I completed my first full year as a professional reviewer recently, having started with Library Journal as their columnist for Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror with the January 2014 issue.  Deadlines being what they are, I actually completed that first column in early December 2013. So one year of actual paid reviewing! Mind you, the pay isn’t very good… But a seemingly endless supply of free books is a pretty nice perk of the gig.

Some stats

Books read and reviewed for Library Journal: 218
That’s a lot. It averages out at 4 books per week.  And this is reading for review, which – for me – meant reading closely, thinking about appeal and no skimming. It also meant, of course, that I couldn’t really read much this year beyond what I needed to review for the column. A bummer in many ways as I actually like to read other things! And of course I didn’t like every book I read. And there were books I probably never would have read if I didn’t need to review them for the column. Sometimes that was a good things and I broadened my reading horizons; sometimes it was a chore. But it was amazing to have been given, absolutely gratis, so many books this year.

Starred Reviews: 36
That averages to 3 per column, which I’m told is slightly on the stingy side. But I think stars should be for the really, really exceptional stuff.

Other books read (not for LJ reviews): About 15-20 (I’m less disciplined about recording the books I’m not getting paid to read), plus 5 audiobooks. When I’m not reading for the column, I read romance, mystery and the occasional literary fiction title. I only listen to audiobooks at the gym, which means I don’t get through as many of them as I should 🙂

My favorites from my year of reviewing, divided by category but not ranked within:

Urban/Contemporary Fantasy

Epic/Traditional Fantasy


Near Future, earth-bound SF

Spacey SF




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