Sunday, May 17, 2015

Bookish Thoughts: On Picking A 'Relative Unknown'

Recently I picked up a copy of HOLLYWOOD MOON by Joseph Wambaugh. Having not read anything by the author previously despite having a passing awareness of his books, this was not on my radar in pursuit of reads.

So what made me pick up this book? More broadly, what makes me pick up a book and give it a try?
  • Cover blurb - I'm big on these. This one had a quote by David Simon. Sold.
  • Cover art - I know, you can't judge a book by its cover, but it's often the interesting covers that first attract me to a relative unknown.
  • Goodreads reviews - ok, this is a little hit and miss. I tend to look at the overall average rating and the number of reviews/ratings then read some of the 3 to 4 star reviews. If the book seems to be on the right track I'll then glimpse the lower rating review to get a well rounded idea as to whether the author has written something I'd likely be in to.
  • Blogs - If I really want to do my due diligence I'll check out of few of my trusted blog sites to see what my fellow reads think of said book.  

Hollywood MoonSounds like a lot of leg work to pick up that relative unknown but I don't subscribe to the above in all instances. When I find a book that seems too good to pass up I may use all of the above or a combination thereof - or none at all - depends on the book. 

In my bookish speak a relative unknown is a book/series/author that I've only a minor awareness of. 


Hollywood Station isn't your typical police division, but in 'Hollywood Moon', the cops of that surreal place seem called upon to deal with an even greater share of weirdness than normal. A prowler has been violently attacking women, and officers Nate Weiss and Dana Vaughn are in hot pursuit.


  1. Replies
    1. With so many choices out there to read, I think it's good to undertake a little background checking :-)

  2. I saw your definition of "relative unknown" but it's still hard for me to except someone as famous as Joseph Wambaugh as a relative unknown. He's been writing best sellers for years.

    1. Hi Spencer - 'relative unknown' to me. I haven't read anything of Wambaugh's despite seeing his books in bookstores and reading the occasional blog review. I'm not implying his work is unknown to all - just me.