Monthly Archives: October 2014

Why I can’t be a book reviewer…


The first obvious reason—I’m not very good at it. I suppose that’s not something I should admit, considering I write for a living. Although, most book reviews I’ve read—even from other authors—aren’t that terrific either.

Writers have varying skillsets—which may or may not include review writing. However, every once in a while I will stumble across a beautifully written book review and I long to stretch those writer’s muscles—but then I remember the other reason I can’t be a book reviewer: I won’t critique a book I dislike—because then I’d have to leave less than four stars.

These days I find it harder and harder to leave a bad book review—I just don’t have the heart to rip out another writer’s heart. This doesn’t mean I’ll blow sunshine under an author’s bloomers. I’ll simply pass on writing a review if I dislike a book.

Plus, I have little free time, and I’ll only finish a book I enjoy. Unless I’ve read the entire book I don’t think I should leave a review. So if you think about it, even if I was willing to leave one or two stars, I don’t have the time to read bad books.

If I aspired to be a book reviewer I’d have to be willing to leave a negative review when necessary—because if I didn’t, readers probably wouldn’t trust me. Of course, there might be a niche out there for a reviewer focusing solely on books to read as opposed to books to avoid.

Will the real Nick Russell please stand up.

Big Lake

You can find just about anything over on eBay—like my paperback books. Be warned the prices are inflated. I found Havasu Palms, A Hostile Takeover on eBay, ranging from about $21 to over $35. Not sure why someone would buy it there, considering the price on Amazon is under $17.

I also noticed a used copy of Where the Road Ends, Havasu Palms Recipes and Remembrances. That one is $16.16 – but you can pick up a new copy at Amazon for $10. Actually, Amazon serves as the middleman on that book—I fulfill the order.

I don’t begrudge anyone trying to make an honest buck. If they can get someone to pay more for a second hand book, or resale a new one at an inflated price, then more power to them.

But one thing that does irritate me is when they misrepresent a book—or give false information. Over on eBay, bookseller Grand Eagle Resale is selling my friend, Nick Russell’s book, Big Lake. According to the author bio given by the reseller, Nick lives in Australia, and the rest of the bio is pretty colorful—he joined the British South Africa Police in 1975, served in Sinoia and Kariba, was in the mounted squad for the opening of parliament and transferred to some special branch until the cessation.

I imagine there is a Nick Russell out there that did that stuff—but he isn’t the same one who wrote Big Lake. The Nick Russell who wrote Big Lakes is a full time RVer—in the US not Australia. Ironically, that same bookseller is selling another one of Nick’s books, Dog’s Run—and they have the bio correct on that one!

On the menu: homemade chicken noodle soup

photo (48)Fall is in the air, I have a killer cold and I’m in soup mode. On Tuesday I made homemade potato, broccoli and cheese soup (super yummy) and yesterday I made a batch of homemade chicken broth. Today I turned some of that broth into chicken noodle soup—and froze the rest.

Why is homemade soup so much better than canned? For one thing, it doesn’t contain ingredients I can’t pronounce.