Feb 23, 2014

Sunday Salon: Being Honest About the Books You Read

The Sunday Salon.com Welcome to the Sunday Salon! Also visit The Sunday Post hosted by The Caffeinated Bookreviewer, and It's Monday: What Are You Reading? at Book Journey. Also, Mailbox Monday at its permanent home, and Stacking the Shelves at Tyngas' Reviews.

I have noticed a few bloggers are being more outspoken about the books they don't like and I think I will join the ranks. My first two-star rating on goodreads went to The Girl with a Clock for a Heart, which I found more than wanting. The characters seemed pre-programmed, like a clock, that is, and were unsympathetic and totally without redemptive value. I must say though that the suspense in the thriller -  for that's what it is, a thriller - was good, but somewhat disturbing, the violence being committed by another clockwork-like character. I wanted real characters that I could understand, if not the girl or the villain, then at least the main character. This is Peter Swanson's first book, however, so there is hope....And would you believe it - I find it hard to fathom - he's a poet!

New books that I hope will be good reads:

From the library, I borrowed
White Ginger by Thatcher Robinson, a mystery set in San Francisco and
The Harlot's Tale by Sam Thomas, a midwife mystery set in 1645 in England.

What are you reading this week; what new books do you have?


  1. I have abandoned quite a few books lately. Those are not even worth two stars...Wish there was negative star-ing!

    Mahn, I am cruel!!

  2. I don't necessarily try to be outspoken about books that I don't like, but I think reviews about books we don't enjoy are important. It's not about blasting the author or just causing a stir. It's about helping other readers find the right books for them. And possibly giving the author some things to think about when contemplating writing their next book. So...if you find something you don't love about a book, I say discuss it. That's just my two cents. Granted, I do try not to read too many books that I don't enjoy. But sometimes it can't be helped. Hope you have a great week!

    SP & STS
    Sandy @ Somewhere Only We Know

  3. I tend to really like almost everything that I read. That is partially because I am very careful as to what I read. I take this care because I find reading time to be at such a premium. If i do not like something I think that I would be honest about it.

    It looks like you have a really interesting bunch of books in the wings!

  4. I hope you find your new books more to your taste. I hate to abandon a book once I've started it but sometimes do if it's not for me. I don't abandon review books and try to find something good to say about the book while identifying the problems I had with it. Readers' tastes vary. Something I hated may be someone else's favorite book of all time. Come see what I got this week at Inside of a Dog (Adult Books) and Ms. Martin Teaches Media (YA books). Happy reading!

  5. I appreciate all reviews, negative as well as positive, because they help me decide what to read. I don't personally rate books below three stars, because I tend not to finish books I don't like. Sometimes I will do DNF posts on my blog. Hope you enjoy the new books.

  6. The Harlot's Tale is a good one, but I preferred the first one

  7. Sorry to hear the Swanson book didn't work out, but yeah it can be interesting to write a review for a book you don't like. I haven't written a lot of negative reviews but when I have, it really makes me think about what i didn't like and that's been interesting...

    Hope you have a good reading week.

  8. When I first started to become a more 'serious' book reviewer, I thought that a review is what it is - good or bad, but I quickly realised that there are obvious problems with 'bad' reviews - the balance between being honest and not wanting to give a new author a death-knell if you know what I mean. I still haven't solved that dilemma for myself, but in my short time, haven't come across something I really didn't like.

  9. I like to read positive and negative reviews and try to be honest on my blog as well.

  10. Great topic! I enjoyed your thoughts about The Girl with a Clock for a Heart. I usually don't complete books I'm not enjoying, so don't write a review. Sometimes, it may just be my mood at the time of reading, that turns me away from a book.

  11. I don't see the point in reviewing if you aren't going to be honest. I tend not to review books I haven't finished as I don't think I can, but I will mention that I was unable to finish it. I often find the hardest books to review are the ones I don't care about one way or another. There are only so many ways you can say "meh". Looks like a good line up for this week. You can check out my week here


  12. I really hate to hate a book. But I'd rather others be forewarned. I try to be clear that this is just one person's view, that it could be just a bad day, or (best) it could be that the book was too smart for me.

    Here's my It's Monday!

  13. I got The Pearl that Broke its Shell too. Doesn't it look terrific? I hope you have a great week!

  14. I like Joann's idea of doing DNF post . I do try to be honest and point out things I did not like about a book. Lately I have been lucky in that I have read books that work for me - I think I am becoming better at choosing them!

  15. I try to look for the positives, and try to be tactful yet honest.

    Interesting topic! Enjoy your reading this week.

  16. I think there's a way to say a book wasn't for me and still be respectful. I like the idea of a DNF post explaining why. I appreciate reading those posts to see if I might have the same feelings.
    Have a good week!

  17. I think there's certainly place for negative reviews, especially done in a constructive manner like you did. I like knowing why someone liked a book or not; sometimes, something a reader didn't like is exactly what will convince me the book could be a great pick for me!
    Have a great reading week! :)

  18. I've always struggled to put a book I wasn't enjoying down. I really need to work on that. There's really no sense in reading a book you don't like.

    I hope you enjoy your new books!

  19. An Unnecessary Woman looks quite good.

    ENJOY all your books and your week.

    Silver's Reviews
    My Mailbox Monday


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