Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Not Living Up to the Hype

I'm probably not alone in this, but I find it more than a little irritating when a book seems to be hyped up as one of those must read types of books and it's far from it.  For a few years as Lent rolls around one of the books I always see in emails as a must read or great Lenten reading is What Jesus Saw from the Cross.

I procrastinated on ordering this book in the week leading up to Lent as I tried to decide what book I wanted to read, and it went out of stock.  I have to think that that was actually a blessing in disguise.  I wound up ordering The Sermons of St. Francis de Sales for Lent instead.  Clearly that was my better choice.  I love St. Francis, his wisdom is timeless as is his practical advice.  He's one of those awesome saints who doesn't leave you feeling like sainthood is never within your grasp.
Probably a week into Lent I noticed that What Jesus Saw from the Cross was back in stock, so I ordered it.  I've been reading it over the past week and a half and maybe a few chapters in isn't deep enough, but I feel like the book is not living up to the hype.  As I read through it, I feel like I'm getting a tour guide narrative of what may have been.  I'm hoping it gets better as it progresses, but I'm not holding my breath.

I write book reviews both here and on Amazon and I always say what I really think about the book.  Some books don't appeal to me, although the ones that I do like far outweigh the ones I don't.  When buying a book I always check out consumer reviews.  If there are enough people saying they don't like the book I'll usually take their advice and look for something else.  This book had a few reviews that echo the sentiments I presently have about the book, but there were far more glowing reviews.

I actually think it would be pretty cool if Amazon developed an algorithm that could accurately tell a consumer if he or she would be likely to like a particular book based on their reviews and ratings of other books they had read.  Something like that would be very useful.

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