I've long been wanting a blog and mulling over concepts for it. A personal blog was out. I’ve seen personal blogs about nothing much done brilliantly, as Mil Millington did with his Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About, and I’ve seen dreary little sites that read way too much like Jean Teasdale of The Onion. Not being a brilliant writer and having an ordinary life, I decided to avoid the all too likely result of winding up in the latter category. None of my hobbies/areas of (more or less) competency seemed to lend themselves to extensive documentation, and anyway I want to actually paint, draw, sew, knit, make stained glass items, etc., not write about them.
I then got the idea of doing book reviews, and expanded that idea to reviews of all my reading material. I love thinking about and writing about the things I read. I often found myself inflicting reviews of things I read on friends via email. I thought, hmm, instead of putting this kind of material into an email that one too-loyal-for-his/her-own-good friend will be forced to skim through, why not post it to a blog no one will read? I know I often google my reading materials to see if anyone out there has anything interesting to say about them. I thought perhaps other people likely do as well. So, The Orange Swan Review was born.
Orange Swan is my usual Internet alias, chosen hurriedly and for no particular reason when I joined Metafilter.com. I do periodic Googling on the name and can be reasonably sure that whenever you run into an Orange Swan on the Net it’s probably me. Of course it also might be a fly fishing lure.
I’m just going to review whatever I happen to read. The average item reviewed here won’t be recently published, since I’m not willing to shell out the $37.50 for a new hardcover and the Toronto Public Library’s hold system can have queues of more than a thousand painfully slow readers for a recent bestseller. Some books may be obscure or even out of print. I might review some really bad books just for the fun of mocking them. Above all, I just want to enjoy reading and thinking and writing about what I read.