An exploration of a template I am creating for reviews of books I read.
In 2019, I have read 15 books. And yet, I have not shared any meaningful thoughts on those books. I recently finished Keep Going, by Austin Kleon, and Patrick Rhone asked my thoughts on it. I answered him, but realized I would have rather pointed him to a thoughtful review of the book. I want to push myself to be less passive, especially with content that I consume.
One help for creativity is to set limits. I wanted to create a template for book reviews, to give myself a few sections to complete. Having a template is a framework that I used previously in my daily journal entries. I haven’t done that for a while, but it seemed a great fit for books.
A short, untitled section with my overall thoughts on the book. Essentially a micropost.
A synopsis of the plot or main points. Ideally spoiler-free.
My favorite parts of the book, or areas I consider objective strengths.
At least one thing I think could be improved.
One or more of my favorite quotes pulled from the text.
👍 or 👎, with a brief explanation.
I have a hard time saying something negative about the creative output of another person. On the other hand, the feedback that I value the most about my own work is clear identification of opportunities for improvement. I am hoping that providing more nuance and context will allow me to think more critically of the books I read and form a more balanced perspective.
I would love to hear suggestions to improve my book review format. The main purpose of the reviews is to push me to think more about the content I consume, but I also hope that my thoughts can be helpful to others. If there are sections you would like to see added or omitted, let me know. You can reach me on Micro.blog as @bennorris, or email me at email@example.com. Thanks.