I believe that the more you know a reviewer, the more valuable the review. Even if I disagree with a reviewer, that can still help guide me. (If they like it then I’m likely not to, and vice versa.) So a little bit about me as a reader.

I’ve always read voraciously. When I was a child my mom would constantly tell me to get my nose out of a book and go outside and play. I think I read every Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew mystery at least once. I read The Exorcist when I was twelve. I read Hamlet that year too. I took all the English classes available in high school and while I got my BA in Advertising (so I might be somewhat marketable) I got my MA in English. So I read a lot.

When I was getting my master’s degree I realized many of the books I was assigned were written by men. White men. (Though I was fortunate enough to take some classes with women professors where there was a broader range.) So for a few years I made a conscious effort to read only books written by women. And once I got out of school I tried to interlace classic novels with the mysteries I liked at the time. You know, Literature. Reading my vegetables, not just dessert.

Nowadays I’m drawn mostly to fantasy and science fiction. I don’t try to separate the two because I try not to be obsessed with labels. Sometimes there’s a mystery involved too, so who wants to decide which label to apply? I bounce around among different subgenres and like delving into stories from other cultural and personal viewpoints. I can’t be anything but a cis, white, heterosexual, English-speaking female of a certain age from the USA, but maybe I can imagine for a while.

Once I get into a series I tend to stay with it until I’ve read all the works available. So I review them by series too. For each book I include the book blurb, because it’s easier than writing my own synopsis and I always hated having to write book reports when I was a kid, followed by my own take on the book or series. I don’t give star ratings here because I think my brief impression more useful. Ratings are worthless without the why.