The OF Blog: Slight change in reviewing approach

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Slight change in reviewing approach

Since I'm currently working upwards of 50 hours a week (not to mention an extra 12 hrs./week driving from place to place – almost 150 miles/day), I do not have as much time (or energy) for writing posts here as I did when I was underemployed.  Yet I still manage to get a decent amount of reading done a month, many on books that may be of some interest to readers.

Therefore, I'm going to experiment with something different.  Instead of writing 1000-1500 word reviews (including representative quotes), I'm going to concentrate on writing reviews in a much more concise (and tougher to write) format of around 350-500 words, similar to what might be encountered in say The New Yorker's "Briefly Noted" section (although mine would still be somewhat longer in length).  I'm going to try and tackle a backlog of recently-read books about which I have some things to say, so perhaps I can write 2-3 individual reviews a week.

There still will be some works that will get longer treatments (later this week, I plan to try and catch up with the Flannery O'Connor story reviews I've been writing at Gogol's Overcoat over the past two months – I'm 9 days behind now and would like to have three written by Friday), but these will be fewer in number and perhaps could be seen as being more of a "feature review" than a regular occurrence, at least for the next few months.

Books that I will likely cover are as follows:

Jim Gavin, Middle Men

Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being

Ismail Kadare, The Fall of the Stone City

Caitlín R. Kiernan, The Drowning Girl

Alain Mabanckou, Black Bazaar

John Joseph Adams and Douglas Cohen (eds.), Oz Reimagined

Xu Lei, Search for the Buried Bomber

There may also be occasional op-ed pieces as well, but no planned dates for those.  Oh, and there might be some squirrel-centric posts on occasion, for fellow Squirrelists.

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