Recently I got a recommendation for a book of fiction by a longtime friend (thanks, Bill!). He read a book that he liked and took the time to recommend it, pointing out a few things specifically that he thought I’d like. That got me thinking about recommendations and friends and book reviews and such.

Ages ago, when I was still a student at Hinds Junior College, I used to work at Camelot Music. This was in the days when Camelot’s walls were full of cassette tapes and the racks were full of vinyl…before the cd took over. Over time, I noticed that frequent customers would return to specific employees to ask them for a suggestion for something to buy or for their opinion on something new. I realized that customers came to rely on and trust the opinions of the various employees. Yes, I even had folks come to me to ask if I’d heard an album and what I thought of it.

I think of it much in the same way that I’ve said about feedback on creative work: accept it all but evaluate the source. Country music or rap fans never came to me because they knew I didn’t listen to that style of music. Writers of romance have to take my opinion with a grain of salt—if the romantic parties don’t wear spandex and capes, then I’m probably not interested.

I don’t do a lot of book reviews here, but I do them once a month or so. I often wonder if anyone reads them because I figure the majority of the readers of my blog do not read many comics or superhero related books. Yes, I’ve often wondered about how some of my entries work to create my “writer’s platform”…and then I don’t worry too much because as I’ve said before, that’s okay because I pretty much write this journal—oops, I mean blog—for me.

But when I do book or comic reviews, you the reader, have to evaluate the source (for those who attend Ole Miss, that source would be “me.”). It helps to know me personally and to have had conversations with me so you’d know I like superheroes, civil war and American history and I’m NOT a big fan of the greatest American tyrant, Abraham Lincoln. Oh, you don’t have to know me personally to have gotten that, but see—when you know those things, it helps you evaluate the source when I talk about whether a comic/book/film/whatever is something I liked.

You shouldn’t just do that for the things “I” review, but for every review/recommendation you read.

So, when my longtime friend Bill Sawyer—who knows all those things about me and more—suggests a book I might like, there’s a pretty good chance I will. I hope that you do the same thing when you read any reviews/suggestions/recommendations that “I” make.


Filed under General

4 responses to “Recommendations

  1. I’m curious to know what book your friend recommended. Do you read much fiction (other than comic books)? Because, Roland, comic books are fiction. 🙂

    • Oops. I didn’t mention the title, did I? ha. He recommended Ready Player One by E. Cline ( And I already ordered it.
      And yes, Mizzzz Dot, I KNOW comics are fiction. Of course, it took about a dozen times jumping off the roof to realize that I could NOT fly! 😉 jk
      Fiction is pretty much all I read with the exception of American History (mostly Civil War)…and the Bible, of course. Most of the reviews I’ve done here on the blog are for prose (cause I’m thinking you meant prose fiction), not all–but most. If you want to see them, go along the right side here and look for BLOG CATEGORIES…then select “BOOKS/READING” and that will pull up every review I’ve ever done here. The first 3 that popped up were prose work…but I’m working one now (for next week) for a graphic novel I just finished reading. Won prizes. Was I impressed? Eh-eh–you’ll have to come back next week to find out! 😉
      So…have you read anything good lately you’d like to suggest?

  2. I can’t wait to see comics reviews, and uh, I kind of, sort of, think they may be real-ish. I wrote this a while ago and thought you’d like it. It shows part of why I am the way I am….

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