Blogger Vs. Author Round #...?

I don't even know what round we are on these days, what with all the blogger vs. author matches I've heard through the book blogging grapevine.


Drama. Drama. Drama.

I normally stay away from those things in the book blogging community. The Goodreads debates, bullying, blogger vs author discussions, don't read this, don't do that. 

This round of Blogger Vs. Author is between Blythe Harris and Kathleen Hale, author of No One Else Can Have You. 

It started with a review written by Blythe Harris of Kathleen Hale's book. I haven't read the original review of Blythe Harris. Those that did said that it wasn't a review at all but a series of updates while she was reading the book. The thing is it was kind of mean and negative and Harris held no bounds with her dislike of the book.

Kathleen Hale's response was......... you can read what she did in this article - in detail.

To say the least, my reaction after reading that article was utter relief that I use a pseudonym as a book blogger. There's nothing wrong with using a pseudonym. It's actually advisable when you're in the internet. Posting personal details, i.e. home address, cellphone numbers, bank accounts, is very dangerous what with all the wackos and nuts out there. But I can assure you that the little bits of myself that I care to share here in this blog are all true including sharing my first name with the ghost of the first-floor girls' bathroom at Hogwarts.

Back to the topic.

As readers, we have the right to talk about the book we're reading and express our own opinions. Reading is very subjective; and each reader experiences a different set of moods, feelings, and thoughts from other readers. We could review based on our feelings. We could review based on our beliefs and cultural background. We could review based on factual research, as an academic. For example, I've been reviewing based on my feelings and moods, in other words, my enjoyment of the book, lightly touching on 'technicalities'. In fact, the only book I've read and reviewed (in this blog) as an academic, with all the fanfare of being a 'literary critic' was Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami (I enjoyed the book).

I'm segueing again.

I get that getting a mean and negative review is a blow to the heart of an author. I understand that (most of us get upset when someone says or thinks badly about you or your work). You pour your heart and soul into writing your book and send it out into the world. But you also have to understand that not everyone will like that book. Some would write glowing reviews and put you up on a pedestal but some would utterly lambaste the book that you could cry. However, they're criticizing the book, NOT the author himself/herself. You could ignore the negative reviews. It is as simple as that.

But what Kathleen Hale did was borderline creepy. To go to such lengths such as calling the blogger's house, calling her job, obtaining the address of the blogger and go to their house to confront her? That's stalking and harassment... over ONE negative, albeit mean, review. If Hale could have ignored that and didn't write a damning (and alarming) article, then other readers/reviewers/bloggers could have read her book and form their own opinions about it. Now, the book blogging community are up in arms (whether for or against) regarding this issue.

We bloggers are not out to make or ruin authors' careers. We are readers who love books and have passion for reading. That's it.


Update from the person who gave Hale Harris's address:


Dear authors and publishers,

We give our home addresses to you in good faith, hoping that you'll keep them private. Please don't hand them out like flyers are handed out on the street, without our permission.

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