Introduction - Part 2 - Book Reviews

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It's a truism as old as any truism. To be a great writer, you need to be a great reader. 


Not only must you have an appreciation of books, but you must appreciate them as a writer would -- you have to think through how the writer came to write what he or she wrote. In other words, you have to read like a fellow craftsman. 


The following book reviews are some of the best I could find from my Goodreads book reviews. I'd like to think I make the most of these reviews. I try to write them as something other than reviews -- I try to write them as little stories, letters, vignettes, meditations, anything besides a normal review. In many cases, I try to write the review in a way that does justice to what the book is. 


Why take the effort to do this? For one, because in many cases, others have already written standard reviews of these books. What can I say about Harry Potter that hasn't been said by every other reviewer? Often, the answer to that question is to make it personal. Or, the answer to that question is to make the review weird -- What if Harry Potter was a delinquent student addicted to magic smack? Sometimes, the answer is to pair the book with another book that you wouldn't think to pair it with. 


Writing reviews in these ways forces you to be a writer -- to straddle the line between familiar and strange.  


But it's also a way to communicate love. When you take the time to do something different -- to be unique, personal, diligent -- it shows you care, that you appreciate the work the writer put into it. That's why at least one of these reviews is actually a love letter. 


When you read my reviews closely, however, you'll realize that a great many of them are love letters. How can you have pure writerly moments, without pure readerly moments? How can reading or writing be pure if you don't have love in your heart?  



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