I started this blog because I love to read and write. I also have a long commute and a good book makes the journey easier. How long? My commute involves 3 subways and when I tell people how much time I spend underground, I usually get a look of horror or a gasp. When I’m lucky I get to sit down for at least 30 – 40 minutes of each trip.
I decided to focus my reading, and write reviews of, debut novels because although there are a lot of book review blogs, I didn’t find many focused on the first book. This blog lets me ruminate on what makes a good first novel, while discovering and supporting new writers.
The first few months of this blog I read books that I bought or were given to me by friends and family. In the new year I discovered a website, Net Galley, which allows bloggers and other “professional readers” to request advance e-versions of books from publishers. I thought that sounded like an appealing way to get and find out about books, so I signed up and eventually I got my first advance e-copy of a debut novel.
So moving forward, some of the books I review I will get from publishers, for free. I am under no obligation to write a positive review of any of these books, but I tend to only write about books I like. I see this blog as a way to support other artists and discuss what I like in books, more than a forum to criticize the books I don’t connect with. But when an blogger writes about a book they like and get for free that post can be considered (by the FTC) an “endorsement.” Thus in the spirit of full disclosure, at the end of my posts I will now share with you where I get the book reviewed.
Next review…American Dervish by Ayad Akhtar, a coming-of-age story about a Muslim American boy.