I added another thought to the end of my post about Stolen—I said, “I think Jane will enjoy this one, and maybe Rose, though there’s a plot point I anticipate will trouble her somewhat and will generate a big discussion. I can’t say more without giving away the book’s secrets, but maybe later I can do another post with big spoiler alerts plastered all over it.”
This is where I always run into trouble when I write about books. There’s no way to discuss a book in the depth I’d like to without giving away its secrets. Even with a spoiler warning, I worry that I’ll reveal too much and change the reader’s experience with the book. I hardly ever read book reviews past the first paragraph myself until after I’ve read the book. And then I usually pester Scott to read it too, so I’ll have someone to talk about with. Or, if it’s a children’s book, my girls make great discussion companions. I really think my favorite part of reading is the unpacking, the analysis. But I do very little of that on the blog because I find myself paralyzed by spoiler fear.
I’m the same way with movies. I love to read reviews and criticism after I’ve seen a film, but I really don’t want to hear too much about it in advance. Scott’s even more passionate on this point than I am: he won’t even read the back of the DVD box lest it reveal too much. This makes film (or book) selection tricky: we have to glean just enough but not too much about a work to determine whether it’s worth our time.
I love in-depth reviews after the fact, after I’ve read a book or watched a movie and had a chance to ponder it for a while. And then, then, I’m often burning to write about it, to ask questions, compare reactions, crystallize my impressions by articulating them. What’s my problem? Why can’t I just slap a big neon SPOILER banner on top of the post and get on with it?
The Adventure of English
Martha and Charlotte go to Indonesia
It’s Not My Turn to Look for Grandma
Way Leads on to Way
From the Drafts File