In September 2012, I attended the fourth annual Hampton Roads Writers Conference. In one of the sessions, editor and publisher Annmarie Lockhart talked about supporting the book industry. She suggested that writers should also be reviewers. My initial reaction was But I have no credentials! I have no degrees or training or expertise! I later decided that I don’t need credentials or expertise. All I need are my decades of experience as a reader. These reviews are those of an enthusiastic book lover, not a literary critic.
My favorite books are those that surprise me with laughter or stun me with wisdom. The ones with tears and joy and bittersweet recognition. I hope to provide details, to illustrate moments of tension and beauty, and to explain what keeps me reading all the way to the end.
I would love to hear from writers and readers, and reviewers, on this topic. What makes a review worthwhile? What makes a reviewer “qualified”?