Saturday, July 10, 2010

Hello, Welcome, Review Policies, and Disclosures

Lisa’s Other Bookshelf is a companion blog to Lizok’s Bookshelf, a Russian literature blog that I began writing in 2007. I write about my non-Russian reading on Lisa’s Other Bookshelf.

Review Policy & Philosophy
I accept books from publishers, writers, and publicists who would like me to write about their books. However, I make no guarantees that I will review or otherwise write about their books; I will give books I don’t read to another blogger or reader, or to a library. I read and write on my own calendar and do not accept external deadlines, however I often like to post entries close to release dates for new books.

I write honest evaluations, opinions, and criticism of the books I read. I attempt to express both my personal feelings about the book (Did I like it?) and my thoughts on its literary merits (Do I think it’s any good?). I don’t hold back if I don’t like a book but I try to be fair and mention why I think someone else might enjoy the book more than I did.

Favorite Types of Books
I read a broad range of books, from classics to genre fiction. I am particularly interested in contemporary translated novels, novels from small presses, and books that somehow relate to places I’ve visited, especially Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. I also especially enjoy realistic dystopian novels, Jewish-interest fiction, and weird or mixed-genre detective books.

Please note that I very rarely read electronic books in English and categorically do not read or review self-published books. Please e-mail if you have questions about what might -- or might not -- fit.

The Disses: Disclaimers and Disclosures
  • As a blogger and translator, I often ask publishers about their interest in translated fiction, sometimes including my own projects. I have met and/or contacted quite a few. If I have had this sort of contact with a publisher, either in the past or at present, but do not have a contract or agreement for translation, I will write something like this: "I have discussed Russian literature in translation with X Publisher."
  • If/When I become fortunate enough to have a commercial and/or contractual relationship for translation with a publisher, I will acknowledge that relationship in any reviews of that publisher’s book(s). There may be other types of business relationships with publishers, however, that I cannot reveal publicly because of confidentiality.
  • I always thank publishers, publicists, or writers for review copies of books.
  • As I mentioned above, I’m a tough grader and don’t hold back when I write about books: my honest opinions are the basis of my relationships with all my readers, including those from publishing houses.

Anything Else?
  • I enjoy interviewing authors and translators.
  • I often post brief, summary reviews on goodreads.
  • I don’t do giveaways or other promotions.
  • I will update this post as necessary.
  • I’m always happy to receive messages with reading ideas, so please write if there’s a book you’d like to recommend!


  1. I just found this blog via your Russian literature blog, and since you ask for book suggestions I wondered whether you might enjoy (or have already read and have an opinion on) Peter Hoeg's novels - particularly his recent The Quiet Girl and the not-quite-so-recent Smilla's Sense of Snow. They are both detective stories in a way, and are translated from Danish so may fit your criteria. There have been critiques published about the translation of Smilla from Danish to American and British English, I recall.

  2. Thanks, Cat! I read and enjoyed Smilla not too long after the book came out but couldn't get through The Quiet Girl, though I thought the ideas behind it were intriguing.