Writing Great Book Reviews: A Vicious Cycle ~ BitterSweetLife

Friday, November 02, 2007

Writing Great Book Reviews: A Vicious Cycle

I'm coming to terms with a mental hangup I have with regard to reading books and blogging about them. It is not easy, is never easy, to confront these deep-seated inner diseases, but necessary. Necessary for my own psychological health, for the well-being of this blog, and for the feelings of my very smart, very good-looking readers. For these reasons I will continue with the exorcism. It transpires thusly.

Since I try and review only the best books (or interestingly bad books) I read for The Master Book List, I'll find myself "holding out" until I finish a book to say anything about it--as if a finished review is the only appropriate way to talk about books on this blog. Since I often read several books at once, I'm then stuck in a scenario where I'm faced with 3-4 books, finished at about the same time, each of which are arguably deserving of a review. And then, instead of writing 4 book reviews in the same week, I post several baby photos--because the mere prospect of reviewing that many books quickly exhausts me. It's a vicious cycle.

Also, it is a ridiculous and nonsensical cycle and it must end now. I am going to fix this situation by liberating myself to post about books whenever and however I want to--briefly, rashly, wantonly--without requiring myself to write complete reviews if I don't feel good and ready.

If I read a quote in Neil Cole's Organic Church that is uncannily John Eldredge-like in its dependence on movie references, I'll write a blurb about it. And if I read a quick description of "biblical spirituality" by Donald Bloesche that causes me to wonder why I have refrained from reading him for so long, I'll post about it. And if I read an old-fashioned, elephantine description of the Father's love by the Puritan John Owen that is nevertheless beautiful, I'll post about that! Ha ha ha! That is the laughter of freedom you hear. [long exhale]

Just writing that, I feel better.

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A Modern Mom said...

I think you totally rock! I am so glad that I found your blog. You have such an interesting point-of-view that I find so refreshing. You bring to mind such fascinating ideas and I really look forward to your news posts.

Keep the good stuff coming!

Regi G said...

I have that same problem. I think it's called "procrastination due to perfectionism." I said NOTHING! :-x

I think I have this unspeakable problem with studying right now. *sigh*

Ariel said...

A Modern Mom: You're really too kind. Thanks for the encouragement!

I have that same problem. I think it's called "procrastination due to perfectionism."

Wow. I think my book-reviewing-game has just been smacked down. Do you play ball, Regi?--because you need to bring that trash talking ability to a hoops court.

And the thing is, you're probably right. But all that's behind me now.


Culture. Photos. Life's nagging questions. - BitterSweetLife