Check out this NYT article: a Q&A with (what I gather) is the Time’s newest book critic. Although, I’m more concerned with how readers on Amazon and Goodreads rate books, this is still an interesting read. Of course, I still think reviews are like brushing your teeth with barbed wire. Ouch!
Parul Sehgal joined The New York Times’s team of daily book critics in late July. She was previously a senior editor for The New York Times Book Review; she also wrote a column, “Roving Eye,” focused on international literature.
You recently transitioned from editor and columnist to critic. What has changed about your approach to covering books?
My relationship with the reader — the reader I have in my mind when I write — is a bit different. There’s more of a responsibility to convey what’s happening in the world of literature, and to do it in a timely manner, and to explain why it matters. I can’t direct myself purely by my own idiosyncrasies, or my own temptations.
The challenge for me is remembering that, in spite of the weekly pressures, my reviews can never be formulaic, that they always have to be full of pleasure, that they have to be full of delight — and that I have to stay fresh, and stay excited.