While I am a person who thoroughly enjoys reading mountains of books, writing a review of one or another is not an art I feel like I’ve ever mastered. Though I’ve written plenty of my own — because that’s what happens when you study English and Communications; heck, even Psychology — these were always the assignments that came back with the most notations on them. Either because I hadn’t quite caught the larger picture of the book or because I felt compelled to summarize the events of the book rather than reflect upon them. So, to this day, I struggle; in the face of that struggle, I read book reviews to help me get an idea of what they’re supposed to sound like.
Collected here for your own reflection is a short list of the book reviewers I read on a regular basis, mostly and mainly because they each cover a genre of book that I enjoy writing, reading, or working with professionally. Let’s start with the first and foremost:
Horror Novel Reviews, From self-proclaimed, professional horror junkie, Matt Molgaard, comes a daily dose of opinion and new horror fiction. I don’t like getting email to check or read, but I love getting this email every day. Matt and his crew of reviewers are passionate, knowledgeable, and articulate in all the things that horror fiction can be. It keeps me updated on the newest names in the genre, and reviews aren’t the only things Matt has proffered. There are Top 100 lists, author interviews, and pop culture references aplenty! If you love horror fiction, but only have time for an informative (and informed!) rundown, stop by HNR.
GayList Book Reviews, I have not come across a more fair and all-encompassing LGBT fiction review site. All of the reviewers are avid readers, passionate, and thoughtful. They are open-minded and excited about new fiction exploring uncharted territory, and even more excited to share it with fellow readers. That’s right, fellow readers. These aren’t authors toting their own work, they are readers with an unbridled passion for gay fiction!
Hardcovers and Heroines, Alison Doherty reviews Young Adult fiction and writes some herself. She’s fun, sunny, and excited about the books she’s read, written, and those still on the horizon. Alongside reviews, Alison offers funny posts like “Marry, Date, or Dump” different groups of characters from various literary worlds; some of my favorite posts under that banner include Victorian Authors, The Weasley Brothers, and Disney Princesses! There are also great weekly posts every Wednesday — Wordless Wednesday — where she posts images relating to literary figures, characters, or the books themselves.
The Bookshelf of Emily J., What a lovely discovery this blog has turned out to be. A member of the Literary Wives virtual book club, Emily reviews plenty of books but the group focuses on books with ‘wife’ in the title or a reference to a wife in the title. Book reviews aren’t the only things Emily has to offer, but strong opinions and questions she isn’t afraid to explore or share. She welcomes deeper reflection and lighter conversation for it. This is another email I receive regularly and enjoy its arrival in my inbox. Emily is always entertaining, informative, and enlightening.
The Smutty Kitty, Of course reviews new literary releases… Oh, wait, that isn’t right… The Smutty Kitty actually reviews traditional adult fiction and erotica, featuring men and women in various situations, lifestyles, and environments getting it on and getting dirty with it. The content shared here is 18+ only, and it’s noted on the site. Her reviews are witty, clear cut, and to the point. The Kitty doesn’t mess around with her erotica. She knows how to talk to and engage her audience, also listing other authors a reader might enjoy or when favorite erotica books/series go on sale.
These are just a few of the reviewers I read regularly, and if there are any I should check out (especially of the non-fiction or memoir persuasion) send them my way! I’d love to expand my list of go-to book reviewers.