There have been some books where I felt it wasn’t right to review them; Anne Frank’s Diary is one of them. I just didn’t feel good critiquing the writing efforts of a 14 year old Holocaust victim. Yet, I reviewed Malcolm X and Gandhi, authors who have both met tragic ends at the hands of extremists.
Other books are so daunting that I just can’t do it. This generally happens when I love a book – I find that I’m paralysed because I fear I won’t be able to adequately portray why its so special or do the book justice (finishing the Paradise Lost review was a miracle. I’m not sure how I did it, but the review still pales in comparison to my love of the book and explaining the epicness of John Milton). Some books that fall into this category are Nausicaa by Hayao Miyazaki, Y: The Last Man by Brian K Vaughan and The Once and Future King by T H White. I also tend to find fiction harder to review than non-fiction, hence why two thirds of my reviews are of the latter.
There are some books that are so heinously shit that it would be a waste of time to review them. All I would be doing is slagging the book off without any form of discussion or insight. Other books are neither here nor there, and there just isn’t anything interesting to say about them.
Another more mundane reason why I don’t review some books is that I finish them and don’t make notes fast enough (‘A Short History of Nearly Everything’ by Bill Bryson is an example). I can’t remember succinctly the exact points I wanted to make and which sections I wanted to quote. I promise myself that when I read them again I will make notes and write a review; but I probably won’t read them again for years because my reading list is so huge. I wonder if other people with blogs have the same kind of occurances.
Anyway, here is a list of books I have completed lately. Hopefully they will pass through the trials I’ve mentioned above and make it to this blog:
- A Walk In The Woods – Bill Bryson
- At Home – Bill Bryson
- Breaking the Sound Barrier – Amy Goodman
- Standing Up to Madness – Amy Goodman
- Static – Amy Goodman
- The Exception to the Rulers – Amy Gooman
- Through the Narrow Gate – Karen Armstrong
- The Spiral Staircase – Karen Armstrong
- Civilisation and Its Discontents – Sigmund Freud
- A Thirsty Evil – Gore Vidal
- Empire of Illusion – Chris Hedges