Tag Archives: personality

Book Reviews for LA 9

Today I was asked: “How do I write a book review?”

Here’s a quick trip about what I found: 

My first stop was at Amazon. With each book is a snippet of a responses from readers/buyers/sellers. The purpose of the reviews are simple – take a few seconds to write a sharply worded sentence or two and recommend the book for sale. In a few minutes and swift clicking I can read hundreds of reviews. The reviews are brief, many amounting to glowing praise or stark rebuffs. Some attention is made by review writers to carefully craft sentences, few reviews amount to more than a sternly worded paragraph. The reviews are focused on the text and personal preference, but with so many sweeping generalizations there was rarely a focus at all. Little is learned about the reviewer. These “pesky” reviews are not what we need to mimic.

My second stop was the more personally focused site, One Minute Reviews. The reviews here are written by one reviewer. The reviews range in length, depth. Some a few sentences to recommend a sale, others quite elaborately synthesize a variety of information. The summum bonum of the experience is to grow in an understanding of the reviewer. I like this approach to the book review better. However, I could not relate to the bulk of the experiences of the reviewer, and shared few if any common interests. The focus was too narrow and I lost interest in the site. 

Quality Book Reviews was just too busy. Too many links, too many distractions, too many book reviews. It would take a while to find a reviewer I liked as the “finding” would be left to chance. Something this big is more than I need. Searching for author, title, reviewer is useful, but I need a smaller focus, a more modest audience, a warmer welcoming.

Real Reader Reviews looked the most familiar to what I’d expect for beginning reviewers. But again, the focus was amiss. After a few clicks, it felt like I was reading the same review over and over again, with no real exposure to the personality of the reviewer.

The Teen Book Review is by far the best fit in my hastily assembled survey. I spent so much time reading and marveling, that I have run out of time to write much here.  The focus was clear. The text easy to read. The text linked/bolded. There were no distractions in the sidebars. The post layouts were simple and varied. The variety of posts reflected the author’s identity. The personality of the reviewer beams through: “Gone is a huge book, over 550 pages, but the time passed so quickly while I was reading it, and I just couldn’t put it down! Last night, taking a break from my history homework, I picked it up, intending to read a chapter or two and then  get my brain back on track. Instead, I read two hundred pages. That’s how absolutely engrossing this book is!”

Have a long close look at Teen Book Review. These are reviews we should mimic.

Characters in Action

These questions are intended to help you perceive characters imaginatively – to help uncover the mysteries of motivation, personality, and interaction.

Understanding the Central Person

  1. What seems to drive this person to action?
  2. What action tells us most about this person?
  3. What action affects your feelings about this person?
  4. What are some basic character traits of this person?
  5. What is the greatest weakness of this person?
  6. How does this person relate to other people?
  7. What is special or important about this person’s moral or religious life?
  8. How does this person change or mature?
  9. What personal insights enlighten this person?

Exploring the World of Characters

  1. What other characters draw your special attention?
  2. What do they tell us about the central figure?
  3. What special relationships are formed by these less central people?
  4. What groups of people are associated in your mind?
  5. Do some of these people or groups represent values or ideas beyond themselves?
  6. Which characters provoke distaste or disdain?
  7. Which character is most mysterious and hard to understand?
  8. Which character could most easily be left out of this world?
  9. Do any of these other people seem to grow, change, or gain new self-understanding?
  10. Does any character you don’t know well play an important role?

Imagining Characters in Our World

  1. What in our world would shock the central character most?
  2. What would make anyone know this character didn’t fit in our world?
  3. What serious matters could you talk about with this person?
  4. What important values would you disagree on?
  5. What would your parents think about this character?
  6. What social causes would this person support?
  7. What television programs would be most appealing to this character?
  8. What would be the political affiliation, if any, of this person?
  9. What religious dogma would be most appealing or disgusting to this character?

Personality vs Character?

ENGLISH 30 Comments only SVP.

Scour your notes, “google” your minds, attach a comment with an idea, impression, concept. Make references to literature, film, philosophy, history, psychology, business, politics, etc.

Keep your comments brief, 10-50 words. Comment as often as you like.

Do we see ourselves the same way others see us?