Category Archives: Opinion

Deet’s opinion revisited- Pro Reviewers VS Amateurs

(I haven’t heard much muttering from the professional reviewers since this was posted back in 2011, but then again, I stopped listening quite awhile ago.  Still it is a topic that rears itself every now and then.  I’m still on the side of the Amateurs.)


At PEN World Voices Festival on April 27,2011 (the event was cosponsored by the National Book Critics Circle). On hand were American critics Morris Dickstein and Cynthia Ozick among others.

Morris Dickstein, Professional Critic and Professor of English, “The professional reviewer, who has a literary identity, who had to meet some editor’s exacting standard, has effectively been replaced by the Amazon reviewer, the paying customer, at times ingenious, assiduous, and highly motivated, more often banal, obtuse, and blankly opinionated,”

Ozick, a novelist and essayist , made what she called the “disheartening” case that the most committed American readers are the Amazon customer reviewers. “Not only are they willing to buy books consistently, not as a now-and-then event; they also are intent on evaluating them in a public way, and they devote time and effort to fashioning a response. In short, they are serious about the meaning and effect of books, exactly what we would call a literary point of view.”

Read the full article here:


So what does this mean to an amateur reviewer like me.  Well….I guess it means that I irritate the professionals a tad.  It probably means that they think I have no business calling my opinions “reviews”.  Somehow I just can’t get worked up about it.

Am I “banal and obtuse”? Perhaps.   I’d rather think I was ingenious and assiduous and at least moderately motivated. 🙂   Do I still think my opinion is worth the read? Hell yes!

I am an avid reader so I figure my contribution is to let those readers, who share my proclivities, know what I think of a particular read.  Maybe in my naiveté I missed the allegory or even the well hidden theme of the book, but I’m betting that most genre readers are not going to fault me for those oversights.  They just want to know if I resent the money I paid or if I felt it was worth skipping the Starbucks coffee to buy this book.  They want to know if they should schedule this read for a Friday night so they can sleep-in on Saturday morning.  They want to know if the book is uplifting or depressing, violent or sweet, sexy or not.

Yes, my reviews are “opinions” as are all reviews whether by amateurs or pros.  I don’t think for a minute that amateur reviewers will infringe on professional literary critics.  Usually we are talking about different things.  Anyone who reads Amazon reviews for deep insight might just be missing the point of those reviews.

The Pros are going to have to make room for us amateurs.  Times they are a changing and all those ensconced in the “good ole days” are going to feel displaced.  This is how it has always been.  Ya think Henry Ford didn’t get flack from the horse breeders?

What do you think?



Filed under Books, Deet's Life, Opinion

Christmas Eve in Iceland- A tradition to start here



December 24, 2015 · 9:34 pm

What Turns Me On (Reposting from my blog in June 2011)

No, No. Not that kind of turn-on.  (But he isn’t bad, right?  Or maybe he’s very bad.  His name is Eduardo Verastegui) I digress as usual…… back to the REAL topic.

It’s safe to say I don’t just read and review new or upcoming releases.  I will, when they are given to me but since I’m new on the blog-beat the publishers are not clamoring for my input.  Amazon Vine likes me well enough to send me a couple of books a month.  So if there are any authors out there who are dying for my reviews feel free to request one. (update: Publishers now like me well enough and I’m not taking many author requests so times have changed since June 2011.)

That said, I know there are a ton of books that have been released over the years that I haven’t read and I assume you might have missed them also.  That’s why I review some older books along with current ones.

It seems, when I find a new-to-me author, which I like, I want to read their entire back catalog.  Linda Howard was one of those for me, also Lisa Kleypas and more recently Harlan Cobin, Julia Quinn and Sherry Thomas.  All have a way with prose that bespeaks an inventive intelligence and I’m surely (if nothing else) an intellectual snob.  There you have it, another confession.

I’m not proud of being that kind of a snob, or any kind actually.  It’s just that I don’t tolerate idiots well at all.  I’m a bottom-line, drama-free, give-me-some-common-sense kinda woman.  Come to me crying that you just bought a Coach purse but now don’t know how you will buy groceries and I about go ballistic at your stupidity. (my husband considers this a gross personality flaw) I’m just practical beyond reason.  I’m certainly not the academic-intellectual type of snob but all of this is off topic….

I simply love “smart” writing.

When characters are brought to life and I can feel them breathing I am delighted. 

When plotting is intricate and a novel has twists that I never saw coming, I will probably give it an automatic five.

 When romance is slow built and I can see the protagonists falling in love even before they do, I’m swooning. 

Make me laugh with wit and intelligence and you are on my all time fave list. 

Give me action and adventure that is heart pounding and page turning, well let’s just say you had me at the first run through the forest to escape the baddies.

And, if you give me all of those wrapped in one paperback cover…. I’m gonna bake you a pie and read your entire back list. (Update: All of this is still very true although I’ve no time to bake pies these days.)


Filed under Deet's Life, Opinion

NPR (National Public Radio) List of top 100 Romance Novels and Series


National Public Radio has published a monumental list of 100 Romance books. Undeniably they are the best of the best. Go to their sight and you can have a printable list to take to the bookstore or the library. I’ve been busy checking off the ones I’ve read and staring the ones I want to read.

After you swoon over the list then go to this page where they tell you how and why.

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Filed under Award Winners, Books, Favorites, News, Opinion, Romance

La Deetda Reads Best Romance Books of 2014





Deet’s Best of The Best for 2014

35 things xmas tree

Every year at this time I think I’m going to post a top 10 and then it turns out that I always have more than ten favorite books. What can I say….there are so many fabulous authors just waiting to be discovered. So-o-o, here are my favorites of 2014 in no special order; a definitive list to spark your reading in the new year:

All are Historical Romance except where noted.

Sherry Thomas, The Luckiest Lady In London—Deet’s review 5-stars

Meredith Duran, Fool Me Twice– Deet’s review 5-stars

Grace Burrowes, The Lost Lords Series, The Captive Hearts Series, What A Lady Needs For Christmas, Deet’s review for all of these ranged from 4-5 stars.

Jane Lark, The Scandalous Love of a Duke, Deet’s review-4.5 stars

D.B. Reynolds, Vincent, Deet’s Review 5 stars (Paranormal Romance)

Carolyn CraneOff the Edge, Deet’s review 5 stars (Romantic Suspense)

Joanna Bourne, Rogue spy, Deet’s review 5 stars

Theresa Romain, To Charm a Naughty Countess, Season For Desire, both rated 4.5 stars from Deet

Tessa Dare, Romancing The Duke, Deet’s review4.5 stars

Eloisa JamesThree weeks With Lady X, Deet’s review 4.5 stars

Suzanne EnochRogue With A Brogue, Deet’s rating4.5 stars

The following authors had one or more books in a series published this year and I highly recommend the series :

Kristin Higgins- The Blue Heron Series, Deet’s overall rating 4.5 stars(Contemporary Romance)

Julie Anne LongThe Pennyroyal Green Series, Deet’s overall rating 5 stars

Carolyn CraneThe Associates Series, Deet’s rating 5 stars(Romantic Suspense)

Courtney MilanThe Brother Sinister Series, Deet’s overall rating 5 stars

Jade LeeThe Bridal Favors Series, Deet’s overall rating 4.5 stars

D.B. ReynoldsVampires In America Series, Deet’s overall rating 5 stars (Paranormal Romance)

Since I’ve read and reviewed all of these authors just type in their name in the search box on the left column to find that review.

Happy reading in the New Year!


Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Favorites, Historical Romance, Opinion, Romance

The Brilliant Ursula Le Guin Championing Genre Books and Writing As Art

On this day before our national day of “Thanks”, here are some words of wisdom for the book community and all those who enjoy and revere this form of communication.

Ursula K. Le Guin is one of science fiction’s greatest writers. She is also an acclaimed author of powerful and perceptive nonfiction, fantasy, and literary fiction. She has received many honors, including six Nebula and five Hugo Awards, the National Book Award, the Pushcart Prize, the Newbery, the Pilgrim, the Tiptree, and citations by the American Library Association. She has written over a dozen highly regarded novels and story collections. Her SF masterworks are THE LEFT HAND OF DARKNESS (1969), THE DISPOSSESSED (1974), and THE LATHE OF HEAVEN(1971)…-Cynthia Ward, review.

Ursula K. Le Guin accepts the National Book Foundation’s Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters at the 65th National Book Awards on November 19, 2014.



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Filed under Authors, Books, Fantasy, News, Opinion, video

Deet’s Life- Funny moments in bookstores

Fifty shades photo bookstore

From Buzzfeed, More laughable book-fails here.


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Filed under Books, Deet's Life, Fun, Humor, Opinion

More WTF Books I’m not going to review


Back in the dark ages of this blog(August, 2011), I did a post on really crazy books found on Amazon that I was not going to review.  If you would like to see what those were just click here.

Since then I have found a few more that you might want to pass up….or not.  All are available on when I researched this blog.

People Who Don’t Know They Are Dead and How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What To Do About It by Gary Leon Hill

people who don't know they are dead









Living With Crazy Buttocks by Kaz Cook

living with crazy buttocks









How To Shit In The Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach (3rd Edition) by Kathleen Meyer

How to Shit in the woods








Oral Sadism and The Vegetarian Personality by Glenn C. Ellenbogen

oral sadism








The Haunted Vagina by Carlton Mellick,III

The Haunted Vagina








10 Ways To Recycle A Corpse BY Karl Shaw

Ten ways to recycle a corpse

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Filed under Books, Fun, Humor, Opinion

Banned Book week Sept. 21-27, 2014


Banned Book2 300_152698

Sept 21-27th is Banned Book Week.  Buzzfeed has a must read list of Banned Books and an explanation of why each was banned.

Buzzfeed Banned books

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Filed under News, Opinion

Deet’s Reviews of 2014 RITA Nominees

rwa bannerlogo

On July 26, 2014 The Romance Writers of America held their annual awards program handing out “RITA” and “Golden Heart” awards for the best 2013 romances in several categories.  If you go to their website and nose around you can find all those who were nominated and a list of the winners.  I decided to see how many of the nominees I actually read last year and reviewed.  Here is my list:

Historical Romance

I’ve read and reviewed 8 out of the 17 novels nominated in this category.

1. The Rogue’s Proposal by Jennifer Haymore, 4-stars

2. The Luckiest Lady In London by Sherry Thomas, 5-stars

3.  Love and Other Scandals by Caroline Linden, 4-stars

4.  Duke of Midnight by Elizabeth Hoyt, 4.5-stars

5.  Darius by Grace Burrowes, 3-stars

6.  The Countess Conspiracy by Courtney Milan, 4.5-stars

7.  Any Dutchess Will Do by Tessa Dare, 5-stars

8.  The Winner of the RITA for Historical Romance novel: No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah MacLean, 4-stars No Good Duke goes unpunished

Contemporary Romance

I actually read two out of the 18 nominated but so far have only reviewed one.  I’m saving the Sarah Morgan book for my December Christmas reviews:

1. Along Came Trouble by Ruthie Knox, 4-stars

Paranormal Romance

I only read 1 out of 13 nominations, shame on me!!! But the one that I read took home the award:

1. The winner of the RITA for Paranormal Romance novel: The Firebird by Susanna Kearsley, 5+-starsFirebird


Again I only read 1 out of the 9 nominated:

1. How to Misbehave by Ruthie Knox, 4-stars

Romantic Suspense

Now I’m sounding like a broken record, only 1 read but it was really good and it won in the category:

1. The Winner of the RITA for Romantic Suspense novel: Off The Edge by Carolyn Crane, 5-starsOff The Edge

To see what I had to say about any of these good books, just go to my search box on the left and plug in the authors name.

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Filed under Book review, Books, Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance, News, Novella, Opinion, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense