Since becoming an author, I've met some wonderful book reviewers. These reviewers take their job seriously. Whether they love a book or hate it, they know how to maintain a respectful and professional attitude and web presence. Please welcome our first book reviewer of the month, Sue Gesing from Read Around Sue:
From what corner of the world do you call home, and what do you do when you’re not reading and reviewing?
I live in Northeast Ohio and believe me, we just survived one of our longest winters ever. That kind of weather gives me lots of time to read for my blog but that’s not all I do. I walk 3 miles every day and workout with a buddy five days a week. I am totally into Polyvore, an online fashion site where I can design my own sets of clothes. It’s a perfect world there where I am a size 4—totally not the real me! I spend lots of time with my sister too. We love to shop! I’m also pinning a lot about weddings since my son just got engaged.
Tell us a little about your blog and what sorts of books you prefer to review there?
I started ReadAroundSue so I could use my own format to review YA books and some adult fiction. I’ve only blogged since September 2013 so I feel I’m still finding my audience and my voice. I have been privileged to meet some wonderful authors who are working for boutique publishers or are independent. It makes me feel great to get books out there that people may not normally come across.
On Thursdays, I do a Kidz Korner where I recommend children’s books for toddlers to age 8. It’s fun because I love kiddie lit and I taught Kindergarten for many years.
Is there any genre you won’t read?
I won’t do horror or erotica. That’s just not for me.
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How do you structure your reviews?
First I give a summary of the book without having any spoilers. Sometimes that’s hard to do but I genuinely try. After the summary I usually talk about the main characters and why they appealed to me and then go on and talk about the other characters and plot points I really liked. I will talk about things I don’t like but I always try to do a positive review. If I can’t give a book three stars, then I don’t review it. There’s enough negative in this world already; I’m not going to add to it if I can help it.
If you find the book you’ve read is just not your thing, how would you go about reviewing it (or not)?
Well, I won’t finish a book I don’t like. I just don’t have the time for that. If I don’t like it, I don’t read it and I made sure I stated that on my policy page. I just return the book to the author with thanks.
Can you share the opening line/paragraph from one of your favorite review books?
“Boredom, boring, bored.” From Waiting for Dusk by Nancy Pennick. When I read that first line, I thought it would be a boring book but it turned out to be one of my favorites!
You can’t judge a book by the first line or even the first chapter. I have to read at least four chapters before I put a book down.
What’s coming up next on your review schedule?
I am sticking with YA books through the month of May. I’m really happy with the books I’m reviewing! They are all great. One of my favorites is Jen Ibarra’s Polaris Uprising. I’m also going on “summer vacation” for my Thursday feature, Kidz Korner.
I’ll return to it in the fall.
Here’s a totally random question for you: In your travels, name the tallest building you’ve toured, the largest body of water you’ve touched and the biggest city you’ve visited.
A) The Eiffel Tower
B) The Pacific Ocean
C) Paris, France
Sue Gesing is a retired teacher whose love of books led her to start a book review blog, ReadAroundSue. She lives with her husband and has two grown kids who both live nearby. Sue enjoys reading, shopping, Pinterest, Polyvore and old movies.
Sue is a hopeless romantic who is also a kid at heart. Her favorite book growing up was Henry Huggins by Beverly Cleary but now she loves so many books she can’t pick a favorite.