Monday, February 14, 2011

What should I write about?

One of my unofficial new year's resolutions concerning my reading was that I wanted to post comments for at least two books a month.  Not to have covered twelve by the year's end, but to establish a habit of at least two book commentaries a month.  It's not asking much of myself and it's a very manageable goal.

I've yet to post a commentary this month despite having read a few books.  I was thinking on why I comment on certain books why I don't on others.  I am by no means an expert essayist when it comes to commentary, but I humor myself in thinking that when I do leave comments they are slightly more than, "I liked this book;  The characters made me happy" and other such inane remarks that litter many review sites and amazon ratings.  (Remember I claimed my arrogance up front.)  For me to leave comments, a book needs to have made a substantial impression on me; good or bad.  Actually some of what I think has been my 'best' commentary has been for books that left me feeling 'powerfully indifferent' if such a feeling exist.

Sometimes I'm lazy.  Sometimes I'm just plain ole obstinate and don't do it, but for the most part I've got to feel something to go through with the act of commentary.  I recently finished Summerland by The Amazing Michael Chabon.  I don't feel I know enough about children's literature to offer my two-cents or at least that is my excuse I'm using for being underwhelmed by one of my favorite writers.  "Meh..." rarely qualifies as a strong enough feeling for me to write about though if I had to I'm sure I could at length. 

Apropos of nothing, I had a perfect Manhattan this weekend.  Well, actually I had three.  Rye is necessary--and not the smoothed out mellow 'new-aged-vodka' type rye--but the spicy, in your face, prohibition-era, SHAZAAM variety.  That may be an eye opener for some however, it's the vermouth that is is key ingredient.  The same could probably be said for a Martini, but why would anyone drink a Martini?  


Maria said...

You know when I started my blog, it was to get more comfortable with writing a lot more than I currently do, so my goal was to write a review for each book that I read that year. And it does cause some of the reviews to be along the line of "X did Y in this fun, but non-mind-blowing installment of series Z".

However, I found that for some books, I didn't think I had that much to say but when I started writing a review, the ball would just get rolling. Sometimes it's just about getting into the groove and finding that maybe it left more of an impression than you thought.

Maria said...

I do so wish blogger has an edit functionality on comments. English fail.

Maria said...


Chad Hull said...

Ditto the "Blogger needs edit functionality on comments" comment.

Your remark about getting the ball rolling is true for me too. I've always got an opinion. Perhaps it's easier if I just say I'm a lazy ass and sometimes commentary just doesn't happen.

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

The first two and a half years that I blogged I tried to write reviews for everything, but there were some books where I didn't have that much to say about them, so I ended up skipping them. This year, so far I have been trying to review everything. I think some reviews might be considerably shorter.

I like Maria's idea that some might only be a sentence long. I have no discipline though. So if I write a sentence, the review ill likely turn out to be at least 400 words.

Marion said...

I'd read a review of a good Manhattan, Chad.

Your reaction to Summerland was similar to mine. Didn't hate it--wanted to like it more than I did.

Marion said...

Maria said,"And it does cause some of the reviews to be along the line of "X did Y in this fun, but non-mind-blowing installment of series Z". "

I LOVE this!

Terry Weyna said...

"Why would anyone drink a martini?" can be answered by: "Because Tanqueray 10 exists."

Chad Hull said...


"The management is taking the matter under review and will comment shortly..."