Our brains are no longer conditioned for reverence and awe. We cannot imagine a Second Coming that would not be cut down to size by the televised evening news, or a Last Judgment not subject to pages of holier-than-thou second-guessing in The New York Review of Books.— John Updike
Stunning Book Review quotations
There comes a point in your life when you need to stop reading other people's book and write your own.
It may sound a bit like an army barracks, but the truth of the matter is: there must be some time laid aside for arranging, time for working on either a book or an article - I've written two articles in the last four months for the New York Times book review section.
There is danger in the concentration of control in the television and radio networks, especially in the large television and radio stations; danger in the concentration of ownership in the press...and danger in the increasing concentration of selection by book publishers and reviewers and by the producers of radio and television programs.
There comes a day when you realize turning the page is the best feeling in the world, because you realize there is so much more to the book than the page you were stuck on.
Writing prejudicial, off-putting reviews is a precise exercise in applied black magic. The reviewer can draw free-floating disagreeable associations to a book by implying that the book is completely unimportant without saying exactly why, and carefully avoiding any clear images that could capture the reader's full attention.
I review novels to make money, because it is easier for a sluggard to write an article a fortnight than a book a year, because the writer is soothed by the opiate of action, the crank by posing as a good journalist, and having an air hole. I dislike it. I do it and I am always resolving to give it up.
One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
Each time you read a book, a tree smiles knowing there's life after death.
If I begin my book with a review of the coup, it is only to show that my abiding interests for Australia did not end with it. They shall end only with a long and fortunate life.
Literature should not be exclusive, it should be inclusive.
My general view is that you can't, based on your own experience, project what a book will do for someone else. That's why I don't review books.
Prolonged, indiscriminate reviewing of books is a quite exceptionally thankless, irritating and exhausting job. It not only involves praising trash but constantly inventing reactions towards books about which one has no spontaneous feeling whatever.
You dont have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.
I’m interested in so many different things and I’d like to cover a lot of territory. I’m trying to see my show as the Sunday Times. You have the Arts & Leisure section, you have the Op-Ed page, you have the Book Review...even the Style section has those wonderful essays about relationships.
A good day is one where I can not just read a book, but write a review of it.
Maybe today I'll be able to do that. I get for some reason somewhat stronger when the sun starts to go down. Dusk is a good time for me. I'm crepuscular.
I've sold too many books to get good reviews anymore.
There's a lot of jealousy, because [reviewers] think they can write a good novel or a best-seller and get frustrated when they can't. I've learned to despise them.
The book to read is not the one that thinks for you but the one which makes you think.
Attacking bad books is not only a waste of time but also bad for the character.
If I find a book really bad, the only interest I can derive from writing about it has to come from myself, from such display of intelligence, wit and malice as I can contrive. One cannot review a bad book without showing off.
The novels that get praised in the NY Review of Books aren't worth reading.
Ninety-seven percent of science fiction is adolescent rubbish, but good science fiction is the best and only literature of our times.
The plot is so tired that even this reviewer, who in infancy was let drop by a nurse with the result that she has ever since been mystified by amateur coin tricks, was able to guess the identity of the murderer from the middle of the book.
A book is a dream that you hold in your hand.
Children read books, not reviews. They don't give a hoot about critics.
Professional reviewers read so many bad books in the course of duty that they get an unhealthy craving for arresting phrases.
We set up a beta site, a test site, with movie, music and book reviews.
If you're reading them and you want to buy a book or a ticket for a movie that's reviewed on the site, you can do that without leaving our site.
I went away in my head, into a book.
I had written childrens books for 14 years before I published Wicked.
And none of them were poorly reviewed, and none of them sold enough for me to be able to buy a bed.
There is a secret and wholesome conviction in the heart of every man or woman who has written a book that it should be no easy matter for an intelligent reader to lay down that book unfinished. There is a pardonable impression among reviewers that half an hour in its company is sufficient.
Most people don't have the money to spend on advertising to create awareness among readers, nor do they have the contacts at newspapers or magazines to get their books reviewed.
WIth freedom, books, flowers, and the moon, who could not be happy.
I look at 'The New York Review of Books.
' It's what it has been for 35 or 40 years, which is a highly sophisticated vehicle for anti-American self-hatred.
If God had meant Harvard professors to appear in People magazine, She wouldn't have invented The New York Review of Books.
E-books are great for instant gratification - you see a review somewhere of a book that interests you, and you can start reading it five minutes later.
There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page and closing the book.
I had many wonderful experiences, received beautiful letters, and my Christian books received substantive and thoughtful reviews. But there was always argument, dispute, questions as to what I "really" believed, lectures from here and there on "the real truth," etc.
The authors of book reviews would consider themselves dishonored were they to mention, as they should, the subject of the book.
I write reviews of science books for the Boston Globe, so I like to give science books.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
Whenever a text-book is written of real educational worth, you may be quite certain that some reviewer will say that it will be difficult to teach from it. Of course it will be difficult to teach from it. It it were easy, the book ought to be burned.
A book reviewer is usually a barker before the door of a publisher's circus.
I'm writing a review of three books on feminism and science, and it's about social constructionism. So I would say I'm a social constructionist, whatever that means
Always focus on the front windshield and not the review mirror.
A mom reads you like a book, and wherever she goes, people read you like a glowing book review.
Book reviewers are little old ladies of both sexes.
There is interest in a crime-based reality show.
With my novels, we are now editing the second book in a series about a defense lawyer whose name is Samantha Brinkman. And I am reviewing speaking engagement opportunities.
The main advantage of being a reviewer is that you read a lot.
A lot of books get sent to you, and you have an amazing vantage point from which to observe what's going on in contemporary fiction - not only genre stuff, the whole spectrum.
Reviewing books is all about coziness.
It is all of it a kind of caucus race. Women review women, Jewish writers review and praise Jewish writers, blacks review blacks, etc.