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[Featured Discussion] - Review Questions

This is a new segment, Featured Discussion. Where, I am looking at heading with this segment is more of a opinion based discussion. There is some that will be true and fact, but for the main part I want a good discussion, and I want people to chime in and talk. I will make my opinion and comments known as well. However please, PLEASE do not insult or degrade anyone else.

Featured Discussion:

     I have always been looking to try to improve my blog, improve the review process and overall give people a better understanding with just why I enjoyed a book I read. The issue was I was relying on my own knowledge and ability to convey that expression or idea across. This week I didn't have a good topic I wanted to discuss or talk about, so I went looking. In the first few pages I looked at it was about how to repair a page, and I realized that would be a great idea. The deeper I dug into that topic however, the more I realized this week I didn't have the time to put into something like that. It's a bit more than just slapping some tape onto a page.

     So back to the drawing board I went, I needed something that would help me improve, something that not only made me think but something I didn't expect to find. I did just that, shortly after the repair idea I found the topic for this week. Blog questions you should ask yourself when doing a review, and not just a normal one, a set of universal questions and questions for fiction and nonfiction alike. 

     Discussion Topics
If you look closing you will see that this is mainly used for book clubs and other group type activities. However I turned this around and asked myself; "Why can't this be used for blogs or personal reviews as well, and not just groups? When reviewing a current book, I could ask the same or similar type of questions and get a better understand for why I enjoyed or disliked a book."

      This wasn't at all what I was hoping to find and wasn't really on my list to talk about, but the joys of Google and a blank mind. As well, this is something easy to discuss and talk about. Personally I don't ask myself anything when I review a book. I just start typing and plug every thought and feeling about the book down until I feel like I have done a good job. There are times where I go back and remove sentences, because it's just me rambling about nothing pretty much.

      So I guess this helps me and well surprises me as well; I could always use some structure and know where to start and just some question that would be good and great to answer in a book review. But what specific questions should I be asking? There are numerous lists of questions and topics to talk about, so frankly I want my questions to have some depth, and make me focus on specific areas and not just a vague or broad question. 

      On the link if you look there is a series of questions and I'm only going to highly a few that I think are worthwhile mentioning and more than likely I hope to use myself as well:

Fiction Questions:
  1. What was unique about the setting of the book and how did it enhance or take away from the story?
  2. Do the characters seem real and believable? Can you relate to their predicaments? To what extent do they remind you of yourself or someone you know?
  3. In what ways do the events in the books reveal evidence of the author’s world view?
  4. Did certain parts of the book make you uncomfortable? If so, why did you feel that way? Did this lead to a new understanding or awareness of some aspect of your life you might not have thought about before?
Universal Questions:
  1. Consider the main character: what does he or she believe in? What is he or she willing to fight for?
  2. What is stronger in the book: plot or character development? Why? Do you think this was intentional on the part of the author?
  3. Did you find this book a quick read? Why or why not?
  4. What are your concerns about this book?

     The reason I chose these four questions in both sections, even though they do go against what I was looking for, something to structure me and to focus me in a direction. They will structure me and focus me, but they are not laser specific into a X or Y topic. The questions give me room to talk, but still dancing around framework of the question which I enjoy. That allows me to get my opinion in as well as keep my blog credible and reliable.

     I am curious, when you review a book what's the questions you ask yourself about the book to provide a better structured review. I want to know what others use, and how they form a review that gives people a positive understanding of how you enjoyed/disliked the book and ultimately why you came up with that reason. It's a process that always evolves and we always ask ourselves different questions, I am curious on what universal and fiction questions come to mind people use and just why they feel those are important questions.
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