Meet the BookBitch™
I am a voracious reader, usually reading two or more books at a time, and reading several books each week. I will read just about anything I can get my hands on, with the emphasis on fiction. I have a penchant for new authors, mostly because when I find an author I like, I tend to read everything they have ever written, which more or less forces me to find new authors.
At one time crime fiction comprised probably three quarters of my reading time but with the state of the world today, I’ve been finding myself in need of some happy endings, so I’m reading tons of romance these days. I also read chick-lit (do they still call it that?,) contemporary fiction with a book club bent, literary fiction, women’s fiction, biographies & memoirs, cookbooks & other books on food, various narrative nonfiction books, and an occasional work of horror, fantasy or sci-fi. I generally avoid self help & metaphysical books; I am not interested in improving myself by reading the latest pop psychology (I am rather fond of who I am) or connecting with other worlds (I am content with this one.)
My dream is to write a novel, to be published someday, but so far I am lacking what I call the 3 D’s…drive, determination and discipline. My goal is to be the Grandma Moses of writers.
In 2019, I started working at the Eugene M. and Christine E. Lynn Library at Lynn University, where I serve as the Information Desk Librarian. It was the best move I could have made. I love my new job, my new co-workers, and especially my new boss! Lynn is an incredible place to work and I feel so lucky to have landed here.
For eighteen years I was with the Palm Beach County Library System, first as a library associate in circulation, then as a reference librarian. I was also the author liaison for the county library system. Prior to the library gig I was a bookseller for Borders for seven years. I contributed a chapter entitled “Readers’ Advisory in the Real World” for a book called Nonfiction Readers’ Advisory, edited by Robert Burgin. I also contributed to Gather ‘Round the Table: Food Literacy Programs, Resources and Ideas for Libraries, Nonfiction Readers’ Advisory and am under contract with ALA to write a book on Adrenalin Reads. They have been incredibly patient with me; due to several eye surgeries, my deadline has long since passed. I review women”s fiction and contemporary romance for Library Journal, and crime fiction for Booklist. I have my B.A. in English Literature and my M.S. in Library & Information Science.
I am often asked how I determine which books I am going to read and review. I get most of the catalogs from the major publishers and request review copies of books I have an interest in reading. I read several review sources on a regular basis. I consider recommendations from friends, co-workers, authors whose works I’ve read and enjoyed, and various pundits of the publishing industry. It would be a dream come true if I could read every book that appeals to me, but unfortunately with my schedule I am forced to be very, very selective, which means I rarely review an unsolicited book. For more details on submitting a book for review, please see the Review Policy below.
I’m 61 years old and married for 39 years to the love of my life. I have a 35-year-old son, a beautiful, brilliant daughter-in-law, and a 28-year-old daughter. I share my home with my sweet Birman, Loki (right). We lost Edgar (left,) our criminally insane cat, in 2018.
I am happy, honest, intelligent, intuitive, funny, and fun. I am the eternal optimist; my glass is always half full, my clouds all have silver linings and when life gives me lemons, I make kick-ass lemonade – no wait, I make limoncello (ask me for my recipe!) I am sorry to say I can also be impatient, opinionated, stubborn, and generally too blunt for my own good. But I’m working on it.
I have no corporate sponsors, so I feel free to like or dislike books regardless of publisher or author and I can happily praise or bash anyone or anything I like without fear of repercussion or reprisal, or having anyone wonder where my interests lie.
Therefore, in order to hopefully recoup at least some of the $$$ I am spending here, I have become a retail whore, oops, I mean an Amazon.com associate. Most of the links on this site were already to Amazon, but if you are going to purchase something because of my recommendation, I would be eternally grateful if you would “click-through” from whence you came. By that I mean click on the links I provide, okay? I am also selling goodies via the Cafe Press store, so please think of me when you need a gift for the reader in your life. Thanks.
I am a logophile as well as a bibliophile. I have a great love of the English language and words have the power to move me like nothing else can. They say a picture is worth a thousand words though, so here is one of me just hanging around…
This picture was created at the predecessor of Journey Into Imagination With Figment at Epcot, formerly sponsored by Kodak
I do a lot of the reviews for this site, but due to my schedule, I am unable to cover as much territory as I would like. Therefore, I am extremely grateful to former co-workers who offered to help me out. (Okay, I badgered them into it.)
Who the heck is Caitlin and why does she get to review books for the BookBitch™?
Caitlin Brisson was my “work daughter” when I worked for the Palm Beach County Library System. Now we are in a book group together, so I get my Caitlin fix at least once a month.
“I am a children’s services librarian who lives in South Florida but is originally from Maryland. Although I have a history degree, I have been working in libraries for a decade. My favorite genres are romance, historical fiction, fantasy and any books that take place in Scotland. When not reading I also enjoy baking (and watching the Great British Bake Off), researching genealogy, and traveling with my husband.”
Who the heck is Paul and why does he get to review books for the BookBitch™?
Paul Lane retired from the Palm Beach County Library System.
“A few facts about my worthiness to write up reviews…I am on my second career. First one was in Latin American sales and marketing, living in several countries overseas. Did a fair amount of traveling as part of the job and found that a love of reading was enhanced by having nights and weekends away from home with just ancient soap operas on the tube. Began reading all the fiction I could get my hands on and that would fit into my suitcase. Upon retirement I found that if I stayed home like other old farts my wife would get rid of me. Since I am crazy about her I looked for another job, and lucked out by finding one working for the Palm Beach County Library System. Had work, myriads of books and DVDs, interaction with young and vital co-workers and a chance to yak with bunches of people without the obligation to sell them anything. I work at the same library as the BookBitch™ and have gotten her to recommend great gobs of new authors and books to expand my horizons. Being eternally grateful for these recommendations I have decided to also give her a chance to pull her hair out reading my reviews.”
I love to read. I started my website as a way to keep track of the books I read. I am very opinionated and when I find a book I love, I can’t wait to tell the world about it.
I’ve been reviewing books for my own site since 1998; I was one of the original book bloggers. I also review for Library Journal for over 15 years now, and started reviewing for Booklist in 2012.
To this day I still find it thrilling to discover a new author. I am honored that so many people value my opinion, and I am continually amazed that so many authors want my opinion.
I admit I have a problem. Isn’t that the first step? I am a biblioholic. A book addict. I hear about new books and I have to have them. But over the years, I started realizing that I had too many books.
Yes, as difficult as it is for me to admit, it is possible to have too many books. So I started purging. Majorly purging. I have given away probably thousands of books. But the thing is, I keep getting new ones. I currently receive 20-25 books delivered to my front door every week. That doesn’t include e-galleys for my Kindle and Nook. So it is a constant struggle to keep it all under control.
I read a lot. Not as much as I did when I had younger eyes and was reading a book a day. Now I read 3-4 books a week. So did you read that last paragraph about the 25 books landing on my doorstep each week? And the ebooks? Trust me, I was never a math major but even I know there is no way I can keep up.
I am often asked how I determine which books I am going to read and review. I look at most of the catalogs from the major publishers and request review copies of books I have an interest in reading. I have favorite authors and eagerly await their latest releases. I read several review sources on a regular basis. I consider recommendations from friends, co-workers, authors whose works I’ve read and enjoyed, and various pundits of the publishing industry. It would be a dream come true if I could read every book that appeals to me, but unfortunately with my schedule, I am forced to be very, very selective, which means I rarely review an unsolicited book. And almost never review a self-published book.
If you are still determined to ask me to review your book, here are the ground rules.
1. Email me a synopsis of the book. I don’t care what the cover looks like and I will not open any attachments.
2. If I think it is something I would like to read, I’ll let you know. This almost never happens.
3. If I think it may be of interest to one of my reviewers, I will forward your synopsis along and see what they have to say. If a reviewer is interested in reading your book, I’ll let you know. This rarely happens either.
4. If there is no interest, you will not hear from me. I cannot possibly respond individually to every request I get. Believe me, I’ve tried. I have a full-time job in addition to this lovely site and a family and not more than 24 hours in my days. The amount of email I receive is simply staggering. I trust you understand.
5. If I do accept your book for review, that does not guarantee a review. It’s taken me most of my life to realize that I do not have to finish every book I start. If I don’t finish your book, it will not be reviewed.
6. Remember those 25 books a week? If one of them is yours, and I don’t choose to review it, I cannot engage in an email discussion about it. The review simply won’t appear.
Finally, a note about the books reviewed on this site: In 2009, a law was enacted that has been causing some confusion among online reviewers. For clarity’s sake, all reviews on this site are the opinions of the reviewer, based on a careful reading of the work. Books are furnished to reviewers in a variety of ways, including review copies from the publisher, the author, and/or publicists. Other books are borrowed from libraries, received as gifts from friends and family members, and purchased in bookstores, both online and bricks & mortar. Reviewers stand by their reviews as their own opinion, regardless of the source of the book being reviewed. Any questions about a review or source of a book may be directed to the editor of this site via email.
Effective Date: August 1, 2014
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