I know I haven’t been online much lately. Partly, life has intervened, but there’s something else afoot as well. I’ve been reading plenty of books, but somehow I keep finding myself wading into books I just cannot imagine recommending to others. And I don’t always know what to do about that.
On the one hand, if I’m reading something that clearly teaches ideas contrary to Scripture, I think I would have a duty to point that out because I would not want others to stumble. However, the more frequent case arises when I’m simply reading a novel that doesn’t catch my fancy, or a book that just seems poorly written.
The tendency on many book review sites, particularly Christian ones, is to post postive and sunshiney reviews. And in some circles, I do on occasion feel pressured to be all-upbeat, all the time. I definitely get enthusiastic about some books I read, but I’m not going to be dishonest with readers and pretend to like something that doesn’t work for me. However, as a Christian, I also don’t want to go in the other direction and write a mean-spirited, hurtful review of an author’s work.
In the end, after much prayer, I think I’ve reached some conclusions at least for now. Because I know that readers are spending their hard-earned money on books, I intend to review what I read and talk openly about what works for me and what doesn’t. Hopefully, by focusing on what makes a book helpful or erm…less helpful to read will assist readers in deciding whether that book might work for them.
And what does that mean for readers? Well, it means that I won’t be turning this into a snark blog (feel free to pipe up if you disagree with a review!), but I will call them as I see them. And that means not every book on here will get 4 or 5 star reviews.
Do you review books on a blog or on a site like Goodreads? If so, do you ever post critical or negative reviews?