[Pitch Slapped] A look at 600 recent review requests

600 Book Review Requests

I’ve been checking the canary review request inbox periodically, browsing around for jewels to catch the eye, but last week, I decided to get serious about it.

The Unread pile had grown to a little over 600 emails since February, and I wanted to do something about it. Over the next hour or so, I cut the pile down to a more manageable 100 review requests that had piqued my interest, then down again to some 50 books to check out and try.

I thought I’d share some general observations about my process and what worked and didn’t work to intrigue me as I powered through the requests. Here are some things that immediately struck emails from consideration:

1. Not the right genre. Poetry anthologies, political thrillers, historical literature. Gone.

2. Couldn’t find the blurb. If I couldn’t immediately see what the book was about, or if it asked me to open an attachment to read the blurb, or if I had to click a link, I moved on. Continue reading

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Today’s Book Blurb: Universe Builders

The latest, greatest and (sometimes) strangest blurbs from the book world.

Silly subtitle aside, this charming blurb completely won me over. I had the hardest time deciding whether to feature this one, or the one in the third book.

Builders

“As Bernie graduates from God School, he is thrilled to land his dream job as a builder of universes. His first assignment is to build his own universe. Determined but unsure, Bernie forges ahead, only to find problems everywhere. Mysterious asteroids, unexplained volcanoes, shifting continents and more lead him to suspect sabotage. But who could sabotage his universe? Only another god could do that. 

It’s god vs. god, guile vs. goodness, where only one of them plays by the rules.”

 

What books caught your eye recently?

 

[Book Review] Conceptually intriguing, casually terrible

Eyre Affair.jpgBook Review: The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde

So many things to dislike, so little time to talk about them all.

(Spoilers ahead. All the spoilers, because idgaf.)

I rarely try books more than once, so I should have trusted my gut when I got stuck a couple chapter in – not once but twice. But this week, I got the audiobook, because I really wanted to get through this book about a murder mystery in an alternative history fantasy world of time travel and literature. Lesson learned, because this book was terrible.

I grit my teeth through the prose style and weird perspective shifts. I was willing to suffer through the self-indulgent literary babble and fangirling, because, okay, literature is as religion in this world, and as a book lover, I totally get it. I even powered through the weird inconsistencies: Okay, this universe has casual time travel, and yet the biggest mystery in Fforde’s world is the identity of the true author of Shakespeare’s plays? And Thursday is the first person ever to ask a time traveler to check? Fine, whatever. Continue reading

Book Watching: Upcoming adaptations and a definite to-read list.

This week, I got movies on my mind. Book-to-movie adaptations, that is.

This is happening:

A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle

Also known as the first book assigned for English that I read and liked. My sixth grade self was enthralled, and I remember listing is as “Favorite Book” for about a year hence.

Except, I have a confession to make. I have absolutely no memory of the plot. I remember the experience of reading it (positive), but so foggy on the details (all the fog). The trailer looks like pure magic, but doesn’t help out in the story department.

Yesterday, I got my hands on this book to do some much needed brushing up on plot. Anyone with me?

Release date: March 9, 2018

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Another book that’s on my To-Read list and my actual shelf.

Just hoping that it will do more than a feature length fan service for 80’s/90’s nostalgia. In the trailer alone, I’m seeing Tron, Iron Giant, Back to the Future, and dozens of other references. There is a plot, though, right?  Continue reading

This month in the mine shaft: August

1

  • The Dictator’s Handbook by Bruce Bueno De Mesquita, Alastair Smith ★★★★☆
  • The Everything Box by Richard Kadrey ★★★☆☆
  • Too Fat, Too Slutty, Too Loud by Anne Helen Petersen ★★★☆☆
  • Omega Rising by Jessica Meats ★★★☆☆
  • The Rook by Daniel O’Malley ★★☆☆☆

 

2

 

4

 

Onward to September! What’s on your to-read list?

Want to buddy read something?

 

 

Today’s Book Blurb: Dogs of War

In which we bring you the latest, greatest and (sometimes) strangest blurbs from the book world.

It’s no secret that I hate rhetorical questions in book blurbs. But this blurb totally rocked by expectations. Talk about concept! This could be incredibly hackneyed, or incredibly good.

Call me intrigued. Now to wait till November 2017…

Dogs

Rex is a Good Dog. He loves humans. He hates enemies. He’s utterly obedient to Master.

 

He’s also seven foot tall at the shoulder, bulletproof, bristling with heavy calibre weaponry and his voice resonates with subsonics especially designed to instil fear. With Dragon, Honey and Bees, he’s part of a Multi-form Assault Pack operating in the lawless anarchy of Campeche, Southeastern Mexico.

 

Rex is a genetically engineered bioform, a deadly weapon in a dirty war. He has the intelligence to carry out his orders and feedback implants to reward him when he does. All he wants to be is a Good Dog. And to do that he must do exactly what Master says and Master says he’s got to kill a lot of enemies. But who, exactly, are the enemies? What happens when Master is tried as a war criminal? What rights does the Geneva Convention grant weapons? Do Rex and his fellow bioforms even have a right to exist? And what happens when Rex slips his leash?

 

– Dogs of War by Adrian Tchaikovsky

 

Have you come across any books that have caught your eye recently?