There's been an extended thread on one of my chat groups about whether or not we all should hate THE SWEETNESS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PIE. Some say it's infantile and just wrong. Some say it's great. A few (and I fall into this group although I never get involved in such debates) say, in effect, "Different strokes for different folks." Yeah, like that.
I have hated books that the Reading World lauds to the skies. I have loved books that get little or no notice from said World. Being a big girl with a brain that can conjure, I recognize that books speak to us in different ways. Characters remind us of someone. Places appeal. Plotlines operate the way our minds do, and therefore please us. At a given time, we're ready for a bit of silliness or we're not.
What irritates me is the person who believes that his or her word on a given book is what the world is waiting for. Not only are they often small-minded and picky, they're often wrong about the details. Don't ask them to admit it, though.
My friend P.J. Coldren, who reviews for several respected mystery review sites, tells me that it's essential to separate your own opinion from the truth of the book, at least as much as humans can separate truth from opinion.
As an author, I choose not to blab about the books I dislike, knowing how painful it is to have your children criticized, whether that criticism is right or wrong. If I do admit that I didn't like a book, I'm careful to state it as my opinion. If a publisher, several editors, and any number of fans have read and enjoyed a book, it's likely to be my prejudices, idiosyncracies, and distractions that keep me from doing the same.

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Comment by Garry L. McLaughlin on August 17, 2010 at 2:59am
Peg ... I totally agree with you. The one thing that has always rubbed me the wrong way islike when we were in school and the teacher told you to read a certain poem and they tell what point the author was trying to make. How in the hell would I know the man has been dead for 100 years. So when I started writing poetry I wrote some that meant nothing about what they were saying, i.e., a poem about death, was about joy and freedom ....


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