Reviewing books

Other posts have revealed my fondness for books and printed matter generally. Over the years I have had to invest heavily in IKEA Billy bookcases to help keep this predilection from taking over the house. Its sort of worked but I know there are many books I have that I have looked at only a few times and then moved on to the next must have item. Some of the books cast aside were great, some mediocre, some utter rubbish. But mostly when it comes to food related books I still have every single one of them. I have made attempts to catalogue them all so that at least I can find them when needed, I have thought about selling those I rarely use or didn’t hit the spot for me, after all one girls junk is another’s dream item.

This love of printed matter takes on a new slant when, on Twitter, publishers are offering review copies to bloggers and at events generous souls are popping them in goodie bags. What is a girl to do? Well clearly one thing is to review them. And I did one full review of a book I got from a publisher, and I enjoyed it: both book and review. But the others that you can see above have created a little conundrum so I haven’t yet managed to review them. Why? Well its not that I only want to write positive things on my blog, but essentially I do want to mostly write about things I enjoy and can enthuse about a sort of ‘goodshoeday recommends’ approach. And some of these books I do heartily recommend (as you will eventually see) but I couldn’t always find much to say. I don’t want to simply repeat a press release and I don’t want to be bland or negative unless I’ve read a book cover to cover and as you will guess from the intro I don’t always do that with books I pay for!

I also don’t want to be obliged to cook a recipe just to be sure the it works (or doesn’t). There is endless debate about this with many saying if you haven’t cooked a recipe how can you properly review the book and those who, like me, think its in no way essential. I guess it depends who’s going to read the review and who the book is aimed at. If its “the basics of cooking in 100 pages” then yes it should all work if its “this is mostly full of pictures and ideas” well I guess they should still work but then its more about the inspiration than the exact quantities, after all who follows recipes exactly (except possibly when baking).

So I have a pile of books I have garnered for free. To date I haven’t reviewed them. Well all that’s about to change because I’m ready to launch my all new patented method of book reviewing The GSD flip-thru (TM) . In the interests of objectivity I will be reviewing the books in individual blog posts in the order I received them, which is from the bottom of that pile upwards……

Bet you can’t wait for the first review ;0

8 thoughts on “Reviewing books”

  1. At least you’ll be flipping through those books – I’ve still got cookery books on my shelf that I’m yet to open. It takes me AGES to actually trust a book enough to cook out of it. I’m looking forward to your review as I’ve got two of those books in your pile…
    .-= Katie´s last blog ..Day Five- Leiths Advanced Cooking =-.

  2. Sharing your love of printed matter GSD I know what you mean, some cookbooks can be enjoyed in their entirety without needing to test recipes (this no doubt puts me in the category of food pornlovers) and others you jam full of post-it notes to remind you to cook from it. If you can nail the concise review I’ll share a wodge of cheese with you to celebrate :)
    .-= scandilicious´s last blog ..Chilled as a cucumber =-.

  3. First review coming this week….

    Dan – me flippant surely not ;0
    Katie – I think I always take a quick look but there are definitely some that only ever got that much attention and really should be found a better home
    Sig – How can I resist a wodge of cheese, am getting more concise by the moment
    George – naturally I want to do something techy and clever but that might have to wait for a few reviews in
    Whimsical – and if readers are lucky some of the books might just be up for grabs who knows ;0
    Iain – there is a great John Thorne piece about reviewing books and making recipes, have you ever seen it?

    Best I get on with reviewing….

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