I just found Martin Shepherd's latest blogpost at The Cockeyed Pessimist where he writes about book reviews, anonymous and otherwise, and their effect on the opportunities available to authors. He mentions a new Publishers Weekly program, called PW Select, which will provide a service that, for some unspecified registration fee, will include self-published books and reviews in a quarterly supplement. It sounds interesting, though fees always scare me. But what was even more interesting was reading the quoted reviews for a few of the Permanent Press's recent releases.
If you've followed my book review posts, you'll know I'm kind of a fan of the Permanent Press. I know their editors pick and choose the best, because every book I've read of theirs has enthralled me. Martin Shepherd writes (quoting the late James Agee) how a good reviewer should try to identify what the author was intending to achieve in writing the book, then judge how well the author seems to have succeeded. I think (I hope) that's what I do when reviewing the sort of book that I read from them--so far, their books have always intrigued me enough to make the author's goal feel like a vital and rewarding part of reading.
The blogpost continues with quotes from a number of reviews, and there, among them, are ones from Sheila Deeth on Gather.com!!!! Suddenly I feel like a genuine book reviewer! Thank you Martin, for your comments, and for the wonderful books I've had the privilege of reviewing from the Permanent Press.