This whole “review policy” thing from a few days ago came about because I had gotten yet another press release in my inbox. I wrote back with a short but polite reply and asked to not be the recipient of any more press releases but sure, go ahead and send me a copy of the magazine. Got a polite and friendly reply and then a few days later a few copies of Bookmarks Magazine showed up in my mailbox. I was almost embarassed to like it so much because I hate being marketed to and, worse yet, I hate being accurately marketed to. In any case, the magazine is a review magazine more in the vein of Nancy Pearl’s Book Lust — which I am also reading this week — than Booklist or Library Journal’s reviews.
Their tastes run more to the independent, their layout tends more towards the creative, and their scads and scads of reviews are interspersed with interesting articles that give you in-depth coverage of an author or two; the Brontes and George Orwell were features in two of mine. One of the issues I read had an absolutely ingenious mystery section which included a graphical “historical mystery series timeline” as well as a US map showing the locations of many well-known fictional detectives with, of course, some capsule reviews of the books they appear in. Many of Bookmarks Magazines’ reviews also come with pullquotes from other major review sources so you can balance their reviewers’ perspectives with other well known “experts.” Without blathering on, I have to say I was really pleasantly suprised at how much I enjoyed this magazine. I don’t like most magazines aimed towards readers — they’re too ad-heavy and seem to exist for pushing product, not for fostering reading — and this one was different. You’ve read my review policy, no one paid me to say this, go check it out if you’re looking for book lust-ish recommendations, delivered bi-monthly.