Obviously, I limit what I review there are, after all, so many books everywhere, and so many come to my attention from so many different directions: emails, advertisements, my friend’s sister’s daughter, my friend’s sister’s daughter’s friends. The list of books to be read just never ends. Neither does the list of books to review. Sometimes, if I’m overwhelmed and just can’t decide which book to read and review next, I’ll take a peak at my site stats and look to see what my readers have searched for. I think you’d be surprised by what I find. I know I am. In that vein, then, I’m writing this post.
I guess I should start with the fact that I believe you can – at least to some extent – judge a book by its cover. I would argue that the book cover is an advertisement of sort, inviting you in. If there is, say, a picture of a young person with blood streaming down her face and the title has the word “vampire” in it you won’t, in all likelihood, find a review for it on this site.
Also, if the book is about a well known Catholic saint and its description includes references – even in fiction – to the fact that said female saint was actually a “Priestess”, I won’t review it. I can tell you from its description on the back cover that its heretical. Even back in the good ole’ days there weren’t female priests. Such books only serve to blur lines and call into question our faith. Even when the cover is beautiful.
Related to the above. I won’t review books where it turns out: the Catholic church has sanctioned secret societies obfuscating the truth, there is “shocking” new evidence that the catechism is wrong, or that the Bible was written by aliens. The last part was tongue in cheek, but I’m sure you get my point.
I don’t review “religious” self help books in which we need to “open” ourselves up to the truth. Usually, with very little effort, I have found such books to be written by New Age experts. With just a little bit more effort – generally by taking the time to read the sample available on Amazon – I found that the author throws all religion (Buddhism, Catholicism, Mormonism, Confucianism, Islam, etc.) into the same bowl as if they all contain the same amount of truth. Uh…they don’t. And anyway, this site is more concerned with reviewing books aimed at the under 18 crowd. I don’t think they are wanting to read these types of books?
Finally, I won’t be reviewing that certain strain of “fairy tale” books that have become popular in the last 10 or 15 years in which the villains of all the old familiar tales turn out to be woefully misunderstood good guys whose good intentions went awry. It’s all bunk and in the end merely serves to confuse real life moral issues. That is: dragons can’t be tamed only killed, witches are evil, Beauty is eternal. More posts on this in the future, I’m sure.
I don’t think I’m saying anything new here. This has all been said by much smarter people than I in much more eloquent terms. But searches on these types of books turn up with such regularity that I find myself needing to explain my decisions. In any case, I’d like to encourage everyone to read the back cover. And then judge it.