I’m a culture vulture who owns over 700 books and dvds, collected over ten years from my days as a graduate student in 19th and 20th century American literature and culture. I specialized in multi-ethnic American literature and film (Asian American in particular). I buy tons of books and pay for lots of movies. When I review them, it’s because I wanted to read or see them.
Living in Los Angeles, I also get comped to see some first-run theatrically-released movies for free. These are usually through non-profit organizations I belong to, friends who are filmmakers, or studio contacts. If I get comped, as I have by Focus Features previously, I’ll tell you that up front. I might even extend my commentary to the premiere itself, as that can be interesting and fun to hear about if you don’t live in LA and don’t get to mill around what can be some fancy parties where rare, ethereal creatures known as actors flutter around from flashbulb to flashbulb.
I also am lucky to have some novelists as friends. If I have any relationship to the person who wrote the book I’m reviewing, I’ll tell you about that somewhere in the review, as well as if I received a review copy for free versus paying for it myself.
Finally, as I seem to be full of opinions and ready to share them, publicists sometimes contact me to write about events or products. I tend to only select ones to write about that I’d already use or be inclined to use. That doesn’t mean I automatically like the service or product, but it does mean I don’t believe in doing a harsh review just for kicks, nor do I think anyone’s time is well-served by hearing about something I’d be unlikely to do in the first place. (You won’t find me reviewing a Hummer, for example.) I will tell you if a publicist pitched me a review.
If I did a publicist-pitched review, you can expect that I received some sort of goodie bag or was paid for writing the review.
I’ll also consider ads on P i l l o w b o o k Picks, depending on the nature of the service/product.
Email me for more information: cyn3matic @ gmail dot com.
This is where the ‘Picky’ part of P i l l o w b o o k Picks comes into play. I have my quirks, preferences, and ridiculously high standards in some places, shamefully low standards elsewhere. I’ll try as best as I can to put it all out there. Hopefully, it’ll be either useful or entertaining to you, or both.
Movie Reviews (I purchased)
Movie Reviews (comped)
Book Reviews (I purchased)
Book Reviews (sent for review)