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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Annual Award For Meanest Reviews

I spend a lot of time on this blog talking about how it doesn't matter if I personally liked a book or not, rather, it is all about finding the right reader for every book.  As RA librarians, it is our job to think about the appeal of the book on its own terms.  What about this book's pacing, storyline, mood, tone, characterizations, etc.. would make someone like it?

I have tried to practice what I preach.  Here are a few examples of books I really did not enjoy personally, but then consciously separated those feelings from my work in a review:
But that is how we roll in the nonjudgmental world of readers' advisory.  Out in the cut-throat world of professional book reviewing, things can get ugly...very ugly.  Ugly enough to have an award for "The Hatchet Job of the Year."

Click through to this article from FlavorWire on The Omnivore's decision to have an award for the meanest reviews of the year.  All 8 finalists and the publication they appeared in are linked here.  The winner will be announced February 7th.

I liked reading through these for a nice change of pace.  Sometimes it is tiring to have to always be positive about every book.  I am committed to doing it, and particularly, I find great joy in matching a book I did not enjoy with someone who ends up loving it; however, when a book really irks me, I will turn to these truly nasty reviews to help put it all in perspective.

Now is your chance though.  If you want to get your hatred for a book out of your system before you accidentally express those views to a patron, leave your comments here.

1 comment:

Sarah Elsewhere said...

More and more I've found that I'm using friends and family as a release valve for those books that I do not love, quite as much as my patrons. I feel guilty, but also better.