For the past three days I've been sweating over my review for Ron Carlson's The Signal, which comes out tomorrow. Carlson is the author most recently of Five Skies (2007) and several other books, including my favorite collections of short stories. The trouble is, I like the man's work too much.
It can be a little terrifying, requesting to review the latest release by a favorite author, because what if it doesn't measure up? With a library book it's easier to quietly slip the book back into the book drop and pretend it didn't happen. Or with a new-to-you author, you can say "this wasn't for me," and move on. But after you've gone on and on about how wonderful someone's writing it is, it's humbling to have to say, "I didn't like it much."
And if the book is everything you'd hoped it to be? What do you say then?
"Go buy this book! Read it, read it, read it! Do! It's so...it's just so...it's really, like...you know? Really-really-really good!" Knowing that the author may at some point read this babbling, could be reading it and thinking "This is the kind of person my books appeal to? Christ."
But, hey, Dr. Carlson teaches creative writing at college. He's surely been exposed to worse than I can come up with, with the possible exception of the paragraph above this one. I'll try to do the book justice in my write-up, and then I'll force myself to hit Publish and move on.
Do you ever feel intimidated when writing about a favorite author? Which author or book has been the hardest for you to review?
This week's giveaway winners: (this giveaway continues for two more weeks, go to parenting/nutrition giveaway and leave a comment to enter).
Dr. Sears' N.D.D. Book: Lisa
G-Free Diet: Korah and Carleen
If Your Kid Eats This Book: GShome and SpiralMama