About This Blog

Mommy, where do books come from?

The book source will always be found
on the review header.
The books I review come from any number of sources, including my private library, the public library system, loans from friends, new books I buy, and copies of books advanced to me by authors and/or publishers for my review, in both ebook and hardcopy format.  They provide these books with the inherent understanding that my reviews will be both fair and honest.  I receive no other compensation and agree to no special stipulations when I review a work from an interested party.

Why do I review books?  For the joy of it.  This blog grew organically out of my mutual passions for literature and writing.

Cha-ching?  Not.

I include links to commercial sites such as Amazon.com, GoodReads.com and SmashWords.com within my reviews for convenience to the reader, to enrich the content of the site, properly identify the source of images and increase the visibility of the author and their work, as well as this blog on the World Wide Web.  In the interest of fairness, I link to a variety of sites.  I receive no compensation of any kind for purchases any visitor makes at these commercial interests.  Unless otherwise indicated, all contest prizes and giveaway copies are provided by the author and/or their publisher.

The Bell Curve

It's all about the averages and good, better, and best.
Rating any author's work is a dodgy business at best simply because values and personal taste vary so widely. Therefore, I have based my star ratings on an enjoyment factor which is explained in this chart.

 An author and book receive my endorsement with a three-star review, my true average rating.  However, because of that disparity between personal preferences and the prevailing attitude that five stars is the only acceptable rating, I insert my icons at the end of my review.  In so doing, I hope to prevent any snap judgments on the part of the reader/consumer.  Every book deserves a fair hearing before scrolling off the page.  See an analysis of my ratings here on LibraryThing.com.

I add the stars after I've had my say.

Confessions of a Literary Omnivore

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.
The 13th Article of Faith by Joseph Smith, Jr. (See also Philippians 4:8
I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as "The Mormons."  I believe we are sons and daughter of a loving Heavenly Father, we came from and will return to His love and light.  Our souls are injured when assaulted with the anger and hatred of harsh and profane language, sexually provocative media and the occult.  Beings of light, we become tarnished.  We are lessened, both ourselves and humanity as a whole.

It is true that without darkness, we cannot appreciate the light.  I understand the argument some make that unless it is edgy or gritty, it's not "real".  However, that contention in itself demonstrates a myopic perspective.  While I know it is important for me personally to have a well-rounded literary experience in order to understand the world around me, when considering those thoughts and ideas I voluntarily choose to imbibe, the scales must always tip toward the light, the only place my soul thrives.

To Authors, Publicists and Publishers
I invite requests and suggestions from nearly every genre:  non-fiction, biography, history, memoirs, cultural studies, travelogues, historical fiction, historical romance, fantasy, science fiction, speculative fiction, suspense/thrillers, murder mysteries, paranormal (vs occult), action/adventure, young adult genres, youth and children's books, etc., etc.  I'll read just about anything.

Just about.

I am wary of chic lit.  Books with images of half-naked people on the cover get automatically rejected.  I refuse any work with themes of vampires, the occult (vs paranormal), horror, excessive or gratuitous violence, and erotica or excessively provocative scenes.  Some harsh language is tolerable, so long as civilized language outweighs it by far.

I welcome the opportunity to participate in giveaways, blog tours, and launch parties.  I especially enjoy author and character interviews.  I manage giveaways with Rafflecopter.  Following publication on my blog, I post my reviews on Goodreads.com, Amazon.com and other appropriate websites.

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A note about parental cautions.

When my son was a sophomore in high school and studying American literature, he brought home a reading list for my approval. I belonged to a forum whose members praised Kurt Vonnegut who was one of the authors on the list. I had not read any of his work and decided I would read the book after my son finished his assignment. We bought the book.

You can imagine my dismay when he returned home from school the next day visibly concerned. He surrendered the book to me, saying he did not want to read it. I opened the cover, and there in the first pages of the first chapter were the author's doodles of female genitalia.  The text made the book beyond redemption.  This information the previous day would have been very helpful.

Despite our desires to instill in our children a profound love of reading, I know many parents share my concern of that to which they are exposed in contemporary literature. I know not everyone embraces the same values. Obviously, educators thought Mr. Vonnegut's sordid musings uplifting and enlightening for teenagers. Had honest, carefully considered reviews been available at that time (eons ago in Internet years), we could have chosen more wisely.

Thus, I make mention of content which may be of concern to parents, particularly if the book is directed at youth or may be interesting to them. I do so to assist them in making fully informed decisions, in the interest of full disclosure without malice. The opinions expressed herein are my own and are attributable to no other source.
—A Chaotic Mind