Book Reviews Vs. Forum Discussions

Discussion in 'Cookbook Reviews' started by kyheirloomer, May 6, 2010.

  1. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
                       

    As I’ve mentioned before, one of the great advantages Huddler brings us is the ability for every member to post articles, book reviews, and product evaluations. An unexpected issue has arisen, however, that I’d like to address: the difference between a book review and a forum discussion.

    If you’re going to write a book review, or comment on somebody else’s review, it’s only logical to expect that you’ve at least seen the book. How else can you have an opinion of it, or on the opinions expressed by another reviewer?

    In short, your comments, opinions, and critiques should be based on your reaction to the book, and the reviewer's shared or differing viewpoint.

    On the other hand, comments made in general, reacting to something the reviewer says, more likely belong in a forums thread. As a general rule, whenever a review is posted it’s also put up as a forum thread of its own. You can link from that thread to the full review, or you can have a conversation about it just as with any other thread.

    Here’s an example to help clarify.

    Let’s posit that I write a review of a book called “The Hotdog Handbook.”  Among the criticisms I offer the opinion that the author gives short shrift to all-beef hotdogs, and pays too much attention to what are actually European style sausages.

    If you've read the book, and disagree with those statements, the place to say so is as a book review. You should state your opinion, and back it up from the book itself. F’rinstance, “I did a quick count, and, despite Brook’s contention, didn’t find it to be true. There are 15 recipes specifying all-beef hotdogs, and only 12 utilizing sausages.”

    However, if you have a more generalized opinion, the place for it is in the forum. Example: “I could go along with a book that downplays all-beef franks, because they have no flavor; especially when compared to some of the great sausages coming out of Europe.”

    You see the difference? Although your opinion is valid in both instances, in one case it’s based on the book, and in the other it’s based on your feelings about the subject of the book, rather than the book itself.

    Personally, I’m anxious to hear from members in both places. I’d love to see you writing more reviews, or posting comments against another member’s reviews. And I’d like to see more forum discussion about cookbooks as well.

    But, hopefully, we’ll all do a better job of separating the two.  

     
     
  2. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    324
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Hey KYH, 

    Maybe that would be easier if the book review had a link to the corresponding forum thread - I hope I'm not missing anything but I was reading a review of yours (http://www.cheftalk.com/products/molto-gusto-easy-italian-cooking/reviews#3733) and couldn't find the link to the corresponding forum thread.

    (I've since found the thread of course - just making a suggestion to make it easier for review readers to quickly jump to the corresponding forum thread)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  3. kyheirloomer

    kyheirloomer

    Messages:
    6,367
    Likes Received:
    129
    Exp:
    Food Writer
    That's a bad example, FF. Nicko had gotten busy and neglected to post the Molto Gusto review as a forums thread. So the review was up for several days with no other place to respond.

    Normally the forum thread links go up the same day, or within a day, of the reviews being posted. And always in the Cookbook Reviews forum. So it's not difficult to find them.

    It's kind of ironic that most of our reviews get no comments. The one time one appears without a forum thread there are two. Go figure. /img/vbsmilies/smilies/crazy.gif

    It would be interesting to hear from the Huddler folks if linking the way you suggest is possible.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2010
  4. french fries

    french fries

    Messages:
    5,211
    Likes Received:
    324
    Exp:
    At home cook
    Last edited: May 6, 2010