Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Your friend and mine

Hey Interets! Did you ever sometimes not want to go to your job one bit? ME TOO. Internets, it's like we are soul mates. Do you want to go out sometime? Seriously. I love you.

So, I'm a reviewer for one of the major journals that reviews teen and children's books. I'm actually inordinately proud of this accomplishment, despite the fact that all you have to do to be a reviewer is 1.) be a librarian and 2.) email them and tell them you want to do it. (And frankly, I'm not sure they even check up on #1.) Supposedly there is a trial period in which they test your writing mettle, but I think they're really just testing to make sure you actually send in reviews of the books they send you. They don't want to waste the books.

The thing is, though, they've really been sending me some crappy books. I hope I'm not turning into one of those haters who rants that all teen books are terrible and the kids should be reading Moby Dick, by god--but this last book has just about pushed me over the edge. It's the second in a series, the first installment of which comes highly recommended by your friend and mine, Mr. Glenn Beck. The one I'm reading contains stereotypes of American Indians and slaves that are . . . what's the word? Lazy? Offensive? Making me wonder how this stuff gets published?

What do you say about a book like that? I'm thinking something like, "Great action sequences, particularly for young white boys who must constantly reaffirm their superiority over girls and people of color."


After our messy break-up with Comcast (they still call around dinnertime, I hang up, rinse, repeat), we got a digital antennae and now we are watching the digital channels. Did you know that the digital channels are crazy? For instance, now we get two or three each of Spanish and Japanese language channels, one channel that plays nothing but the A-Team and Magnum PI (I know, EXCELLENT) plus approximately one hundred Christian pop culture channels. These mostly show Christian rock and Christian stand-up comedy.

What separates contemporary Christian stand-up from contemporary secular stand-up, you ask? Well, it relies pretty heavily on the fact that one's wife is a pain in the ass who must be appeased at all costs. So . . . not much.


Brandy said...

parallel lives, really. I'm in the middle of a pretty dismal book for review myownself. I worry that I've gotten myself into the rut of "this reviewer hates everything; might as well send her the horrible books" and I can count on one hand the number of non-pink books I've gotten in the past year. (I review for one with similar standards, the one that ostensibly aims at school librarians.)

Good luck with your dismal read!

librarianista said...

OMG, I totally review for that very same one. This is getting spooky.

I absolutely worry that I'm falling into that exact same role at this illustrious magazine--but then I figure they probably aren't even paying attention. They also send me a lot of books in the middle or at the end of a series that I've never read and have no desire to read, which sucks.

Brandy said...

my GoodReads "for review" shelf is where my drafted reviews are. Books that sound good are likely from my local review group, where I can cherry-pick the books I want instead of these horrible pink things.

I tried telling myself that maybe we were just in a suck-ass publishing rut, but a friend on the BBYA committee tells me otherwise. And I read reviews of other books in there, and somebody is getting the good stuff, and it sure as hell isn't me.

Any chance you're coming to midwinter? If so, we'll have to meet for dinner somewhere, just to find out if we really are the same person.

myra-lee said...

I feel obligated to share Erik's opening line for his Christian comedy act: "Hey everyone, how're you doing tonight? I just rode in from Sodom, and boy is my ass tired."

librarianista said...

HA. That Erik. He's a funny one.

Brandy, unfortunately I won't be at midwinter--I went to ALA in Chicago and used up all my conference chips for a while. But I'm sure at some point we'll be at the same library thing, and we should definitely get together.

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