About This Blog

This blog was started as a place to post book reviews. The books reviewed here will be mixed. Science Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, General Fiction, NonFiction and more. Both positve and negative reviews will be posted, as well as reviews for books written for all ages and all reading levels.

Many of the books reviewed here are ones that I have purchased for my own reading pleasure. Some, I receive free in exchange for reviews. Beginning in December, 2009 you will know which are the free ones if you read the final paragraph of my reviews.

Also of note: I choose what I will read, attempting to avoid the books on which I would end up writing a negative review... but I have been known to make mistakes. Thus you see some one and two star reviews here. Since I don't enjoy writing negative reviews, I only write them if the review was promised, or if the book was so exceedingly bad, I just had to say so. Regardless of the percentage of positive to negative reviews on this blog, I give my honest opinion each and every time, and have never received financial compensation for posting my reviews.

Note that, except for fair use portions quoted from some of the books reviewed, all copyright in the content of the reviews belongs to Lady Dragoness.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Disappointment Is The Word

The Essential Writer's Notebook:
A step-By-Step Guide to Better Writing

Natalie Goldberg
Publisher: Peter Pauper Press (July 2001)
Spiral-bound: 160 pages
Rating: 1 star of 5 possible

Much of the content of this book is merely blank lined pages that would best serve my purposes if those blank pages were not interrupted by so much art and having the writing prompts appear scattered throughout, in what I am certain are going to turn out to be the wrong places much of the time. As with the writing prompts, the author's paintings are scattered throughout the book, inhibiting the usefulness of the volume.

As an educational tool, this book is lacking much due to the content being so scattered; as a writer's journal or writing exercise book, it is only so-so for the same reason. Since there is no way to predict how much a writer will put out based on one prompt, I would rather have seen a section at the front devoted to the prompts, and a second section (maybe at the back) devoted to the paintings, making them easier both to find and to use as prompts. Another point concerning the paintings... well, they can best be described as eclectic, and though they might serve as prompts to some writers, to me they are so much wasted paper. This writer's painting style just does not fit my taste in art.

Since the book is wire-bound inside a cover that hides the wires (nice looking, I'll admit), I can't even take the darned thing apart to reorganize the paintings as I would prefer to have them. If I had seen this at a traditional bookstore, where I could have examined the book prior to purchasing it, I probably would not have made the purchase. This book is very much not recommended to anyone, with the possible exception of rabid fans of the author who MUST have every book with her name on the cover and who happen to also like the author's painting style.