Writer’s Life: Why I Love Writing Book Reviews

Over twenty years ago I read Louis L’Amour’s book, “Education of a Wandering Man”. It is one of my all time favorites. L’Amour kept a journal recording the books he read year by year. The idea seemed unusual to me at the time, but I started doing it. About the same time I attended a writer’s conference in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Author Calvin Miller was the featured speaker. He also suggested keeping track of what you read. He added maybe writing a one page summary of the book and your thoughts about the book would be a good record to keep. He saw value in reading the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize Award winning authors as well.

I thought both gentleman’s idea was good and added a twist of my own. I would write a short book review. In the late 1980s I had my first book review published. Several years ago I stared posting my reviews on-line on Yahoo 360. About the same time I started Kepler’s Military History Book Reviews.  My oldest review on the site dates back to October 2007. Since then I have read and reviewed 107 military history or military historical fiction books. The website was name a 100 Best Blogs for History Buffs in late 2009. I receive about six requests a month to read and review books. Several publishers send me their books automatically. Some authors and/or their publicists contact me directly asking if I will review their book. I have about a six month backlog of books to review. Most authors who contact me want the book reviewed now. I tell them of the backlog and many withdraw their offer of a review copy of the book.

What do I get out of it? First, I get the enjoyment of reading the book. I love reading and history. This is a great way to read new material and get review copies of the books. Second, I share my love for history in general and military history specifically. Third, I try to be a good finder in what I read. I will read the entire book. Sometimes it is a struggle, but I look for the good.  I don’t say it is wonderful if it is tough to read, but I don’t read looking for the bad.  How blessed I am getting to review the books.



Author: Jimmie Aaron Kepler, Ed.D.

Jimmie Aaron Kepler is a full-time writer. He was born in San Antonio, Texas, to a career military father and stay at home mother. He lived in six states and attended eight different schools before graduating high school. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History with minors in English and Military Science from The University of Texas at Arlington, Master of Arts and Master of Religious Education degrees from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, as well as the Doctor of Education degree. Before writing full-time, he worked as a US Army officer for 10-years, religious educator for 18-years, and as an IT software application engineer for over 20-years. He is a widower. He lives in North Texas with his cat Lacey.