Tuesday, April 30, 2013

A Jim-Dandy, Cat's Meow, Bee's Knees, Super Duper Review

...of The Everyday Catholic's Guide to the Liturgy of the Hours appeared recently at The Wine Dark Sea, by Melanie Bettinelli.  Melanie has this Catholic Mommie blog with a rather classical flare: posts about the small doings of her cute kids alternate with commentary on T.S. Eliot, great works of art, and various events in the archdiocese of Boston, where she lives. Melanie has been a Coffee&Canticles  cheerleader almost from its very beginnings, and her review of my book just demonstrates more of her kindness to me and her enthusiasm for the Liturgy of the Hours.

I'm very grateful, knowing from experience (as Melanie mentions in her post) what  a pain book reviews are for a writer. Book reviews are so deceptive: it seems they would be a cinch to write. Your topic is well defined, and you don't have to come up with lots of original ideas, since the book itself supplied them. But then you sit down to write it, and you're transported back to the fifth grade, with a big fat book report assignment looming over you. An assignment which deflates all the enjoyment you actually had in reading the book!

A reviewer has to write that boring book report but make it sound like a clever little essay, revealing enough information to arouse reader interest but not too much. It's not easy. I write four reviews per month for Catholic Digest, and it's a huge  chore! New writers are often encouraged to break into writing for magazines or websites by writing book reviews, not because they are easy, but because they make huge demands on one's ability to write clear, concise and readable prose.  So I very much appreciate it anytime someone bothers to review my book, even if it's only a one-liner on Amazon.

Thanks, Melanie.