Top Ten Tuesday: first ten reviews

Text only: top ten TUESDAY

Top Ten Tuesday is was created by The Broke and the Bookish, and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. It’s all about books, lists and sharing the love we have of both with our bookish friends. This week, we’re looking back at our first steps into the wonderful world of book blogging and digging up our earliest reviews…

Long before I had a Goodreads account – or even a LibraryThing shelf – I occasionally posted reviews on LiveJournal. I’m not sure how many I posted to communities rather than my LJ – those all got deleted when I nixed my LJ account. While I imported my LJ content to WordPress when this blog was born, I didn’t re-post all of it. As for the rest… well, I apologise to those of you who are subscribed and woke up to a flurry of email notifications.

I wasn’t a book blogger back when these were written (I didn’t really know that was a thing), I was just a reader leaving comments for a future me and sharing them with a small group of like-minded friends. I didn’t include pictures or links – I didn’t even put the name of the book in the blog title half the time. It took nearly 10 years for me to get my head around all those good habits… But it’s been fun to look back at where it all started.

Guts – Chuck Palahniuk

It feels awfully odd that my first online review would be for a Chuck Palahiuk story, but if this isn’t the oldest it’s the oldest I can find. I didn’t review the rest of Haunted and I don’t recall it particularly fondly (Palahniuk rarely floats my boat), but it certainly got my attention.

A Feast For Crows – George R R Martin

I was a big enough fan that tome four got a mostly positive review from me on first reading, although in retrospect it’s my least favourite of the lot.

Viaduct Child – Patrick Wood

My review of Patrick Wood’s debut is so enthusiastic it makes me want to run upstairs and grab it for a reread.

The American Murders of Jack the Ripper – R Michael Gordon

I used to read more non-fiction – typically history – and have a shelf of books about Jack the Ripper. I can’t resist an unsolved mystery, and I’ve long been dissatisfied with the way his victims are portrayed (yes, I’ll be buying The Five; it’s about time). Sadly, this book wasn’t very good: I was as dismissive of the writing as I was of the research.

The Owl Service – Alan Garner

A ramble through my childhood experience of Garner’s work, ending with a review of a reread of The Owl Service. This is very much a review written for myself – or at best for those already familiar with the book. Warning, major spoiler for The Weirdstone of Brisingamen in the third paragraph.

Fragile Things – Neil Gaiman

I recall even less about Fragile Things now than I did when I wrote this review; if pushed, I’d have said Instructions was in Smoke and Mirrors. Still, my comments were positive, if generally vague.

The Lies of Locke Lamora – Scott Lynch | Scar Night – Alan Campbell

Two glowing reviews for the price of one! My first read of Lies knocked my socks off (and coined the description techno-mediaeval Hustle, which I rather like). I have never revisited Scar Night (but perhaps I should!) – although my closing remarks were prophetic: I didn’t enjoy the sequel anywhere near as much.

Mary Celeste – Paul Begg

Another slice of non-fiction focused on a historical mystery, and sadly another disappointment. The Mary Celeste is a fascinating topic, but while Begg’s research was – as usual – impeccable, he did remarkably little with it.

Matter – Iain M Banks

I didn’t have a good first time out with Matter, although this review is far less critical than I recalled (I remembered a full-on rant). It’s fun contrasting my impressions and my review style with my review from my last reread.

The Red Wolf Conspiracy – Robert V S Redick

Ending on a positive note, I think this glowing review (gosh, over ten years old now) feels most like my current style. I’ve had this series on my must reread list for years now – I hope I like it just as much.

What were the first books you ever reviewed?