As you can tell from the title of the blog, I’ll be posting reviews of novels and memoirs that are available in electronic format, for e-readers and the like. Most of these titles are also available in paperback (and some in hardcover, too).

I’ll also occasionally post a review of a book that is not available as an ebook, with a “They should release this as an e-book” or “Good thing this isn’t available as an e-book” thrown in for good measure.

In the beginning, I’m posting several reviews a week. After I’ve posted reviews of all the books I’ve already read, I’ll continue posting with less frequency.

I’m also entertaining the idea of including guest-posts by other reviewers, because I cannot hope single-handedly to maintain a steady stream of quality reviews, despite the fact that I love to read. (If you would like to offer your assistance in that regard, please feel free to contact me.)

I’ll also cover significant e-book news (occasionally), deals on e-books I think are worth checking out, and announcements of e-books I’m looking forward to, as well as e-books that I myself release (and you can post your own reviews and comments on those books).

What I Like to Read

I know what I like to read, and I’m very opinionated when it comes to what I like to read. I’ve only made it through one full-length Nora Roberts novel, and I dread the promise I’ve made to give her work one more try, with a title recommended by one of her fans. And I’m not afraid to say that. As far as I have so far read, Nora Roberts is boring.

Not as boring as Stephen King. I’ve never even made it through the first chapter of any of his novels. And I’m tired of trying.

See what I mean by opinionated?

So what do I like?

There are exceptions. Occasionally, I’ll read something that I enjoy just because it’s fun. (Janet Evanovich.) No theme that I can see. Rote plot. Unconvincing characters. Stupid humor. A pure escape. Eh. Whateva’.

But the fiction I enjoy most moves me more deeply than that.

I also have some pet peeves, like poor grammar, shifting point-of-view, rambling prose, and so forth: weaknesses the editor ought to have caught and eliminated before the manuscript went to press. Unfortunately, they do pop up from time to time.

Review Scale

I rate books on a 5-star scale.


— I hated it. Made me sick to my stomach.


— I didn’t like, and didn’t hate it, either. This is the worst rating, because it means the book didn’t even make enough of an impact for me to hate it.


— I liked it, but I probably won’t be reading more books like it, if I can help it.


— I really liked it, enough so that I would like to read more books like it (or the same book over again).


— I loved it, so much that I feel a sense of loss for having finished it, so much that I long to read more books like this, immediately, so much that I can almost taste the next book in the series and can’t wait for Amazon to deliver it, so much that… Well, you get the idea, right?

Please note the obvious: that this is a subjective scale. (And believe it or not, all book reviews are subjective.) The number of stars a book gets is based on the gut feeling I get while reading it. I sometimes add half a star if I notice the author doing something really impressive (which may push the overall score up one). Or I may subtract half a star for a gaffe (which may push the overall score down one). But mostly, I do not rate books on so-called objective criteria. I rate books on how well I enjoyed reading them, plain and simple.

Bottom line: If you like the same kinds of stories I do, you’ll probably agree with my ratings. Otherwise, you may disagree.

Free Books and Review Swaps

I sometimes receive free e-books from authors or publishers. And as an author myself, I want to help other authors. And I know the feeling of getting a genuine 5-star review.

I also know what it feels like when I suspect that the 5-star review may have been (even in part) flattery, motivated by reciprocal self-interest. It feels like… Have you ever been afraid of losing faith in human kindness? Not losing faith in another individual, but in the very concept of human kindness? Well, imagine you have feared that. Then imagine you actually lost faith. That’s what it feels like.

I don’t want to be on the other side of that equation, not just for the author’s sake, but also for my fans’ sake. I don’t want to be a review whore. (Or since I’m a guy, maybe the correct term is “review male-prostitute.”)

I’m happy to do review swaps, and I’m happy to give reviews of e-books (which are very cheap for authors to give out to reviewers). But if you gave my book a 5-star review, please know that I may give your book a 2-star review, if I genuinely cried on every page from the boredom.

This post by Jennifer Crusie on being a quote whore sums up my feelings pretty well. In fact, when I read it, I finally felt at peace about giving bad reviews, even if they upset or alienate other authors. Just replace “quote” with “review” everywhere it appears in Jenny’s article.

Also note that I have slightly different tastes than she does.