Livestock and Book Reviews

John Carter uses livestock judging as a metaphor to talk about reviewing books. This is Indiana, folks.

John E.K. Carter

Want to know my opinion on book reviews? Of course you do. That’s why you’re here.

After reading all the links on the topic over at Literary Citizenship, I realized that a lot of people have a lot different opinions on what makes a good book review.

BUT.

I think there’s a common one: explanation.

It seems like everyone agrees that a good book review shouldn’t say just how the reviewer feels, but why they feel that way. In one article, Charles Baxter calls this unexplained kind of reviewing “Owl Criticism,” saying,

…quite a few book reviews are worthless. They are made up of what I call Owl Criticism. With Owl Criticism, you have statements like, ‘This book has an owl in it, and I don’t like owls.’

Because I am who I am, and I have trouble NOT linking a topic to agriculture, let me provide a…

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