- I will put some information about the book, a quote, and a short summary.
- I will go in depth as to what the book is about, it's accomplishments and it's failings. Unless it is of some interest, I will not go too in detail about the author. I generally view literary works as autonomous and find details about the authors unimportant to the enjoyment of the work in question. So unlike some blogs who post a whole section about the author with a picture and all, I will not be doing that. Why? I'm lazy and I don't really care what the author looks like. I know some people want to obsess over books written by hot young people, but... just... no.
- I will then go on a long tangent about themes.
- I do not post purchase links or goodreads links. Why? Because if someone is interested in buying the book, it's only one google search away.
So how do I rate? That will depend on the genre. Generally I will do one to five stars, but for my blog, I will have a sixth star for entirely personal reasons. It has nothing to do with quality, but just what I find to be particularly compelling to myself.
1. Is it well-written? Does the prose leave a good taste in my mouth? Are they like decadent chocolate bonbons that have me licking my fingers for more? Or is the prose choppy and as inconsistent and uninspiring as a microwave burrito? Of course, this does not mean I want high prose all the time and if the author writes like anything less than Shakespeare I'm going to be appalled. The diction should be cohesive and harmonious with the atmosphere of the story. That is all.
2. Character Development. Are your characters relatable and real or are they cardboard cut-out Mary Sues?
3. Plot Development. Here is where I differ from some of my fellow reviewers. I don't really give half a donkey's ass if there's no actual plot. Sometimes books are too "plotty" and run the risk of becoming way too convoluted. As long as I am mentally stimulated it's all good.
4. Consistency. It has to make sense okay. I don't like glaring plot holes. Even fantasy and sci-fi have their own internal laws. Oh, and if I find something kind of fishy, I will fact-check you.
5.The last star is always going to be personal. Was it interesting? Did I like it?
1. Same as fiction. I like things to be well-written. Since it's nonfiction, the intent of the prose should be accurately getting across meaning with the least amount of words. I will mark you down for being prolix. This isn't a scholarly research journal. I don't want your jargon. If can't understand it, I'm going to be mad cavewoman-mad cavewoman-smash cavewoman-do not want.
2. Is the information sound? Is the research good? If the book is a memoir, then I would judge it by character development like in fiction. I'm not saying that people should be a certain way, but that they should feel real and three dimensional.
3. Relatability. Even if your work is on taxicabs, I expect some sort of relatable material. I want that touch of humanity in your work, not just a dry lecture of facts as if I'm reading my science teacher's powerpoint or flashcards.
4. Consistency...again. This is a bit vague because there are so many different types of nonfiction. For example, if the book is a collection of essays, the essays should all have an underlying theme. The essays should all also be complete. I don't want to finish it angry because it didn't address this point or that point.
5. The last star, of course, is personal as always. Seriously, it won't be because I find the topic boring that I mark a star off. I could read a book about rocks, but it better be damn compelling. Rocks are cool and interesting, if the book is boring, I'm going to blame the writer.