I’ve been writing essays on books and movies for years as a hobby, and have posted versions of some of these writings online in various places. I’ve decided now to put them all together on my own site–the book essays here, and the movie essays at philoonmovies.
I say “essays” rather than “reviews” because they’re only sort of reviews. They tend to be more personal than reviews.
Basically, after I finish a book, I sit down and write my thoughts about it. I might write something close to a conventional review, I might write about just some certain aspect of it that was thought-provoking to me, I might write more about the topic the book is about than about the book itself, I might write about what it made me think about from my own life and experiences, I might write about my personal emotional reaction to it, etc. They’re subjective and free form, not all intended to fit the same strict template.
Maybe think of it more like if you were in a book club, and you got together with other people to share your reactions after reading the assigned book. That’s not quite the same as giving a review, though there’s some overlap.
It’s just my little effort to add to the world’s dialogue on these works. Not to mention I retain a lot more if I write about something before it fades from my memory, so it does me some small good even if not a single other person reads my essay.
I’m not real strict about avoiding spoilers, by the way. If you’re reading an essay about a book you have not yet read in order to ascertain if it would be worth reading, I might sometimes say more than I should, so consider yourself forewarned in that sense. Again, I approach these essays more like remarks one might make in a book club, and in that context you’re allowed to assume the other members of the group have also read the book.
Comments are always welcome, but I’ll moderate pretty strictly. That doesn’t mean you can’t disagree with something I say, but I do require it be civil. In other words, don’t be in anonymous-troll-on-the-internet mode, but instead communicate like we were in a book club in person together and you wanted to offer comments on the book or on my remarks about it.