Friday, June 10, 2005


New feature: The '10 pages in' book review

I had an idea!

I feel like Archemides. I'm so excited! I had an idea, and I think it's an original idea at that. (Feel free to disabuse me of that notion if you must.)

When I posted my review, if you could call it that, of The Time Traveler's Wife, I was only about 1/10 of the way into it, which for me is actually a pretty good time to write a review because much like Marla, after I read the last page and close the cover I promptly forget almost all the details and nuances of the story.

And then I started reading the next book on my list, Kate Atkinson's Case Histories and I almost put it down after 15 pages because it just wasn't floating my boat. Maybe my expectations were too high, but I think a lot of the problem was because it was transitional book after my love affair with Time Traveler's Wife, and you know that transitional book never stands a chance.

So I got to thinking - don't you find that early in a book there's a tipping point where you decide whether a book is worth the effort? At 10 or 20 pages in, you can still comfortably walk away and not feel like you've invested too much to quit. Or, like with Time Traveler's Wife, you know you're so hooked that you start canceling playdates and dental appointments just to make more time to read.

And that, in no shortage of words, is how I came up with my new trick, the "ten-pages-in review."

Aren't I clever?

The review doesn't necessarily have to come at exactly the 10-page point, but early in the book, before you lose your objectivity and are determined to finish a book more from stubbornness than enjoyment and anticipation. Besides, calling it the "57 pages-in book review" didn't roll off the tongue quite the same way.

And I even figured out how to subvert Blogger's lack of categories and keep a running list of my soon to be famous '10-pages-in reviews' in the sidebar. Sheesh, I don't usually have this many synaptic successes in a month!

So I'll post this first, and then I'll post the second instalment of my new series, the 10 pages in review of Case Histories. Whaddaya think?