Friday, May 31, 2013

Armchair BEA: Ethics & Non-Fiction


     This IS a heavy topic today! Ethics is something that everyone should hold dear. It goes against yur reputation and people don't forget about that kind of thing too easily. If you use something that you even think may come from somewhere else, try to figure it out and give credit where its due. One thing I do, is steer clear of other reviews for books until I've written my own. Once I have my own written and ready to be posted, I can then read what other's think about it. Until then, I just talk to other bloggers that I know are currently reading it and ask what they think of it so far. That way, there is no room for plagiarism or any kind of  miscommunication. 
     Me personally, I've never had a run in with plagiarism. And I hope I never do. As a blogger,  you must remember that you are reviewing these books because you want to give your opinion on them. If you are giving someone else's thoughts and words, that doesn't count as your opinion. It counts as theirs, and that's one less review that the author has. Just remember to be honest and to take everyone's feelings into consideration. Everyone who writes their reviews work long and hard on them, so taking those words away from them just isn't fair. As my mom used to tell me, "if you can't find the words you want to use, say it a different way." 

What do you think about ethics? How do you avoid miscommunication? 


     I don't read too much non fiction anymore, but I do dabble in it from time to time. I read things that scare me (in other words, things I shouldn't) like true crime novels. Call me morbid, but I really love the stories about the unsolved mysteries like The Black Dahlia. I also like biographies of musicians. (I'm still looking for one on Janis Joplin if anyone has a good one....)
     If I was to help someone pick out their first non fiction book, I would make sure they were really interested in it. Don't pick out a non-fiction book that you will only be merely interested in. You will never finish it. 
Do you read non-fiction? What topics do you read?


  1. When I read non-fiction, I read either books on being creative (The Creative Habit, How to Think Like Leonardo Davinci) or historical non-fiction that reads like historical fiction (The Widow Clicquot, The History of the Restaurant). Whew. Long comment, sorry about that.

  2. I think that's a good point that if you don't read non fiction to make sure you pick out one in a subject area you are passionate about. Great point!

  3. I think a great place to start with nonfiction is with a graphic novel :) Maus, Persepolis, and Blankets to name a few!

  4. Plagiarism is rampant. I teach at a community college and before I took a work hiatus at a university. Students don't seem to understand that if it is not your idea or your words you need to credit your source. So glad to see that ABEA participants seem to get it.