Monday, March 23, 2015

Book Review Conflict

I recently offered to review a book for a popular web site that specializes in User Experience. I know that the book is one that few people who use the site will already have read and would probably not ever read based on the title or the subject. But in my polymath way, I know that the contents of the book could be very valuable to them and I hope I can translate it so that the value to their specific lives is clear. 

But that is not what a book review are supposed to do. The EID site or this blog is where I should do stuff like that. A book review is supposed to talk about whether the book has quality content, is well written, well organized, well sourced, and that kind of thing. Not promote the value of its content.

This brings up challenge number two. I am a dedicated fanboy of the book’s author. I read his blog, subscribe to his podcast, and now read his books (his second one comes out in the next few months and I plan to get that one as well). Can I keep an open mind when reading and reviewing the book?  Or will natural human biases hijack my opinion and insert my expectations and preferences into my review? 

I have written dozens of technical book reviews and read hundreds. But I have never had this much potential for bias and internal conflict. I guess I will have to read the book, write the review, and let you know.