and not just in reference to Mr. Chartwell, but to readers in general (who are apparently too stupid to know what good books are). My blood didn't really start to boil, however, until Mr. Koelb condescended to reveal the obvious truth about Rebecca Hunt's novel, the glaring fact that those of us who liked the book sadly missed:
4045 votes were cast by BookBrowse subscribers to decide the 2010 BookBrowse Award winners. Thank you to everyone who took the time to vote!
The winners are ...
I just came across this early interview with J.K. Rowling (probably from late 1998 or early 1999). She's sitting in the now famous Edinburgh House cafe in Edinburgh where she wrote the early Harry Potter books. She looks, frankly, exhausted, but hugely excited to have sold 30,000 copies of her first two books - especially as her agent told her, "there's not much money in children's books." She goes on to say that she's always wanted to write but "my realistic side had not allowed me to dream about half of what has happened to me," - this in reference to her agent selling the first two Harry Potter books to eight countries so, as she says with huge excitement, "it will be translated in France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Italy and Finland ... I love the idea of saying I'm big in Finland!"