Book Reviewers — Where Would We Be Without Them?

Today, I am hosting one of my favorite book reviewers, Melanie with Christian Bookshelf Reviews. Melanie loves to share her views on the books she reads. But her blog is devoted to so much more than just giving her opinion. She makes being an author and being a reader fun! She brings two worlds together. Join me for a peek into the mind of a book reviewer.
As an added bonus, if you leave a comment below with your email address, you could win an eBook of my first novel, To Dance Once More!
Thanks, Melanie, for joining us today!
You’re welcome! Thanks for having me on your blog, Sherri!  🙂
You obviously enjoy reading good books. What made you turn this love into a book review blog?
I do enjoy reading! Many things led to my starting my book blog, including the fact that I like to read and (I admit) hoped to get books to review someday. It has turned out to be so much more than I had anticipated! I’ve found a lot of great books from new-to-me authors (including you) that I might not have heard of had it not been for my blog. 🙂
How did you get started doing it?
Well, first came the name – I wanted to choose something I’d like long-term – and I decided on “Christian Bookshelf Reviews”.
Writing book reviews was difficult at first; my first reviews were really short and even though I ended up rewriting most (if not all) of them, they still weren’t that good. With time, though, I’ve seen my writing grow and hope my reviews are helpful. There is still a lot of room for improvement, and I (at times) deal with writer’s block.
Your reviews are very helpful! What is your favorite part about it?
Oh! There are so many things I love about blogging, but I think my favorite part is the readers and commenters. The fact that people actually take the time to read my blog still shocks me sometimes and it is so nice when they leave a comment!
Another one of my favorite things is getting to know authors better. I was even able to interview a few of my favorite authors! That was so exciting! 🙂
And, of course, there is the added bonus of getting complimentary books to review. I love that!  🙂
I have had the pleasure of interviewing some of my favoriite authors on my blog, as well, and it is such a thrill! Do you have a favorite genre and what is your least favorite?
I’m eclectic in the genres I read (as long as the book is clean), but my favorite is suspense/thriller – I love a good suspenseful page-turner!
My least favorite genre would probably be contemporary.
Well, I’m going to have to force you to read Song of the Meadowlark when it comes out then because it’s contemporary. But it does have mystery in it so hopefully you’ll like it. You do author interviews and giveaways in addition to reviews. You play a big part in helping authors spread the word about their books. You also share Jesus with people through your sweet heart and fun personality. Do you consider your blog as a ministry? If so, in what way?
Awww, that is so nice of you to say.  I do consider my blog a ministry in a couple ways. I hope that by things I say/do people who aren’t believers will see their need for salvation and how that is only possible in Jesus Christ. In my bio, on my blog, I have a summary of my beliefs, but I’m thinking about making a page that states what I believe as well.
Another one of my goals is to help readers find good, clean books. While I, personally, don’t mind a little violence in books, I don’t like it when they have curse words, use God’s Name irreverently, or sleazy scenes (to name a few things). So I hope in sharing my thoughts on books, I will help fellow readers.
Amen, sista! What do you hope to accomplish with your blog?
Besides what I mentioned already, I hope to introduce readers to books and authors they might not have heard of before.
Do you have anything else you’d like to say to readers and also to authors about the world of Christian fiction?
I hope authors of Christian fiction novels will keep their books clean. I read recently about how Christian fiction is becoming more edgier and that curse words are showing up more. That disappoints me because if I wanted to read an edgier book, I’d read mainstream and I just think Christian fiction books should be set apart from non-Christian books.
And for readers of my blog, I thank you! It means a lot that you visit… it would be awfully lonely without your comments. J
Thanks again for interviewing me, Sherri! It has been really fun!
Thanks again for sharing with us,, Melanie! Keep up the good work!
Don’t forget to leave a comment for a chance to win an eBook of To Dance Once More!
Where you can find me:

Published by Sherri Wilson Johnson

I am a wife/mother/writer/speaker looking to be used by God!

44 thoughts on “Book Reviewers — Where Would We Be Without Them?

    1. I mostly review fiction, but occasionally I will review non-fiction books…

      I used to not read that many non-fiction books, but lately I’ve been reading more of them. 🙂

  1. Enjoyed the interview, Melanie and Sherri! So nice to get to know you a little better, Melanie 🙂

  2. I enjoy reading Melanie’s reviews. It helps to have her tell me what her opinion is on a book before I buy it.

  3. Thanks for interviewing Melanie! She’s my hero when it comes to book blogs and sharing the joy. In fact, I followed her down the rabbit hole when I didn’t know what my blog was really about. I love Christian Bookshelf Reviews, and I love to review books from new authors.

  4. Thanks for interviewing Melanie. She’s my hero of book blogging, and I love Christian Bookshelf Reviews. In fact, I followed her down the rabbit hole when I didn’t know what my book blog wound be about. I love discovering new authors, especially those who hone their craft rather than settle for shock value or salaciousness. Good on ya!

  5. I enjoyed the interview and agree that Christian fiction needs to remain “clean”. It is possible to write good plots and believable dialogue without resorting to cursing and explicit, adult themes.

  6. What fun turning the tables around! Lovely to get to know one of my favorite bloggers. Thank you and thank you for the giveaway!


  7. It is really amazing how much value has been added to the book world by bloggers and volunteer reviewers in the last few years. Books that would have gone unnoticed in the past are now being talked about and reviewed all over the internet. It’s great for authors, readers, and anyone interested in literature.

    1. Carl – What you say about bloggers and volunteer reviewers helping the book world. I am enjoying reviewing and blogging so very much but didn’t know it was really very helpful or appreciated or if it was just a fad. I knew that major, syndicated (example: New York Times) book critics were invaluable (devastating sometimes) to authors. But I certainly would never consider anything I write to be in the “book critic” category. I’m just a reader that is enjoying sharing a “review” on my blog. 🙂

  8. Great interview!! I love reading Melanie’s reviews. With her help I have found some great books to read.

  9. It is nice to have reviews to read on books, so thanks for the time you put into them. Also, thanks for the giveaway.

  10. Great interview, ladies! Melanie, you have a couple of my books to hopefully review one day, but I didn’t know contemporaries were your least favorite (she says, cringing). If it helps, some people consider Awakening historical (it’s set in 1997; there are no cell phones or computers in it!). Oh well… As others have said, thank you for supporting Christian fiction and its authors, especially those of us with smaller, newer publishers. Many blessings to all, and happy reading!

    1. Thanks, JoAnn! If there is some mystery or something it if fine… it is more chick-lit contemporary that is my least favorite.

      I haven’t read your books yet, but when I do I plan on reviewing them. 🙂

      1. Thanks so much, Melanie! There’s a hint of mystery as I pay homage to Nancy Drew. Just remember – you entered a blog to win Awakening (and then I added Second Time Around for good measure). I would caution you against prejudicing yourself against a lot of wonderful contemporary books because they ARE contemporary and review each based on their merits. I do not consider my books to be chick lit in any sense of the word although I do employ humor. I NEED humor, and it would seem my readers agree. Many blessings.

      2. I know I won a copy of your book. 🙂 I’m not prejudice against contemporary fiction. As I’ve said before, I’m eclectic, so I enjoy many different books, but I do have favorite genres (like suspense/thriller and historical).

  11. Terrific interview of a terrific blogger and book reviewer. I, too, have grown into this book blogging review and simply love it. I work in Christian education and the majority of the books I review end up on the shelves of the school’s library. My blog is a hobby and a challenge to put words down in concrete (or cyber) form.

    I would love to read your book, Sherri, but don’t count my comment into the tally for trying to win. I don’t “do” ebooks. But perhaps someday I’ll have the opportunity to read it.

    1. Thanks Vera for your comments. Thank you for contributing to the blogging world too! I don’t read many eBooks either. I prefer to hold books in my hands. Right now, I have to purchase my own author copies so I have to offer the eBook for giveaways. 😦

      1. I understand what you’re saying, Sherri, about cost. I use my eyes so much for work at a computer and I do stay on the computer at home a bit, too. So reading a book is so much better on the eyes to me. Plus, I’m pretty old school and think holding a book and feeling the paper as it rustles between my fingers is like a love that you just don’t want to let go of.

        I’ve reviewed a few middle school historical novels by a new writer and she writes wonderfully. She is self-published and I’ve tried to encourage giveaways but the money is an issue since she must pay for them herself. Also, I’ve tried to encourage her to try to get a major publishing house to do her books for her. Anyway, I don’t know if I have helped her with my reviews, but I truly like to encourage good authors.

      2. I like to read in bed at night. After working all day on the computer, the feel and look of a book suits me best. That’s why I hate not being about to do print giveaways at this time. But I’m confident one day I will be able to. 🙂

  12. I count it a joy to simply be allowed to review books that I enjoy reading. [True, some I don’t like a whole lot. :(] However, it is such a special feeling to share my feelings about a book on my own blog and then to post them where more people can potentially see them and benefit (,, as well as boost the book in the marketplace for the author.

    While the consumer benefits from greatly reduced books (such as bookstores and have when a book has been out awhile or when they overproduce) and enjoy getting a good read for a super price, it grieves me to think of all the hard work an author puts into getting that book on a bookstore shelf in the first place and then it is sold at such a low cost – virtually little or no profit. However, I try to think that at least the book is getting read and perhaps the reader will like it so much they will look for future books by that author. (I know I have done that)

    1. Exactly! I have to say for me, writing is about so much more than the money anyway. (Probably because I haven’t made that much yet, haha!) Seriously, it’s about reaching people for the Lord and getting the message out there!

  13. Thank you, Sherri, for interviewing me! It is so nice of you to say I’m one of your favorite book reviewers! 🙂

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