Monday, July 26, 2010

How to Find Clean Books: Book Reviews

How to find clean books: Book Reviews
Another method of finding clean books is to read book reviews. There are a number of blogs and websites dedicated to finding clean reads. I’ll guess this post will be an annotated link list.

Clean Read Blogs/websites
The most recent website I’ve found that helps readers find clean books is Squeaky Clean Reads.

I really like the lay out, it is clean, simple and easy to navigate. It has books lists in a format similar to good reads, and looks like the site will host giveaways, which is always nice. My favorite feature is that it has a list of clean reads for book clubs. I’ve found some of the most offensive books I’ve read have been book club books. Why do book clubs always read such nasty and depressing books most of the time? So, I think it is really helpful for that at the very least. I guess the only weakness to this site is that the ratings are based on reader’s votes. So unless a lot of people go over and participate in rating books some books won’t have any information on them. So, this site is only good as its participants. So go and explore the site and rate away.

The Literate Mother

Focuses on children’s and Young Adult Literature. Started by a mom, who was concerned with what her kids were reading, and so she started a website. Has a lot a recent releases.

Good Clean Reads
Book Review blog. Hasn’t updated for a while, but it has lots of archives.

Library of Clean reads
Book Review blog. Still very active. I never really followed this one because I never found book reviews on books I was interested in.

Rated Reads
This site was started by an experienced newspaper book reviewer. Has a lot of variety and also contains reviews of recent releases.

Homespun Light
Originally, “Deliciously Clean Reads”, the author moved the blog over to a new blog “Homespun Light.” The site doesn’t focus exclusively on book reviews anymore and focuses a lot of homeschooling, creative kid projects, and occasionally has a book review of a new clean read. I read His Majesty’s Dragon by Naomi Novik because of a review on this blog, and now I have read the entire series. Yea! For the discovery of new series. Links to the archive are on the upper left corner.

Blogs with rating guides:

Also, many more blogs than those listed above will have content ratings on the bottom, so many that they are too numerous to list, but they are nice to have around. Some of them have random numbers right in a row at the bottom of the post. (example: 2.1.3.) I don’t tend to like these very well because usually the numbers mean different things on different blogs and so I get confused and have to read a million ‘guide to ratings’ posts and it annoys me. I much prefer for content to be rated in words lists (example: violence:1 Swearing:2 sexual content: 2 etc.). Susan at Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books gives her books movie ratings, which is nice and understandable.

So, I don’t do ratings. Why don’t I do ratings you ask? Mostly, because I’m lazy. I try to warn people about content that could be offensive in the post itself, but really I don’t want to label books. I like it when other people label books, but I don’t like to do it myself. Also, part of me feels weird putting a content label on a book. I feel like I’m judging it, and while I have the right to judge books for myself. I feel uncomfortable putting such obvious labels on books for others. There is some content that I feel is wrong to put in a book, but in some cases it comes down to style and taste. So, I always feel that my ratings wouldn’t really add anything really useful to my reviews. I worry in fact that they would be harmful. This is why I avoid labels, and take other peoples labels with a grain of salt. Sometimes they can be too conservative and other times too liberal for my tastes. So while ratings are a good guide stick they aren’t 100% reliable.

What do you guys think? Do you like ratings or no? How much do you rely on them when you are thinking about reading a book?

1 comment:

Susan said...

Good points. Rating or grading books is difficult and very subjective, so they should definitely be taken with a grain of salt. That being said, I like being warned about what a book contains - that way I can decide if I want to "chance" it or not.