Archive for the ‘The Critical Eye’ Category

The Book as a New Art Form

I hate reading anything on a screen. Oh alright, I suppose ‘anything’ is a bit of an exaggeration. There are the daily newspapers on the computer, news commentaries and it would take forever and be bloody expensive for people to write out Facebook status updates on charming […]

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The Seven Deadly Sins of Book Reviews: How to improve your book reviews and help audiences find their next favorite read

As kids, my siblings and I would ravage the local library and bring home stacks of dozens, if not hundreds, of books at a time (this was before check-out limits were imposed!).  We’d plow through them, devouring tale after tale – my particular favorite was anything historical, […]

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Staff Picks: Best Books of 2012

We polled our staff in early December, asking our more than 200 book reviewers what their favorite books of 2012 were — regardless of having reviewed the book for us. Below is what they told us. We found it interesting that there were no duplicates, which tells […]

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Make a Molehill Out of a Mountain: Seven Tips for Reviewing More and Still Having a Life

Very few of us review and critique full time. Those who do are frequently known as mother-in-laws, and they are not usually paid for their often-talented freelance work. For the everyday reader, writer, and Written Word Enjoyer, reviewing books is a fun sideline offering the opportunity to […]

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Famous Last Words

I’ve been a book-lover for 70 years. I still have the very first book I ever received as a gift. For my first birthday, my teacher gave me the life of composer Franz Joseph Haydn. I’ve treasured it for all these years, and it still lives in […]

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The Top 5 Twitter Memes Authors Need To Know

Let’s get this out of the way first: it’s pronounced meme, like theme. Here, listen to this:http://youtu.be/3dErjFPTarc (it’s Greek — go argue with them). Meme can mean a lot of things, like a viral pic (remember ‘ridiculously photogenic guy?’), video (the infamous RickRoll), a phrase (Eastwooding, anyone?), or […]

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Long Train Runnin’: The Book Reviewer’s Slump

Happy and Hungover (“Without love, where would you be now?”) Book reviewers are often faced with an embarrassment of riches. They may receive dozens or even hundreds of books in a short period of time, either directly from publishers or indirectly via publications like this one. This […]

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In The City

by Ryder W. Miller It is hard to know where to begin this personal tale, this literary tour about my perceived identity and the city of San Francisco. Was it the Loma Prieta earthquake just after I moved to San Francisco, or was it my time earlier […]

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Bad Reviews Suck…and Why I Don’t Care

Let’s talk about reviews, shall we? We’ve all read instances where an author acts poorly in the face of a one or two-star review. It’s usually referred to as ‘authors behaving badly,’ usually for good reason. Writers are generally sensitive, artistic types. We slave over our computers […]

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Against the Wind

  One of the things that book reviewers have in common is that they do a lot of typing. These days, this means that the prime tool of the trade is not a portable Smith-Corona typewriter or an IBM Selectric but, instead, a computer – generally either […]

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