Friday Feast: Reviewing “Bad” Books When You’re Part of a Literary Community, Learning from and Rejecting Feedback, Permission to Succeed, and a Digital Moleskine

Let’s end the week with the problematic nature of giving reviews to members of your literary community. I tend to go with Randy Susan Meyers’s philosophy: “there are enough professional and amateur critics out there and I know how much even the best-intentioned criticism can hurt, and I don’t want to add one more bad word to their burdens. I either give five-stars or I don’t do anything.” I make exceptions when it’s a blockbuster, book-to-Hollywood situation, as is the case with one wildly successful book and movie that I hated so much I could spit. Still, a friend that I like and respect loved the book — as did others to the tune of millions (audience members and dollars). Lesson: There’s an audience for all of us, and we can’t please everyone.