Welcome to Valerie’s Musings!
I’m Valerie & I live just outside Ann Arbor, Michigan. I’m a librarian, but I’m currently working in a non-degreed position for various reasons. I love my job. I work at the Ann Arbor District Library and I love what I do. In my current job, tho’ I’m not utilizing my cataloging training, I still have the opportunity to provide reference services to patrons, which is one of my favorite things to do. I also have the opportunity to get experience in creating library programming. I have great co-workers who don’t mind me asking a million questions about things. I love my job!
My favorite genres to read are Cozy Mysteries, Children’s Fiction, Teen Fiction, and Non-Fiction, specifically History and the Natural World, whether we’re talking about plants, animals, or earth science.
When I’m not reading and reviewing books, I like to work in my water garden; go for nature walks & take nature photography in Ann Arbor’s many parks; play with my adorable niece and sweet nephew; and paint ceramics. I also have a heart for children in need and sponsor five children through Compassion International.
About My Blog
This blog started as a place to gather all the book reviews that I write in one place, plus occasional other posts about life and the world. Since then, I’ve expanded into more book-related types of posts besides just reviews. Nowadays, it’s still mostly reviews, but there are spotlights on books that are just coming out, author interviews, reading challenges, and other book-related posts.
I have a wide array of interests when it comes to reading, so this blog will not be about any one specific genre, though cozy mysteries are my favorite, so there will be more of them than others. Because of all the genres represented, I’ll try to make sure I put them in their proper categories so it’s easy to find the types of books you’re looking for.
Review Criteria/Review Guidelines
I am not accepting requests for reviews at the moment. I’m having health issues that are getting in the way of my blogging. But here are my general criteria.
I give preference to cozy mysteries and children/teen fiction, but authors of other genres (science fiction/fantasy, romance, women’s fiction, non-fiction, etc.) are welcome to request reviews. There are three things that I will not read, EVER. Those three things are:
- Extreme sexual violence (i.e. graphic rape/sexual abuse/sexual slavery scenes)
Other things that are dicey and approved/denied on a case to case basis include: Abusive relationships (specifically graphic scenes), graphic depictions of war or other violence, large amounts of sexually crude language. Thank you for your understanding.
If you wish to request that I review your book, please use the Contact Me page to send me a message. Please include a description/synopsis of the book in question as well as whether or not you need it finished immediately.
Also, please note that I don’t generally give a 5-star rating. There has to be a big emotional hook or an extra “pizzazz” or “wow” factor. It’s not something I can really explain, but I know it when I feel/see it. I will sometimes give a 4.5 star rating if I think it’s something really great, but doesn’t have the extra “pizzazz” I need to push it up to a 5-star.
Now, I will admit that I’m human and I have favorite authors. There are probably books of favorite authors that I’ve given 5-stars to that others won’t agree with me on, but in general, I don’t give many 5-star ratings.