for most issues of the ladymag, i review a book or two. this happens in more or less the same way every month: a colleague swings by with a handful of advance copies, and i grab the ones that seem least likely to be chick lit. sometimes she hasn't finalized her lineup and i'll be influencing whether or not we feature the books at all. recently we've been skipping this step, and i agree to read things we already know we'll feature. that's a good thing and a bad thing: i know my piece will be published, but i also know i have to say something positive no matter what (our entertainment coverage amounts to recommendations rather than reviews - the section is so small that we don't really have space to tell people what they should avoid reading). we also don't really have space to say much period (these things are 50 words long at best), so these reviews are basically title/author + major plot point + short string of compliments. you can tell i've had trouble with a book when the compliments are about the cover art. what a hat!

so i've had a lot of practice, is what i'm saying, with blurbs. if i somehow became a celebrated author and up-and-coming writers started asking me to add pleasant sentiments and my name to their dust jackets, i could totally hook them up.

i was poking around online the other day to check on a book i'd reviewed a few months ago. i'd actually enjoyed reading it, so now that it's available to the public, i wanted to see if it was doing well. you can see where this is going, right? the first editorial review on its amazon page (after the publishers weekly paragraph) was by me (attributed to ladymag, of course, but written by me). i then went to the author's website, and same deal: my blurb first, above the washington post, the san francisco chronicle, and a few dozen others. i suspect it's on the book itself, or will be. um, glad i could be of help? i always assumed i'd know i was blurbing if i ever did it, but it can apparently be a totally unconscious thing. are the others written by people like me, in situations like mine? don't trust blurbs, internets! or, trust blurbs, but not mine, unless i've told you i wasn't rewritten and/or forced to be nice. maybe we can have a code word: if a paragraph contains the word peanut, it's a lie.

that one excepted, of course.

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