Into the Fire and Mike Duran's deCOMPOSE. Both offer thoughts on writing, theology, and life in general. Both authors are outspoken and aren't afraid to broach the controversial. If you want a daily challenge, I highly recommend their sites.
This week, they've both espoused their opinions of book reviews (FYI and In Praise of Bad Reviews) and on having a book review site. I found their take very interesting. After reading their blogs, they've encouraged me to clarify the purpose of Spire Reviews.
I began writing reviews several years back as I discovered how few Christians read Christian fiction. It's natural to assume that the target market would be churchgoers, right? Well, I volunteered in our church library and frequently asked fellow churchgoers what they liked to read. Rarely did someone answer Christian fiction because they often assume it's all simple, happy reads that fail to connect with the reader.
As a voracious reader, I knew that to be false so I started writing book reviews for our church newsletter and highlighted the diverse selection of Christian fiction (and some non-fiction). My intent never was to critique books, but to show the members of my church the variety they had to choose from. From there, it naturally made sense to post these recommendations on a blog.
But, for me to recommend books to others, they have to meet my very picky standards, likely born from my background in literature. I've completed 23 books this year and have only highlighted two on this blog. Not that the others were poorly written, but only two wowed me. If I'm going to make recommendations to a non-reader of Christian fiction, I want to make sure I tell them about the best books out there.
So, if the function of a review blog is to critique the novel or highlight its pros and cons, admittedly I am not doing that.
The purpose of this blog has been, and will continue to be, recommending excellent works to others, and to dialogue about Christian books, with a focus on fiction.