Uploaded by chinelo on February 16, 2011
Nigerian writer Mike Ekunno reviewed "A life in Full," a collection of short stories by the writers who were shortlisted for the 2010 Caine Prize, and those who participated n the Caine Prize’s Writers’ Workshop that year, in last Sunday's NEXT newspaper.
In South Africa, Eva Hunter, a researcher at the University of the Western Cape, reviewed "The Secret Lives of Baba Segi's Wives," by Lola Shoneyin.
This got us thinking about the nature of book reviews themselves. Like movie reviews they are subjective, reflecting one reader's opinion of a work. In the media, it is usually a very well-read reader, with a strong background in the literary arts, but it is still one opinion.
Many commercial sites such as Amazon.com and book review sites like Goodreads.com rely on an aggregate of users opinions to rate their books. While this has generated its own questions about accuracy, we wanted to ask you the reader: Are book reviews helpful when you want to choose your next read? Does it matter if they come from one very qualified expert or many ordinaray readers?