by Steve Yarbrough
In advance of my reading at Book Passage, I'm wondering how much attention readers in the Bay Area pay to book reviews and where they go to get them.
As for myself, I read the New York Times daily reviews as well as those in the Sunday Book Review, but I'm continually struck by the absence of reviews of books that seem noteworthy to me. My friend Ron Rash tells me his work has never been reviewed by the Times, which seems odd to me, and the Times also passed over William Gay's last book. Likewise, they ignored a fine new novel by Alex Espinoza, Still Water Saints. I respect the San Francisco Chronicle for continuing to think books matter (although they've trashed all four of my novels) and I think the LA Times still does a good job, though they've badly reduced their space. All things considered, I believe the Washington Post has the best book section out there, and I look at it regularly online.
I'm curious to hear whether people out there pay as much attention to reviews as I do.