Our culture speeds from analogue towards digital. Traditional gatekeepers fade from societal grace. Consumer choice expands exponentially. The New York Times Book Review might well vanish, replaced by Amazon reviews, often fake or flaky. In these times, people need honest, intelligent, prompt curation. Today is the dawn of a new breed of online guidance services. ReadListenWatch.com is one modest contribution, a gift to the world.
We review new books, rock albums, and movies:
- “New” means published/released this calendar year or the previous one.
- We review ebooks (and paper books while they last): most fiction genres, some nonfiction.
- Rock music opportunistically includes proximate genres but always excludes classical.
- Movies are not TV shows but we cover TV/streaming series.
Our review slate is celebratory and aims at our own tastes but also what we consider important. Most reviews are more or less positive but we don’t bin negative reviews and we don’t pull punches.
Speed to market counts. We aim to report by the end of the month following publication/release.
We choose our own slate, beholden to no inducements, monetary or otherwise. We review the work of friends but review honestly. We acknowledge all connections.
All reviews are 150 to 250 words long. All commence with a summarizing 20-word paragraph.
Reviews link to Kindle, Spotify, or IMDb. Finding analogue versions is easy.
Numbers clarify: we rate out of 10. We aim for rating consistency and comparability.
Many review sites bunch at 7/10. We prefer to use 8 (yes!) or 6 (possibly).
A rating of 5 is not a criticism per se.
Less Pauline Kael, more David Stratton: we advise rather than pontificate, but of course as humans we’re free to digress or comment.
Our goal is curation, which is subjective judgement. We are consistent: once you are familiar with a reviewer’s tastes, you can calibrate her judgment to your own slants.
Consult a book jacket or Google if you need advance plot knowledge. And we don’t spoil.
House style is clear, intelligent, and, for want of a better word, stylish.
Once more than one reviewer is on board, any reviewer’s review shall be edited by another reviewer.
We favor structure:
- Book reviews consider plot, characterization, setting, style, and themes/ideas.
- A reviewer’s musical tastes influence his factors of choice – songwriting, melody, rhythm, voice, musicianship, lyrics, and themes/ideas.
- We view film through a lens of entertainment value, acting, script, cinematography, soundtrack, and themes/ideas.