My first review: Thy reviewer giveth, thy reviewer taketh away

Where Am I Wearing? was reviewed in the Library Journal. If there is a more nerve-wracking way to spend a minute than reading one’s first review, I don’t know it.

You can read the review for yourself, but I thought it might be fun to mine some of the flattering and not-so flattering nuggets out of context.

Thy reviewer giveth…

There were plenty of good things that would look nice pasted across the back cover of the book:

“not a typical book about globalization”

We’ll score that a good one. If you’ve read typical books about globalization they can be kind of boorish)

“the ultimate boy next door”

I’m thinking about making a calendar. Wait, until you see the manly hot outfit I have for the sultry month of July!

“casual tone”

“He takes on the project…with a charming lack of guile.”

I think that’s good.

“for readers seeking a first humane glimpse of the situation”

Thy reviewer taketh away…

Pretty much the whole review is a give and take. The reviewer says something positive and then something not-negative but yet not-positive. Keep in mind these are taken out of context as are the giveths listed above.

“he has no expertise”

“more reminiscent of blogging”

Imagine that.

“cannot replace even journalistic accounts, let along scholarly ones”

All the time people are coming up to me and saying, “Sir, you are a gentleman and a scho…, well, I guess you’re just a gentleman.

And then the reviewer concludes with the ultimate of luke warm statements: “an agreeable choice.”

So it’s not a jump-out-of-my-chair “holy crap they like me, they really like me” review. But it ain’t bad.

Add a comment
Kent says:

…no expertise …cannot replace scholarly accounts…

I don’t think thoes are bad things. If you were a scholarly expert, would you have been capable of writing a book that a “joe 6-pack” like me would want to read?

Kelsey says:

I wouldn’t want to write a scholarly account, that’s for sure. Sounds like a real snooze. I like to think my writing speaks to joe-6-packs everywhere. Maybe I should run for Vice President.

Lilli says:

I think that the fact that is isn’t scholarly or preachy is the best part. It will appeal to everyone, the scholarly and the joe-6-packs alike, and will get people to question and think and wonder, which is something that I think is sorely lacking in our country.

Kelsey says:

Thanks Lilli. One of my favorite things about the review was that it mentioned the lack of preachiness. It was a mantra I kept repeating, “Don’t be preachy, don’t be preachy.”

I want people to feel and think, not use the book as a resource to shape policies or dissertations. The reviewer picked up on this and gave me what I think is a very fair review.

On a related note…

The reviewer has a PhD in Anthropology so it was nice to see that she didn’t think I was a nincompoop.

Let your voice be heard!