Sunday, September 22, 2013

Odds and Ends!: Alaska, Goodreads, and Marie Curie

Hope you're enjoying the last bit of your weekend! As you're reading this, I'm flying off on a vacation to Alaska to sight-see and to visit some very dear friends. It's my first vacation in awhile and I am so excited!!! We'll be going to Anchorage, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, and Seward. Right now the temperatures are in the 20s and 30s (brrr!!!) but seem to be fluctuating a lot. I'm hoping that it doesn't get too, too cold so we can truly enjoy the great outdoors.

Admittedly, I'm also looking forward to all of the reading I will get to do. My Kindle is loaded up and ready to go. I also have this weird thing where I must have a physical book to read during take-offs and landings since my Kindle has to be in the off position. I have a grave fear of not being able to read at any point in time on a plane. Does anyone else worry about this???

Other News:

So Goodreads re-vamped some of their user guidelines and I'm a little disturbed about some of them. Basically what it boils down to is that if you have shelves on Goodreads that Goodreads sees as being more about author conduct that the book itself. This means no more warning other readers about authors behaving badly either through reviews or through things like the way that you name your shelves. Oh boy, this really seems like it could lead to Goodreads being a little over-zealous in what gets flagged.

One thing you should know about me is that I fully support freedom of speech. Popular and unpopular opinions both have their place. Censoring is just not cool and I definitely see this review policy as a form of censure. Now I do see why Goodreads would put a policy in place like this (I'm just not sure that these are the right reasons). Let's say that a reviewer for whatever reason just feels like being a troll so they start rating an author's books really badly and writing all of these terrible things. This is so wrong and it could be really hurtful to the author. I get why Goodreads would want to stop bad reviews that are written for reasons not based on the content of the book.

As members of the book community, I think reviewers and authors need to be respectful of each other. With all of the reviews that I write, I try really hard to be diplomatic even when I don't care for the book. That doesn't mean that I sugarcoat things or lie about it but it does mean that I try to point out exactly I didn't like about the book in a respectful way. I know there are definitely some people who do not do that on Goodreads.

Goodreads has tried to clarify the policy saying that you are still allowed to discuss authors in your book reviews but that they still will delete reviews that only focus on author behavior.

I guess we'll see how this plays out!

What do you think about the new policy?


Marie Curie and Her Daughters is out in paperback now!


  1. I didn't even know Marie Curie had daughters! I'm going to have to read this one.

  2. I had your blog pop up on my Zemanta! Have fun in Fairbanks, it is where I live! If you want a great local book store Gulliver's Books is at the end of College going towards the university! Great back room full of Alaskan authors!

    1. Awesome! I love a good bookstore! Thanks for the head's up :)


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