Review Policy & Rating System

Updated: Until further notice I am still accepting very few review requests. I am focusing primarily on my own TBR piles (of which I have far too many). You are welcome to contact me, but the work will need to be especially tempting for me to say yes.

Information for Authors, Agents, & Publishers

*Please read this statement BEFORE contacting me about a review.

*This is primarily a BOOK blog.  Any reviews that I do here will be for books or book-related products and challenges.  Please do not contact me requesting reviews for non-book-related products.  The answer is "no" now and will be "no" if you email me.  Also, this is NOT an advertising platform.  I will not host advertising space for products or websites of any sort.  I will not post articles by others--unless it is part of virtual book promotion OR if I solicit a guest post. Any non-book-related material that appears on My Reader's Block will be personal--to me--and will appear only because I decide (unprompted) to post.

*I would be happy to accept books for review, including ARCs.  I will accept physical copies only.  I do not own an e-reader of any sort and have no plans to do so.  I do not enjoy the electronic reading experience and, as I have told many people, there is nothing like holding a real book in my hands.

*Please send me a synopsis of the book so I can determine if it is a genre I can honestly review.  My primary interests are pre-1960 mysteries, cozy mysteries, historical mysteries, some historical romance (no bodice rippers or Harlequins, please), some science fiction, historical fiction--primarily 18th C through WWII, and contemporary British fiction.  I am open to most other genres except: I do NOT do horror/thrillers. I am NOT interested in real life trauma/drama stories (there's enough drama in the real world, thanks), recent psychological thrillers,  paranormal romance, and I am not terribly inclined towards YA.  If you are doing a reissue of any vintage mysteries or British literature and would like a review of your particular edition, I would be very interested.

*All reviews posted on my site will be based purely on my honest opinion and will be represented as such.  I will be completely honest in my review and if my opinion is negative I will make every effort to offer constructive criticism.  By offering me a copy of your book to review, you agree to my policy of honest review and agree that I may post my review publicly on this blog (, on Goodreads, and other review sites as I see fit. If you wish to use any of my comments as promotional material, you agree to obtain my permission first.

*I will make every effort to finish every book offered to me for review.  However, it has been my experience (few and far between) that there are books that I simply could not finish.  If for any reason I cannot finish your book, I will give reasons and will state clearly that it is my opinion only.

* I agree that I will not receive compensation for my reviews in monetary form. Per FTC regulations (see below), I will post a disclaimer with each review I do for an author, agent or publisher.  I will not resell any book given to me for review.  I may, however, offer it up to friends or through a give-away on my blog.

FTC Guidelines

In accordance with the new FTC Publishes Final Guides Governing Endorsements, Testimonials for bloggers, I am posting this statement for all visitors to my blog. All reviews posted represent my personal opinions of any and/or all books read and reviewed. I will not accept any monetary compensation for books that I review at the request of an author, publisher or agent. These books are provided to me at no charge. All reviews of such will be clearly identified. I will as of this date and in the future, inform my readers/visitors as to which items I am reviewing at the request of author, publisher and/or agent and I will post a disclaimer at the end of each review.

I also post reviews of books that I have purchased or borrowed for my personal enjoyment. If you have any questions regarding this statement, please feel free to contact me.


Rating System

My rating system is pretty simple: 1-5 stars; based on the system from Visual Bookshelf where I first started rating books.  I sometimes assign partial stars when I can't quite decide on one category or another.

DNF up to One Star: The book was just plain, stinking awful.  If I finished it, I'm not sure why and there's a good chance that I didn't.  If I bought it, it's leaving the house.  If it was borrowed, it's going back where it came from ASAP.

Two Stars: It wasn't horrible but could have been better.  There are a few redeeming qualities--maybe I like the characters or the plot, but it doesn't all come together.

Three Stars: Average. This was a decent outing.  Enjoyable read, no real complaints--but nothing really knocked my socks off. This is NOT a bad review.

Four Stars: Over-all pretty outstanding.  Lots to like from characters to plot to style to setting.  A book I'd probably read again (if there weren't so many on my TBR list already) and would recommend to others.

Five Stars: A must have, must read, must recommend book.  Absolutely knocked my socks off on all counts.  Even though I really don't have time to re-read books, I will re-read this one (probably more than once).  I may bore my friends to death talking about how great this book is and will recommend it to everyone whether it's their kind of book or not.  A book to obsess over.