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The Reviewing Journey

It seems, somehow, that she has left her own world and entered
the realm of the book.
~Michael Cunningham

 

The quiet earth is an inspiration at night as my thoughts roam freely through the pages of another book.
No noisy clatter outside my window, the moon streaming into the stillness of my room. 
Leaving the window open enhances the mystery, a delicate breeze scented with 
primroses and my mind wandering in an author’s world. 

 

 

 

Library Conversations

Never put off till tomorrow the book 
you can read today. ~Holbrock Jackson

Tales from the Amazon: My Nine Lives 
as an Amazon.com Top 10 Reviewer

I Believe In Reviewing

A Chat with Rebecca

Why do I review? - Interview with a Student

Rebecca's Internet Kitchen

Cookbook

 

 

Q: What is the biggest thing driving you to write reviews?

 

Over the years my motivations for writing reviews has changed. At first I simply had the desire to explain what a book was about so the reader was informed. Then I decided I really wanted to find books that would change lives for the better. So I've become sort of a lifestyle reviewer. 

 

Q: Where do you write your reviews?

 

 

The desk I review at is an inspiration to me. I found the desk for less than $60 and refinished it. I have a feeling that the teacher who owned the desk loved writing and since I purchased and refinished this desk I have been more inspired to write. 

The reading angel on my desk was a unique find and she reminds me of the beauty of how your mind can fly to new places as you read. I love lava lamps and lamps and the sound of wood drawers opening. My desk is one of my most prized possessions because I noticed that the purchase also inspired magic in my life. 

 

 

Q: Why did you start reviewing at Amazon.com?

I have been reviewing since April 3, 2000. After watching an Oprah show sometime in 2000, I became completely fascinated with the idea of actually telling people what they wanted to know about a book by Gary Zukav. 

He was promoting his book Seat of the Soul and a I decided I wanted to read it. 
I started to review cookbooks and self-help selections around April 3, 2000.  

 



I wore this laptop keyboard out writing thousands of reviews...

 

Q: What inspired you to start reading?

 

The Chronicles of Narnia Audio Books

 

The Chronicles of Narnia
This paragraph  in particular:

"And then she saw that there was a light ahead of her; not a few inches away where the back of the wardrobe ought to have been, but a long way off. Something cold and soft was falling on her. A moment later she found that she was standing in the middle of a wood at night-time with snow under her feet and snowflakes falling through the air. Lucy felt a little frightened, but she felt very inquisitive and excited as well... she could still see the open doorway of the wardrobe and even catch a glimpse of the empty room from which she had set out... "I can always get back if anything goes wrong," thought Lucy. She began to walk forward...

~The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis, my first literary love, The Chronicles of Narnia

 

This book was the doorway to my love of reading at a very early age. Now I see that reading is a bit like that wardrobe. You enter a new world through the first page of a book in a similar way to how Lucy enters a world of imagination through the wardrobe.

I was very young when a teacher in Africa started reading this book to the class of 2nd graders, I think that was when the fire flickered just slightly. Before this, my father had been reading me everything from C. S. Lewis to Alice in Wonderland.  

 



A Doll's Dream inspired
by Narnia

I remember the rest of the class becoming frightened by something in the book and they all wanted the teacher to stop reading. I believe I was the only one who raised my hand to have her continue. I was seriously disappointed and much later figured out I would have to go to the library and discover the rest of the book myself.

That was when it started, as plain as day.

You know, my father read me adult books at age 5-10, I remember being completely fascinated by all the complex words I had to ask him to explain. My paternal grandmother gave me Alice in Wonderland on my seventh birthday. Fortunately, I still couldn't really read it that well, so my dad had to read it. He did sing "beautiful soup" rather well.

 

The True Story of the Author of Chronicles of Narnia

 

 

Q: What are your top 10 reasons for reading?

 

  1.  I read so I can write reviews. 

  2. I enjoy playing in author's minds. They have the most delicious thoughts. 

  3. I have a hunger for knowledge and I need books like I need air. 

  4. It is a good excuse to climb into bed and stay there all night. 

  5. Reading gives me new ideas.

  6. Because I love the feel of paper and how a book feels when you hold it in your hands. 
      I like how books look all sitting in a row on the bookshelf and I am tormented by the 
      thought of running out of books to read. Although, that has yet to happen. I'm not 
      overly excited about reading books online. It just doesn't appeal to my "reading in bed" nature. 

  7. Because I love words and books are full of them. 

  8. Because I collect quotes and I find it enjoyable to read books just to find great quotes. 

  9. Because I'm addicted to my Kindle.  

10. You can escape into a world of words and learn a great number of important 
      life-altering lessons. 

 

Q: Why do you review more than just novels?

Just because one person finds novels intriguing, doesn’t mean others will. Maybe they would rather be reading a cookbook in bed.

The beauty of Amazon.com is in its diversity. Amazon.com is really a place for everyone. The main reason I review a variety of items is to bring awareness to what is beautiful, useful or helpful in some way.

Frankly, cookbooks and ALTOID mints, not to mention sensuous shampoos, body oils and silky lotions – are more the style of some reviewers.

Amazon.com now sells just about everything you could ever want or need. It is very convenient to keep your shopping list in your shopping cart. I even buy my beauty products from Amazon.com.

 

Q: What is your idea of a good review?

 

1. A Description of Content – Just enough to whet the reading appetite and yet the information doesn’t ruin the work for others who have not read the book or viewed the movie.

2. A Description of Delight or Dissatisfaction or maybe even Mediocrity – I want to know if a work changed a life, moved someone to tears or brought a smile to their face.

3. Personal Experience – Information that makes me want to purchase an item so it will enhance my life. I’ll also buy items just to see how bad they could possibly be.

You can really say that once you have watched a movie, read reviews on the movie and written a review of the movie, that it has become a part of you. There are elements you will draw from the entire experience that will change you. What you read and view might be who you are becoming.

 

 

I would rather be a river finding its own path, 
than a drop of water in an ocean of ideas.
~Rebecca Johnson

 

Q: Is there ever a time when you would not review an item because so
many other reviewers have already written about the item? 

 

The other reviews don’t prevent me from reviewing. In fact, often they inspire me to buy the movie or book and review it too.

Writing the review increases my enjoyment of the product. Why watch a movie if you are not going to review it? That is my thought anyway. There are rare occasions when I decide not to review an item, but that is normally “after” viewing a movie or reading a book.

I think more deeply about life in general because of the analytical nature reviewing encourages. If you write a review, you are sure to put a new spin on the information. So, you should write your review if you feel you can add a new perspective.

Also, many times people will read your review because they are at your specific Amazon.com about-you-area page. So, adding a review to your page brings awareness to the item. In that way it is important if you want to bring awareness to items or promote books.

If I love or dislike a movie, I might read through all of them at some point because I enjoy the reviewer’s perspectives. I find it most educational and at time hilarious.

If you need a good laugh, Amazon.com’s your place. Reviewers speak their mind and there are a few comedians who make a point of writing humorous reviews.

If I see a movie I dislike, I always look up the one-star reviews. It makes me feel better about all the time I spent watching the movie and it almost makes the movie worth watching. I enjoy reading critical analysis as much as the next person.

 

Q: What are some of the responses from readers, authors and publishers?


  

People often say my reviews are “seasoned with love.” That is cute because that is the title of my cookbook. Sometimes people complain that I’m too positive. I tend to appreciate beauty in life. I also tend to see positives in negative situations.

One author sent me a Valentine’s card and his cute words were:

Read less of all books without my name on it…

 

 

Reviewing Featured in the LA Times

 

 I just received your review in the mail. Thank you so much for your extensive 
review and the fact that (I can tell) you actually read it! I am amazed by how 
much you read. You'd be fun to run through a whole host of topics in a 
meandering discussion. The New York Times asked for a book
!!! ~ H.

 

 

 

 

Welcome  

 

Book Reviews

 

Why do I review books?

 

My Journey in Letters

 

Favorite books on this site

 

 

Online Cookbook

 

Quotes, Poems & Passages

 

Interview I

 

Interview II

 

Interview III

 

 

 

 

 

The whole point of being alive is to evolve into the complete 
person you were intended to be. ~Oprah

 

 
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