15 February 2009

Sunday Salon: Reading Guides

I started this blog to get more out of my reading, but I'm feeling aimless. I either pick books that don't merit discusssion or I pick meaty books but don't know how to pull the choice bits out of them. My reviews end up saying little more than, "I hated this book" or "It was a good book". I'll be attacking the 1001 Books list soon and I think those book deserve more than that.

To help me with my review writing, I've thought about using reading guides. I've seen guides for many books on author and publisher sites. A set of questions specific to a book may be what I need to start the flow of ideas for a review. I don't have trouble discussing a book with someone else who has read it and asks me about it; it is more difficult to start the discussion with myself, which is basically what a blog post is.

QUESTION: Do any of you using reading guides for your blog posts or with your book clubs?


My graphic novel week was long overdue, so I needed to do it before the books were overdue, as well. I finished off four last week:

Jellaby by Kean Soo
Robots Gone Wild! by Trina Robbins
Good as Lily by Derek Kirk Kim
Janes in Love by Cecil Castellucci

I also read Seedfolks (a YA book about a community garden) and listened to two audiobooks: The Beach House by Jane Green and Crazy Gone Love by Cate Brody.

I'm at loose ends as far as reading for this week because I'm not sure what I'm in the mood to read. Atonement, one of the 1001 Books, is on my library request list but I'm not sure if it will be available when we do the pickup on Monday. Perhaps this would be a good week to start whittling down my TBR list.


Lisa said...

I'm struggling with reviews lately myself. I wonder if I'm burnt out or just lazy.

Kerrie said...

I have a couple of posts about writing book reviews. Perhaps they will help

LisaMM said...

One thing you might want to try is an interview format. I've seen this done effectively on other blogs. Basically, you make up the questions and answer them yourself, for instance- What was the book about? What was your favorite part? Did you like the ending? Were the characters believable? Etc. Good luck!